Great Content and How to Produce it
August 24, 2015
how do we Demand attention in a sea of constant content?
No clicks on your articles? No likes and shares? Fear not - with a few simple changes, you can write more engaging content without resorting to click bait tactics.
1. don't con readers into clicking your articles. be authentic.
The trick is... to write unique, relevant content with a purpose.
Groundbreaking, I know. This seems like common sense, but I still see many businesses stuck in the mindset that they need to be sharing the latest viral cat video on their Facebook page. Or, these other offenders:
- click bait headline
- very little informative content in article with clickbaity headline
- overused GIFs from years ago
Click bait vs. inbound marketing
The problem is, if you're a beer brewing company sharing a cat video on Facebook, you're pandering to readers who were never interested in your business in the first place, and will check your page only to see if you post more cat videos. Are you a cat video source? No? You want to sell beer? Well stop it. You're playing click bait games for instant attention.
Why does this matter? Why can't I PLAY GAMES? I got a few clicks on those cat videos!
It matters because trend riding is a con that does very little for your web presence.
It's okay to share these things on your personal page, but usually these posts are irrelevant on your business page. Don't share just anything on your business page for the sake of having constant content. Instead, employ proper inbound marketing.
Inbound marketing means creating your own content which earns reader attention and brings interested readers onto your pages. Proper inbound marketing requires more effort but produces MAGIC over time - check it out:
||Consistent Increase in Page Visits
||Reduced Bounce Rate
||Increase in Google Ranking
||Consistent Increase in Social Engagement
||Incresed time on pages
||Potential to convert
||Dilutes brand identity
|Click bait or trend
The key is patience: inbound marketing is highly effective at raising google ranking, increasing engagement, and ensuring compounding web visits throughout time, but it takes longer to see the results.
2. Be a voice for your industry
How do you produce great content, and how does this "magical" inbound stuff happen?
- Write articles that are tailored to your audience and provide new information.
- Over time, your curated information builds up and Google takes note that you're a living, breathing person behind that frequently updated site.
- Your articles are relevant to your industry, and the related keywords in your articles boost your presence and traffic
- Readers begin to identify you as someone in the industry with great advice, answers, and information
- These faithful, targeted readers become engaged, share your content, and look up to you as a reputable source.
Wow. How nice! Other people, spreading awareness of your brand because you are *actually* awesome? You earned that!
Even if you’re a small business, you can still be an industry leader. Great content is formed through new observations. Like we’ve stated before: there are
6 million+ 21 million+ results on google now for "What kind of Disney Princess are you" - don’t add to the monotony. Be a new voice.
So, what hasn't been answered yet? Are their gaps in your readers' knowledge that you can fill?
3. Use Keyword Planners to Find What Hasn’t Yet Been Answered
I cannot stress enough how critical keyword planning is to creating great content. This is where you can find out how a question is being asked, and how many answers are available for that question.
If you have a list of article ideas you’re set on writing about, that’s great! You should still write on topics you know are important to your business and audience. However, consider your audience: your reader might not understand all of the jargon used in your industry, so they are likely not searching for your information the way you expect. For example, “screws” vs. “fasteners” or “wall mounts” vs. “brackets”). The keyword planner is how you find out the best way to deliver answers to your reader.
- To start using the keyword planner, sign in and click search for new keywords
- Enter strings of keywords related to the article you have in mind. Note: you don’t have to fill in every field - it will limit the results.
- Look through the “Keyword Ideas” tab or expand a category and filter by average monthly searches and/or competition.
- Find a keyword string with a high number of average monthly searches and low competition. You're looking for something that is often searched with little information in the results. High competition represents how many people bid on that keyword term for ad space, but it also represents how "hot" a term is. It’s okay to try to compete for a high competition keyword - the goal here is just to try your best to provide a unique observation (and not be in the high competition pile of 20 million quizzes).
- Tweak your article title or content based on how users are searching for the related information. That way you can deliver the answer to their question. If you are constantly using jargon in your article, provide explanations in layman's terms.
Even if you do not perfectly match up to the ideal keyword string, you will be more targeted when delivering information. Plus, a close keyword match is better than talking to a wall. BUT TAKE HEED: do not butcher an article just to keyword stuff and beguile traffic to your page - readers will bounce if you are just playing games.
"THIS ISN’T ABOUT GAMING THE SYSTEM - IT’S ABOUT AUTHENTICITY."
No conning users into heading to your site. Authenticity matters. People like authenticity! :)
4. Target your audience and be concise
BLOG Articles, Books, and Tutorials
There's a time and place for all mediums of information. You are writing for someone who is looking for answers. How much time do they have? Someone online needs a question answered quickly. A book reader will have more time and may be looking for as much knowledge on a topic as possible. Someone searching for a tutorial is dedicating time to finish a task, but they need a little help.
Blog Articles: Great for answering a single question
Many online readers may have already gone through multiple articles looking for answers - so if they hit a monologue that dribbles on before getting to the point, they bounce. Or, if they hit a shallow article that rehashes superficial information, they bounce.
Bounce rates will be high whenever you don’t answer someone’s question within a reasonable amount of content. Whether too general or too verbose, you’re repelling someone who has already come to you seeking your advice.
The solution is to write an article that answers a single question in as few words as possible. Be their answer, and be concise.
Books - for someone with more time
If you find you have loads of information on a broad topic, it is perfectly acceptable to break down your content into separate articles. Answer one question at a time, then compile your information on this broad topic into an e-book. Readers seeking out books on a topic have a little more time to read than a web reader, and are looking to gain expansive knowledge on a topic.
Now, your content caters to an entirely new market channel. You don't need to change your content, just how you share it!
Tutorials can be a little more lengthy than a blog article. Ultimately, you’re still following the same principles: answer the question in the most concise way possible. If you have a photoshop tutorial on creating a graffiti effect, you would want to solve that process in a single article even if it is a little longer than usual. You will have a drop in readership if you break up a tutorial into parts. Always answer your reader’s question.
5. Be visual
What's almost more sad to see than click bait trend shenanigans... is when a business is doing a great job of writing content - too great a job, and their essays are so overwhelming for the reader that they bounce.
Make use of charts, graphs, bulleted or numbered lists, and images or videos. Break up blocks of content as much as you can for legibility, digestion, and entertainment.