Now more than ever, information and buying power are in the hands of customers. Approximately 80 percent of people research products online before purchasing. As online marketers, we have a responsibility to create engaging and valuable content, backed by strategy, that helps them make informed decisions.
Since it can be tricky to keep up on content creation trends and best practices, here are five practices our team always considers when developing client content strategies:
Go Beyond Writing
Videos, podcasts, gifs, infographics and case studies are just a few examples of content that show information in different ways. Think about which formats work best for both your messaging and the people you want to reach.
Tip: Writing is still a key skill when it comes to content. Social media posts, YouTube videos and podcast episodes all require writing that’s concise, grammatically correct, optimized and jargon free. Try a variety of content types to reach your audience and measure how they respond.
Quality Over Quantity
Avoid unleashing content for content’s sake. Instead, focus on content that truly matters to your audience. One well-thought piece of content that adds value to your audience is better than a week’s worth of posts telling your audience something they already know. As MarketingProfs’ Ann Handley notes, aim for epic.
Tip: Use analytics to track engagement with your content and identify the strategies that resonate best with your audience. If you create something they respond well to, repurpose it. One of my favorite takeaways from a content marketing conference came from Larry Kim about unicorn marketing. I’ll let him explain.
According to Gartner, 30 percent of web browsing is done without a screen. Since the way we speak is different from the way we write, consider natural language when creating and tagging content.
Tip: Instead of being overly focused on grammar and punctuation, write content that answers questions the way humans do. Simple things like focusing on long-tail keywords, building content around words like “when,” “how,” “what” and “who” and adding FAQs to your website can put you ahead of the game. Read more.
As YouTube is the world’s second largest search engine and 85 percent of the U.S. internet audience watches videos online, content marketers should test authentic, real-time live video as part of their mix. Opportunities include Q & A sessions, expert interviews, product demonstrations or unboxing and covering special events.
Tip: Remember, it won’t be a perfectly produced video but planning is still essential. Set up an invitation or preview the event on social media channels so users know ahead of time when to tune in. Interested? Get more insights from Sprout Social.
Seth Godin reminds us that marketing to the masses is a race to the bottom. In other words, you don’t stand out when you try to appeal to everyone, everywhere. Look instead for opportunities to be unique with niche content tailored to select audiences. While creating laser-focused content may not generate high volumes of leads or new users, those who engage are likely to be exactly who you’re looking for.
Tip: Develop personas or detailed profiles of the people within your niche. What are their needs? What drives their purchases? What information do they search for? Use these personas as a foundation to keep your content creation on point to attract your specific tribe.
There’s so much more that goes into content creation and strategy at Curious Plot, and each plan is different based on client goals. However, keeping these ideas and the user journey in mind helps ground us in truth and deliver content that drives results.