Your content is a critical business asset that needs to be working as hard as you are. This means understanding what content you have, where it is, what it's doing and how to tell if it’s making you money. Unfortunately, most brands don’t know this.
And more worryingly, they have no easy way of finding out. Their website may have the old logo or out-of-date documents. They’re not quite sure how to add new kinds of content. And they have no way to measure the ROI of content.
Luckily, we’re here to help :) Content is an essential thread of communication between you and your customers. Let’s take a look at how we can ensure this is a golden thread that keeps both you and them happy.
Creating effective, hard-working content needs focus and purpose. A focus and purpose that align your business goals with what your target audience is looking for. No one is on your site to waste time; they want to DO something — buy, read, register, comment. Help them do this by making content that’s easy to find, respond to, engage with and take action on.
Start by taking a user-centered approach to your content with questions such as:
- Who is my audience?
- What do they want to know from me?
- What words do they use?
- When do they want to hear from me? And why?
- What’s their context? E.g., if they only access your website via mobile, you need to make sure you can deliver for that!
These answers will give you a North Star to navigate toward and help you create useful, focused content that delivers.
If people can’t find your content, you’ve wasted their time and yours. And you may as well have thrown the money it took to create the content off a building instead.
In the face of a content deluge without limit, you need to have a strategic focus on findability. Not only does this get your content to the starting line, but when people can easily find content, 86% consider it accurate, and 96% find it useful.
Getting top Google billing in 2017 means moving beyond standard technical and on-page SEO practices. It means having well-written, compelling content that answers questions. It means keeping your content fresh and up to date by archiving out-of-date content and redirecting people to the latest and greatest version. For those speaking globally, it means not only writing and publishing in the local language but using words that make sense in that context.
Alas, none of this will happen by magic. Instead, establish findability as one of the core principles that drive content creation and management, and reflect this in your content activity.
Congratulations! Your customers have found your content! But is it any good? Can they easily read it? Does it sound like you? Or if you were to take your brand name out of it, would it sound like anyone?
You have less than 10 seconds to convince people to stay on your website. Keep them there; don’t put them off with errors, inconsistencies or just plain old boring content.
Instead, be nice. Publish content that gets and holds their attention. Proactively and purposefully create content that is consistent, error-free, interesting and addresses your audience's pain points. Support this with a publishing framework that’s easy for you to work with (so you can make quick updates whenever you need to), and is technically solid, so Google and other computers can find you.
Never forget that you are talking to people, not machines: people who are having good days ... and bad days. Who are busy and distracted, and who would really love to find something out right now! Help them by taking hurdles out of their way with content that sounds right and lets them do something.
It’s time to take it up a notch. Remember that internet deluge threatening to engulf your content? Countering this means being more than just friendly; you have to be fabulous.
This doesn’t mean rushing to create a witty graphic that people share on social that drives up your visitor numbers, but does nothing helpful for them.
Instead, ask yourself: how can my content go from good to great? What does fabulous mean for me? Answer this by focusing on quality not quantity. By auditing what you have, throwing out the old and creating new content that is diverting or funny. That is readable and understandable. That is helpful and easy to react to. That’s engaging (always), witty (sometimes), serious (if need be).
Make your content count.
Set it up for success in 2018 with a strategic vision, supported by a roadmap of targeted and purposeful content activity. Contact us to show you how.