Content creation is the worst kept secret to success
It’s true. We’ve heard it so many times over the years – ‘content is king‘.
But even to this day businesses all over the world are struggling to own their content and really gain control over it. More importantly, they’re struggling to reap the rewards of content marketing.
The most successful brands across the world all have something in common – they’re producing huge volumes of content.
Let’s take a look at content – we’ll provide some tips to bossing your content marketing strategy.
Why is content important for your business, product or service?
Successful content should speak to your consumers.
Right away, consider these questions:
- Who is your audience?
- What they are looking for?
- What answer are they seeking?
- How will you answer their query?
Content needs a purpose, and this purpose hinges on numerous factors (those above!).
Relevance is essential if you want to succeed with content. Remember you’re speaking to real people and that they need your help. Give them that help.
Alongside speaking to the right people, there’s more to content than just words and target audience.
Don’t just write content to sell
Your consumer wants a solution. The solution doesn’t always need to be ‘you must buy my product or use my services’.
Empowerment is stronger than you think. Give your consumer your solution and let them make the decision on how they acquire it.
You should always be considering the user’s experience when they come to your content. They’re on a mission to digest as much information as quickly as possible to make a decision. Your user experience from a design perspective must be easy to navigate around, but the structure of your content must be inviting too.
Whoever lands on your piece of content, they will have one thing in mind – to come in to your website and get out just as quickly. You want them to leave quickly having contacted you, not leaving quickly because your content was dull, the website took too long to load or they just had no clue how to move around the site.
Content has a dual purpose. The user experience and SEO are two symbiotic elements in your content strategy. As a result, SEO is an aspect you should already know a lot about.
Creating SEO-friendly content for your website is vital because the visibility of your content equals visibility of your brand. Its effectiveness depends on whether it is optimised for search engines, so titles, subheadings and keyword-rich content must make up part of your strategy.
If content is good for SEO it makes perfect sense that successful content is important for the continued success of your business.
A quick note on search marketing – always prioritise well-written, relevant and interesting content over ‘SEO standards’.
The psychology behind content in marketing
Let’s delve into business psychology. Don’t worry. It isn’t all synapses and chemicals.
Below are three commonly used theories in business. These show just how important content is, and how successful content can encourage visitors to buy products, become interested in and remember your brand.
Theory of planned behaviour
This psychological theory begins from three elements: subjective norms, attitude and perceived behavioural control. It was developed by Icek Ajzen to improve upon the theory of reasoned behaviour. It expanded this theory with the addition of perceived behavioural control.
This theory is used in health, economics and voting behaviours.
The theory of planned behaviour (TPB) happens subconsciously. It includes the general impression of feeling of your business (attitude), if other people are aware of it and are talking about it (subjective norm) and the confidence they have in your brand (perceived behavioural control).
Essentially, your brand, your audience’s attitude towards it and the confidence you instil all make a difference. Produce blogs, written explainers and product descriptions that create a positive and informative view of your business and you are well on your way to influencing your audience.
This effect extends to general life too. “Treat thy neighbour as you expect to be treated” resonates in all marketing. It is a psychological effect seen through history. ‘Eye for an eye’ is another example from many years ago, but in recent history cultural anthropologists suggest that there is a ‘web of indebtedness’ in life. This reciprocity effect has been used in social sciences in various different contexts.
In a business and marketing sense, social media is an example of the reciprocity effect. Official accounts that reply to users and their queries can single-handedly perform a number of functions. They help to mediate problems, provide an answer and inject positivity, humour or wit.
Such small gestures are seen and shared by hundreds of thousands of people. In one post, the business has created ammunition for reciprocated positivity in the future.
Successful content that appeals to the heart of your consumers will be reciprocated through continued support, loyalty and custom, for example.
The AIDA model
This model is often attributed to E. St. Elmo Lewis, an American salesman. It is a simple flow chart of how a customer or website user is developed over time.
Attention – The consumer becomes aware of a category, product or brand (usually through advertising)
Interest – The consumer becomes interested by learning about brand benefits & how the brand fits with lifestyle
Desire – The consumer develops a favourable disposition towards the brand
Action – The consumer forms a purchase intention, shops around, engages in trial or makes a purchase
The AIDA model is used and famed in business. It outlines a broad pathway from casual browser to buyer.
An instigator for this may be eye-catching infographics and attention grabbing headlines. Get them interested in your products and services.
The main pull of the AIDA model in terms of business is the ‘Desire’ section. Continued learning about your brand will make them more susceptible to future news, products and offers.
Social media posts, articles and blogs can start the journey towards the final aspect – Action. The right content strategy can create a loop of Desire and Action that continues to push your brand forward.
How can I make my content attractive and successful?
We have seen plenty of psychology, but what about the actual content you produce?
You can make your website stand out with the right content. Choose the right topic with expert voices and you are in a good position.
Relatable. Trustworthy. Well-researched. A topic of conversation, however, can only get you so far. You need to ensure that you heed the advice below for successful content.
We will talk about content chunking, brand messaging and reliable content. With these in tow, you can build a strong digital marketing plan for your business.
Know your audience and identify their needs through search
Keyword research is your best friend. With a little bit of work, you can create a list of important phrases and words for your business that your consumers are searching.
This is great for any digital marketing campaign, but even more pertinent for content.
Create a list of ten words that you will focus on and track your progress. Google Analytics can give you insight into your current page views per blog or per page. You can then compare this month by month.
Keywords also help to keep your content on a pathway. You are writing without purpose if you fail to outline a point of reference.
Research your competitors
Take a couple of your competitors. Understand and note how they use their content. Are they appealing more to your customers? Do they engage in more conversation on social media? Is there something they are doing which you can use?
It is not plagiarism to modify your content to best your competitors, but try to find a new and unique way of telling the story.
You use images, implement how-to videos, or produce step-by-step guides for your customers.
Trust and reliability
In addition to relatability, reliability is something that must be considered. If you can become an important location for trustworthy updates, features and more, more people will seek out and share your content.
Instilling trust in your content is the hard part. Produce articles and blogs tailored to your target audience, they will respond with loyalty.
Are they searching for the latest updates in the industry? Do you want to become a source of tips and tricks? Is your end game to recommend your products using first-hand accounts?
Whatever way you choose to create that targeted content, it is not the only thing to consider.
Content chunking – what is it and why do I need it
The way we consume written content is always changing. Now, more than ever, mobile first searches and browsing are the norm – this has forced the hand of businesses.
You may turn off visitors with content that looks daunting if you fail to consider the layout of your work (coming back to user experience). Your content will look unattractive and decrease the chances of a reader getting to the end without thought.
One way to cut down the probability of this happening is through content chunking. Perfect for mobile and desktop reading, your content will be sectioned off into smaller sentences, helping your readers to consume that all-important information.
Content chunking does more than just make your content easier to read
Content chunking is a way of ensuring that readers’ short-term memory is maximised rather than being stretched.
Shorter and snappier sentences are great for readability.
Whilst we’re talking readability – it affects how long someone stays on your site. The length they stay will signal to Google how good or useful the information on your website is related to the search that person entered, and therefore, readability impacts your SEO!
Just think, Google is getting smarter and relying on user experience to rank sites now. Keyword stuffing is something businesses used to do say ten+ years ago. This single section in this whole blog is one of the biggest pieces of information you can take away with you.
Any sites with a high bounce rate (if someone lands and bounces straight off your site for whatever reason – long content, poor load speed etc.) will see the effect – their site not ranking as high as it used to or just not ranking at all.
You need consumers to enjoy using your site.
Brand messaging – the key to successful content
Your brand voice is the difference between ordinary and successful content.
Writing new content without a general plan is writing blind. Who are you writing for? What are they searching for?
This is what needs to be included within your brand messaging document. It is essentially a guide to how you write content.
Elements such as tone of voice will help to turn ordinary content into trustworthy, interesting and readable articles.
A carefully constructed and executed tone of voice will change how potential customers see your company. It is always important to stay Jovial, and positive styles can contradict with subject matter that doesn’t suit, and vice versa.
A solid and consistent brand voice is important for successful content, and there are co
Your brand voice may lead to engaging content, but without a strategy it may not fulfil its potential.
Finding the sweet spot for content
Successful content depends on a lot of different elements, but it shouldn’t be overawing.
Your website is a great place to start. For example, take a look at your web pages now and critique their effectiveness. This short term thinking can begin the long-term process, but it will take more time for you to create consistently successful content.
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