In January 1996, Microsoft founder Bill Gates declared “Content is king” and he was, indisputably, right. So, what exactly is content and why is it so important for your business?
What is content?
In the context of Content Marketing, content is any educational, informative, relevant and/or entertaining material designed to attract a specific target market to your website with the end goal of converting them into paying customers.
Content comes in various shapes and styles, including blog posts, memes, images, infographics, surveys, videos, Slideshares, ebooks, podcasts, quizzes and interviews to name just a few.
And what about this post you’re reading right now? Yep, you guessed it. Content!
Why do I need content?
Content is a non-interruptive form of marketing that enables brands to build communities, increase brand awareness, retain clientele and garner trust by positioning themselves as an industry authority – all by telling stories that offer more than just a straight-out sales message.
It’s also beneficial for increasing your website’s search engine optimisiation (SEO) and ranking, as determined by search engines such as Google. If you own a luxury homeware business for example and your weekly blog posts include the phrase “luxury homewares Melbourne”, your content is likely to show up earlier in searches than competitors who post once a month with no mention of their shop’s geographic location using long-tail keywords (the longer, more targeted phrases people search when they’re near purchase point).
Will any calibre of content do?
No! As with anything in life quality shines through and, remember, whatever content you disseminate will be reflective of your brand and its values. So, while many companies are happy with articles written on Fiverr or those bought for $5 per thousand words, ask yourself if that writing is accurate, if it has been fact checked, if it is well written and, most importantly, if it is original.
If you’re not going to opt for hiring a company like Watermelon Media, which specialises in original and high-quality content for brands, be sure to at least check if the content you are being delivered is authentic via plagiarism-checking services such as Copyscape.
Where should I distribute content?
The best place for your content to live is on your website blog, which creates a permanent indexed filing cabinet for all your posts. This allows users to easily search for backdated content and makes it easier for businesses to reference earlier content using hyperlinks. Once you have published the content to your blog, you can then distribute it across all your social media channels by including a brief, keyword rich description and a link to the content encouraging readers to click through to your website.
why is content so important
You can also create content for non-competitive but complimentary brands through submitting guest posts that include subtle and relevant backlinks to your site (in-text hyperlinks directing readers back to your website). Make sure you thoroughly read submission guidelines first so you know exactly what the brand expects in terms of style, tone and topic. The more backlinks you include in guest posts that appear on other quality ranked websites, the more attention you’ll get from search engines. Also remember to include your content (or a teaser of it) in your e-newsletter to encourage subscribers to visit your website.
How can I optimise my content?
Creating valuable content is time consuming, so if you’re going to do it make sure you get it right. Include long-tail keywords in your blog posts, which you can create with the help of Google AdWords Keyword Planner. Search engines will then be alerted to your post and can present it to people who are looking for what you’re delivering. Search engines are pretty clever, but not clever enough to read text presented inside an image, so when posting images or infographics to your blog or social media, include a keyword rich description of what the image is about. To maximise sharing of your content, make sure social sharing features are enabled on your blog and assign appropriate hashtags when publishing to social media so your content is picked up in searches.
How can I start today?
Read 10 content New Year’s resolutions for your business to get the ball rolling, then follow these five easy steps:
Fill a content calendar with juicy topics, add some keywords and decide how frequently you want to publish.
Prepare helpful and/or entertaining content. Start with writing blog posts and use titles that include things like lists, Top 10’s, How To’s, product reviews, staff profiles and case studies. If you’re really stuck for ideas, try Hubspot’s Blog Topic Generator.
Post the content on your website and use the page URL to promote it across your social media.
Include a content teaser with an image in your e-newsletter to drive traffic to your website.
Research opportunities for guest posts, formulate an idea and contact the brand to approve your idea…then start writing!
Not much of a writer? If you need help kickstarting your content get in touch. Our team of writers never met a topic they couldn’t cover. For some inspiration, sign up to receive the Watermelon Media newsletter and start generating your own ideas for creating killer content today!