Great content doesn’t happen by accident: it is a conscious choice. Search engines and users have gotten far more savvy about differentiating pure digital marketing from content that entertains, informs, and inspires. You need to make sure that your content isn’t being lost in the sea of boring websites, advertisements, and social media posts that users see every day.
Here are 9 easy ways to start making great content:
1. Be Original
Don’t just copy other’s digital content or design. Google (and the general public) frown upon this, and they have meted out some harsh punishments in the past. Smart marketing software can help you avoid accidental plagiarism as well, so make sure you run checks on all content before posting. Two simple rules to keep in mind:
- If you hire content copywriters, you will get what you pay for.
- Don’t post for the sake of posting. It is better to post less often and say more than to put up any content you can dish out fast.
2. Strong Headlines Matter
A couple of quick statistics for this rule:
- 80% of users read headlines
- Only 20% read the remainder of your content
You need to experiment with headlines and subheadings that grab attention without getting lumped in with ‘clickbait’. Look at the top trending headlines and see what they are doing right. It never hurts to learn from better headline writers. Headline writing plays a major role in Search Engine Optimization (SEO), so make sure your keyword game is on point.
3. Content Needs to Demand Action
Always include a call to action for your reader somewhere in your content. If you don’t demand they do something, that content (as well as your brand) is going to fade quickly from their memory. You should only include one per post – you shouldn’t ask your customer to do five different things at once, because chances are they’ll get overwhelmed and do none of them.
4. Be the Expert
Make sure you establish yourself as a trusted expert voice online. People search for answers on Google, not questions. Be clear, concise, and informative so that your audience isn’t left wondering.
5. Verify Your Sources
Be sure you are not contributing to the spread of ignorance and false information! Verify your sources and information that you cite in your content. Be a responsible publisher and make sure you have nothing but easily verifiable facts on your website and social media.
6. Make Them Think, Make Them Learn
All your content needs to be focused on providing new and engaging information that allows your readers to educate themselves. It’s okay to post fluffy, mind-numbing or feel-good pieces every once in a while in the form of an Instagram caption or Facebook status, but certainly don’t include it in your website copy.
7. Use Images and Video
You aren’t going to see many click-throughs to your content without well-curated images or relevant video content. Users will get bored very quickly if all they’re seeing from you is words, words, and more words.
8. Keep it Short, Stay on Target
Don’t write meandering reflective journal entries, write content people want to read. That means content full of answers, not questions that need answering. We all know how annoying it is having to scroll through an essay’s worth of text on cooking websites before getting to the actual recipe – a short paragraph would’ve done just fine!
9. Update Consistently
Set a posting schedule and stick to it. More importantly, make sure you are posting during peak viewing time for most users (i.e. morning coffee break, lunchtime, after work, etc.).
Master these techniques, and you will soon see your SEO efforts begin to drive your content marketing game over the top. Search rankings will rise, and your online reputation will start to gel according to the quality of your content. Remember, without original content you cannot achieve your branding goals. Start generating high-quality content, and success is sure to follow.