Content marketing is stronger than ever. It’s the best way to attract and engage with your community and audience. Social media makes it easy to follow-up and grow your relationships with existing and potential customers, but it all starts with your content. Creating and organizing content is a challenge for many business owners. Here are some tips that can help you keep your message and purpose on track.
Strategic Content Creation:
- When developing your content, always keep in mind your deepest purpose.
- Be yourself and authentic in what you say and how you say it. Remember that the key element is to engage and interact.
- Remember, Social media is not just a place for distribution, it is more like a magazine where you can share your story with compelling headlines and visual elements.
- Before you create content, put a picture of your ideal customers in front of you. Speak to them directly.
- Know where you are going to publish your content before you actually create it.
- Create a consistent content development strategy to ensure you are meeting your business goals.
- Map processes for creating different types of content, record them, then outsource where possible.
- Create a content development schedule that is consistent with your sales process.
- Use feedback from surveys and customers to decide what content you will create.
SEO for Web Content
- Every piece of content you create should be optimized for a specific keyword – preferably long-tail.
- Use your keyword in the first paragraph, middle and end of your content – make sure it sounds natural.
- Highlight your keywords by making them bold and using them in headings and titles.
- Use different variations of your keywords both within your content and in your anchor text and images.
- Add fresh content frequently to keep the search engines coming back for more.
- Include links to other pages on your site and other domains for internal linking and value for readers.
Content Development Tools
- Be wary of autoblogging tools. The resulting content can be garbage that will get you banned from Google.
- Keyword research is your best tool for content development. Use your favorite tool and pick one keyword.
- Use tools like Jing to add screen captures to your content to make it more interesting and instructive.
- Windows Live Movie Maker and iMovie are easy free tools for making video content for your site.
- Use an Editorial Calendar plugin or blog calendar to plan your content development timetable.
Email Content Writing
- Always ask permission before sending emails. Otherwise, you risk losing people before you start.
- In your first email, tell people what to expect in the future, but don’t promise what you can’t deliver.
- The tone of your emails can be more casual than other content. Speak directly to your reader.
- Avoid overused language that sounds spammy in your emails. It will get deleted before it’s even opened.
- Change up your email content and length from one to the next to keep it interesting.
- Your email subject line can make or break you. Spend time on it and use action words.
Ecourses and eLearning Content
- Design a step-by-step process for your ecourse content. Each piece should lead into the next one.
- Make sure each part of ecourse content has an action for the learner to perform at the end.
- Make your ecourse goals clear from the start. What will the learner be able to do at the end?
- Use examples in your ecourse that are relevant to your learner, eg mommy bloggers vs. finance experts.
- Ecourses don’t have to all be written. Embed audio and video to cater to different learning styles.
- Follow up with your ecourse learners to see how they did. They’ll appreciate the reminders and more tips.
Content Writing Tips
- Content should be both unique and high quality. Rewritten may be unique but it has to provide value too.
- Give readers something to talk about in your content to promote sharing, comments and links.
- Tune your content to the media used. Examples: Social content = interactive, articles = instructive.
- Controversial content may draw attention, but only use it if it fits with your business image.
- Use your content to start a conversation. You will have more innovative results and get more attention.
- Grab your reader’s attention immediately. Make it clear what your content is about.
- Make your content easy to understand: Use simple sentences, short paragraphs, and interesting words.
- Test your content on a mobile device to make sure it displays legibly.
- Consider creating an app for delivering your content on mobile devices. It’s easier than surfing the web.
- Your mobile content must be brief and to the point. You have to capture attention in about 4 inches.
- Use fewer words and bigger text on your mobile content to make it easier to read.
- Consider using small images or icons in your mobile content. Pictures can convey more than words.
Web Content Design
- Include content around your images to draw attention to them and help them rank.
- Make sure each page contains at lease 300 words of quality content. Use more if you have lots of ads.
- Break up your content with headings, bullets, images and quotes. Make it visually easy to read.
- Your most important content should be above the fold. Keep scrolling to a minimum.
- Use large, basic fonts in dark colors on light backgrounds to make your content easy to read.
Rapid Content Development
- Blog roundups are an easy method for content development and readers love it. You do the work for them.
- If you quote content from other sites, remember: link back and add your own value – make it unique.
- Q&A sites like Yahoo! Answers provide ready-made content. You just add some comments of your own.
- Use your existing content as a tool for creating new content. Repurpose it or transform to a new format.
- Want to interview an expert? Send an email with 3 to 5 questions. Make it easy for them.
- Videos that are 5 minutes or less are more likely to be watched. Be respectful of people’s time.
- A video doesn’t have to be a professional production to be effective. Personal can have more impact.
- Include text, bullets or subtitles in your videos so people can follow along.
- Be aware of your video background. A cluttered office gives the impression you’re unprofessional.
- Speak more slowly and clearly on your video than you would in person. You want to be understood.
Press Release Content
- If your story isn’t newsworthy, your press release content will never see the light of day.
- Look at headlines in newspapers and magazines to get ideas for headlines for your press releases.
- Press release content should be optimized for SEO, but the first priority is to get the reader’s attention.
- Include quotes from relevant sources in your press release content. People want to hear from real people.
- Always write from the 3rd person in your press release content. Don’t use the word “you” or “I”.
- Your press release content should be news, not self-promotion. It’s not an ad. It’s a story.
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