Rubber Chickens
There’s a lot of talk these days by people within the content marketing business about ‘quality content’ – but what is it? Surely this is entirely subjective to the reader or user of that content. For example, say two different web users are searching for information about rubber chickens (bear with me; it had 4,400 global monthly searches last month so there’s a market out there). Whether or not the content is useful to them is entirely dependent on what the searcher is looking for. Are they looking for the information about where to buy rubber chickens, how rubber chickens are made or the history of the rubber chickens? There’s a ton of content out there for the user to sift through in order for them to get the desired information.

Our job as a SEO content creation team is to make the search for that user as easy and enjoyable as possible through the use of online content.

Content is no longer traditionally written. Videos, gifs, infographics and slideshows have forced their way on to the market and now give the user a huge number of ways to ingest the information they want.

The places where we digest this content are also altering. It’s a little naïve to believe that all search queries go through the all seeing eye of Mt Google. The majority of it does but there are other markets out there to explore and utilise. Users are now looking for dynamic content all over the web, within niche pockets and social media as well as on big search engines.

The challenge for content marketers these days is how we reach these people through so many different platforms and mediums.

What you need to do is find a balance between spreading yourself thin over too much ground and laying it on too thick in too few places. It’s no use going through the motions with every single possible platform and content type if the quality is no good. And likewise, it’s no good doing one or two awesome pieces of content if you’re going to hide them away somewhere on a useless platform.

So what do you do then?

Test, test, test and test some more

You need to become a marketing scientist, examine your product or service and find out where it is that the users digest information about it. You need to run some tests, if you just chuck a load of different bits of content out into the World Wide Web then it’s very difficult to analyse what kind of feedback you get and find out what’s worked and what hasn’t. It’s better to do some concentrated testing, on different platforms with different types of content to see what works best, with who and where in order to move forward with your content strategy.

Content life cycles

Offsite content has a notoriously short life span, what’s hot one minute can be boring the next. So depending on what kind of content you’re producing, you need to come up with a multitude of different ways to produce it in order to keep it fresh.

With onsite content the lifespan is going to be longer, giving you a different challenge to contend with. You’re going to need it to be engaging and informative. It needs to answer every single potential customer’s questions without being too dense or heavy handed in order to keep them interested and encouraged to convert. Think of it as dangling a carrot in front of a talking donkey. He’s going to ask you a million questions about that carrot before you actually feed it to him – meaning you need to know all the answers and give them to him.

Remember what you started off with

During the first parts of a content campaign you’ll start off with a simple idea – we want to sell more of X, or we want to raise awareness of Y. Everyone nods their heads and says yes that’s very nice and good and we can do that. An hour later and you’re discussing all the very exciting and dynamic ways in which you can get X and Y to happen. Two hours later and you’ve got all your fantastic ideas but you’ve forgotten all about X and Y. This is no good because although you’ve got all these great ideas going on, and these fantastic pieces of content being delivered they’ve lost their direction and they’re not going to accomplish selling more of X, or raising awareness of Y.

Content is King, but Quality is Prime Minister

Yes, yes, yes content is king, of course it is. But Content on its own is useless without quality. There’s not much use in having tonnes of low quality content splashed around the web with little thought about how people are going to interact with it. Web users are not idiots, they know spam or a poorly crafted linkbuilding article when they see it – it isn’t hard. Which is why you need quality on your side. Without it you could be doing more harm to you brand than good.

Not every single piece of content is going to set your customers’ pants on fire with excitement, make them grab their wallets and have them beg for you to take their money. But if you create enough quality content that is carefully and specifically placed in the key online areas where your customers hangout, then you can be pretty sure that it’s going to have a positive effect on your business.

So what did we learn today my marketing scientists?

  • Testing, testing, one, two, three – Run some initial tests with different types of content in different places online. Collect and collate the data and study it. The future of your content campaign will depend on how you use this data to your advantage.
  • Are you a Mayfly or a Giant Tortoise? – Figure out the lifespan of your content before you create it. This will help you structure your content as well help you figure out what kind of journey you want to take the user on.
  • Ask yourself how you got here – Always remember your initial goals you started out with during the creation of your campaign and ask yourself, ‘what do I want the person interacting with this to do?’ This will help keep your campaign on the straight and narrow.
  •  It’s back for a second term with an overwhelming majority – Remember that small amount of high quality content packs more of a punch than a boatload of low quality content – with your Google rankings as well as with your customers.

For more information about how to create super awesome content and how to make your digital marketing campaign a success check out my other blogs, or why not get in contact with us? We’re a friendly bunch. Alternatively you could get to know us on Twitter to keep up with all the latest news.

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