The Art of Maximizing the Impact of Your Content

Do you want to drive more traffic to your online store? Do you want more engagement on your site? Do you want your potential customers to find you instead of your competitors?

Three questions and only one answer: Content.

Content marketing is the epitome of digital marketing these days. Modern buyers aren’t interested in hearing a sales pitch; they recognize an advertisement when they come across one. Content marketing resolves this problem by creating value for customers before they even consider making a purchase!

In fact, content marketing has shown to generate three times more leads compared to other strategies.

Most people always start with a search engine and search for specific products and brands before making a purchase. They search with phrases like “the insurance cost of a car” or “how to choose an insurance plan?”

In this case, if you run an insurance agency, an individual who types these phrases is your potential customer. However, if your site isn’t optimized for these searchers, your customer’s won’t find you. Therefore, not only is it important to optimize your site for keywords, it’s equally important to provide content that answers your readers’ queries.

Content that addresses pain points and provides relevant information is what your customers want to read. Providing credible and reliable content allows your brand to appeal to those who are likely to make a purchase.

The Importance of Quality Content

So, now that we know that content is key to increasing visibility of your digital brand, knowing what content to create is paramount. Content creation requires clear objectives and a strategic plan in place to maximize the impact of each piece that you create.

Studies have shown that the one of the top factors that contributes to marketers’ content marketing success is a defined content strategy.

Yet, only 37% organizations have a documented strategy.

The aim is to focus on the quality of the content rather than the quantity. One creative and well-researched piece can go long way and result in a bigger impact, compared to 10 smaller pieces. In fact, according to the Google Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines, brands that copy content with little or no effort and manual creation are likely to rate low in search rankings!

Moreover, website owners should also periodically review their blog posts and articles to ensure that the information published is up-to-date. Unmaintained sites with misleading content will receive low E-A-T (expertise, authority and trustworthiness) ratings.

Quality Content

What Constitutes Content Marketing?

Before we discuss tips, tricks and techniques to improving your content marketing, let’s see how the industry defines content marketing:

It’s a marketing technique that comprises of creating and distributing valuable, consistent and relevant content to acquire a targeted audience.

The emphasis here is on the word “valuable”—this is what differentiates content marketing from other marketing forms.

Additionally, it’s important to break down the word “content” here. It comes in the form of television advertisements, videos, social media posts, podcasts, articles and billboards—essentially, any information that is designed to put information in front of an audience.

By and large, content is created to raise brand awareness and drive profitable customer action.

Actionable Techniques That Drive Sales

Let’s look at how businesses can use content marketing to drive sales:

1. A Cross-Channel Strategy

If your content strategy only contains sheets and brochures, then you need to incorporate a mix of content to attract, engage and convert your audience. This means publishing detailed infographics, guides, e-mails, case studies, white papers and videos.

Incorporating a mix of content can help you get qualified leads, boost brand awareness, build authentic relationships with industry leaders and customers, drive more traffic, and even get repeat business over time.

Cross-Channel Strategy

Here the different forms of content that you can take advantage of:

Long-Form Content

There’s no substitute for original content that’s published on leading publications and online websites. It establishes your business’s authority in the industry as well as in the online space.

Well-researched and credible long-form content (a minimum of 1200 words) is a great way to earn your customers’ confidence; it promotes your image as an expert in the field, thereby increasing the likelihood of sharing on social platforms.

All of this eventually translates into improved brand awareness.

In fact, according to the Google Webmasters Central Blog, nearly 10% users look up online resources daily to learn information on a broad topic. This is a suggestive hint that Google ranks long-form content well.

Infographics

If you’re looking for a way to publish complex information through easy-to-consume content, inforgraphics is the way to go. Infographics add life to data with just the right mix of visual and textual information that appeals to your target customers.

Well-crafted infographics that are also relevant and valuable are shared three times more on social media than any other kind of content.

Moreover, you can use a single infographic piece for promotion across social platforms or in e-books. They give you more bang for your buck!

Video Content

Videos are a powerful storytelling medium. They can facilitate your business’s influential ideas, experimental content efforts and promotional campaigns through a combination of text, motions and visuals, developing a lasting relationship between your audience and your brand.

This is truly the best time to create video content because online videos account for 82% of the web traffic. In fact, according to Google,6 out of 10 people prefer to watch online videos altogether.

When it comes to improving ranking on search result pages, marketers state that incorporating the word “video” in their e-mail subject lines increased their click-through rates by nearly 65%.

Videos can:

  • Work well in short and long formats—ranging from video messages on Instagram to long documentary films
  • Serve as timely pieces that encourage conversations
  • Be presented as either pre-roll advertisement or as a standalone information source
  • Be republished, repackaged and repurposed in conjunction with other SEO efforts

It’s important to note here that like with every other content marketing effort, video-based storytelling should be supported by a strategic plan that outlines your brand’s core message. In addition, it should ideally gauge your audience reaction after viewing the content, and include a plan that draws out the next step that you want your audience to take after viewing.

Video Content

2. Optimize Your Content for Voice Search

Voice search is all the rage right now! Leading research firms predict that nearly 50% of all web searches will be conducted by voice by the year 2020.

Brands can get ahead of the curve by devising an optimization strategy for voice. Statista reports that 43% people claimed that they used voice search because it’s far easier and faster than typing in a query.

So what does this mean for content marketing strategies?

Since the way people ask questions on search engines have changed, the content returned on search results need to cater for these natural language queries too.

Here’s why optimizing for voice search can help generate leads and increase sales.

Gives You the Opportunity to Take Advantage of Featured Snippets

Google has revolutionized user search experience through Featured Snippets. These appear at the top of search results (called “Position 0”) as standout bits of text. More than half of all clicks originate from these “zero-click searches.”

Here’s an example of a featured snippet:

Featured Snippets

They provide quick answers and relevant information to viewers at a glance—making click-through to a website unnecessary.

Moreover, featured snippets drive voice search results. Currently, Google Assistant and Google Home read snippets as response to voice searches. Soon enough, optimizing for snippets is going to be every brand owner’s top priority.

What Can You Do?

Here’s how you can optimize your content for featured snippets:

  • Make your content attractive and comprehensive
  • Identify and answer commonly asked questions about your business
  • Ensure proper keyword usage and well-formed meta description
  • Keep current with Google’s Search Engine Guidelines
  • Make sure the information in your content is placed in easy-to-find locations

3. Meet the Requirements of Users’ Query Intent

Did you know that Google and other search engines look beyond traditional ranking factors like titles, keywords and meta tags when ranking sites on search result page?

While including long-tail keywords and lots of backlinks is still imperative when optimizing your site for SEO, there’s another thing you need to pay attention to: the context of your search query—what your customer is really looking for when searching certain terms.

That’s user intent.

Once you understand your visitors’ intent, you can optimize your content to meet their informational needs.

This additional layer of measuring users’ intent broadens your pathway for developing effective SEO strategies that enrich user search experience.

There isn’t a one-size fits all strategy when it comes to optimizing for user’s intent; however, there are some tactical ways that improve conversions:

Analyze Current Top Ranking Sites

Depending on your targeted keywords, type in a query in your search box and scan the results. Are the results blog posts? Are they full-length guides? Go through competitor pages to gain an insight on how to efficiently optimize your site.

A Focused Content Creation Strategy

Keeping in mind that you need to tailor the language and structure of your content based on what your readers seek to achieve, you need a focused approach. This includes:

  • Including product keywords in the title so that your users immediately know the purpose of the site.
  • Including a meta description that describes what your brand does and who you serve.
  • Incorporating common (and short) FAQs in the title. This is a great way to answer user queries in a comprehensive and straightforward manner.

4. Use Interactive Content

As apparent from the name, interactive content requires active engagement from its users. Rather than being a passive user, the user is part of a dynamic two-way experience.

The aim is to capture your visitors’ attention and encourage them to take action such as clicking on a button to reveal more information about a topic, answering a series of questions or calculating a score or any other outcome.

Here’s an example:

Interactive Content

Some of the top 5 types of interactive content ideas that marketers use include contests, calculators, quizzes, interactive infographics and assessments. Additionally, you can explore even more options by adding live videos and 360 videos.

According to the Content Marketing Institute, interactive content provides you with better insight into what your readers are trying to achieve; it gives you the opportunity to have a conversation with your customer instead of having them simply scroll through your site.

What’s more is that interactive content is mobile friendly, making it easy for search engines to crawl these sites, thereby improving your content’s organic rankings.

As content marketing becomes less about the number of words you put on a page and more about the user experience that you create, interactive content continues to play a significant role in driving higher engagement rate. This doesn’t come across as surprise as even the simplest form of interactive content requires some degree of interaction by its very nature.

Concluding Thought

Content marketing is one of the most effective ways a business can demonstrate its expertise and deliver valuable information to potential customers. It establishes the company’s position as a go-to resource in the industry through blog posts, white papers, videos and more.

It’s important that you remember that content marketing is a long-term strategy, so you’ll need a definite plan and a thought-out strategy to make sure your investment and time are rewarded.

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