posted in Content Marketing Strategy
What type of content do you need for your site?
Content, content, content. Yes, the word ‘content’ is being banded about like some kind of must-have fashion accessory in the world of digital marketing.
However, cynicism aside, there is nothing truer than the (new) adage that ‘quality content’ is what is truly driving SEO and content marketing today.
What Google says about quality content
Peppered throughout the pages of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines and blog pages you’ll see frequent references to ‘high-quality content’ which the search behemoth claims will help your site rank better.
We all know by now that if Google says something, we should listen!
The question is, what kind of ‘quality’ content do you need for your site? Which of the many, many types is the most user-friendly, which provides the most SEO value and how much time do you have to dedicate to your overall content marketing strategy for each one?
Everyone LOVES news – and I do mean everyone, Google included. Fresh content, such as news is just one of many ranking factors that we know influences search, therefore, it’s one of the most practical kinds of content to implement, especially if you don’t update your core-site content very often.
News content also happens to be one of the most shareable kinds of content when it comes to social networks.
Savvy social media types just love to have the bragging rights of breaking the latest, highly relevant news amongst their followers. Indeed, some personal Twitter accounts have gained significant followings just because they are the ‘go-to’ resource for what’s happening in their industry; re-tweeting and Google +1ing without prejudice.
In summary, producing your own news content not only shows your audience that you’re on the ball within your own industry, but it also serves as a great way of getting fresh, shareable content on your site.
When writing your news, remember to credit your sources. Your news won’t have any credibility with users (or Google) unless there is some kind of source attribution – be this by link or co-citation.
Evergreen is the kind of content that keeps on giving. Just like its namesake suggests, evergreen content never really dies but keeps on growing; it’s a timeless guide or how-to article that people will still be searching the answers for in months, years, or even decades time.
If you’re a camera-selling website then a long-lasting article might be, ‘how to shoot images in the dark’, or if you’re a bicycle company, then ‘how to change a bike tyre’. Feeding the evergreen engine can be extremely powerful as it continues to lift the profile of the whole website over time.
“How-to” guides, such as those mentioned above, make for the best evergreen content, due to the very nature of the query. However, don’t feel that you can’t ever update your evergreen content to reflect new developments or give it a freshen-up every now and then.
Blog posts can take on many forms. Some, like this one, are more instructional in tone and seek to provide personal insight or expert opinion about how to tackle something.
Another kind of blog post might see you taking a personal opinion about a news development in your industry. These kinds of blog posts are great because they dually satisfy the need for both fresh AND meaningful content.
Giving an opinion on something also brings personality to a site (or brand) that might not otherwise have this personable quality. If your business is traditionally considered a ‘dry’ topic, then providing your audience with a blogger (or several) to whom they can relate – and hopefully respect the opinion of – could be the perfect content channel for you.
Don’t be afraid to show where your inspirations come from; linking to another blog or news article, for example, is a great way of showing what it was that inspired you to write in the first place. This also adds much-needed use-value and personality to your blog.
Also, share your blogs far and wide on social media! You never know who your post might strike a chord with.
Infographics and instructographics
Pictorial content, that conveys some kind of message or data (an infographic), resonates strongly with users because – when pulled-off well – it’s easily digestible and attractive to look at.
For this reason, infographics and instructographics – which seek to inform users about how to solve or go about a particular task – are incredibly shareable. Again, when social media comes into play, you’ll find that inspired users will naturally want to share this kind of content with their industry peers or friends.
Always provide embed code in your infographic blog posts so you can reap the full SEO benefits when your graphic is shared by others. Also include contact and social links to your company in your infographics so there’s no doubting where it orginated from – and who produced it initially.
Video content is one of the more complicated kinds of content to produce, but like evergreen, you could find it has the most longevity.
Being a visually rich medium, video lends itself to practically any web page. It helps to break up line after line of text and it also lends itself well to social channels - whether it be funny, or instructional.
Several new reports (These 5 Mobile Video Data Points Will Blow Your Mind / YouTube sees growth in mobile viewing) also seem to suggest that video content is experiencing the largest growth in the mobile device market. If your site is struggling to capture the hearts and minds (or just clicks!) of the mobile-consuming internet audience, then perhaps video content could be exactly what your site needs.
Have a clear goal about what your video is trying to achieve. If you want something to go viral on social media, then don’t worry about having a little fun with it. If you’re producing a video to provide instruction to your users then do keep it on topic and in tone.
If you’re still short on ideas about how you can make these multiple, popular kinds of content relevant and useful/meaningful to your audience then Social Media Today has a great list of tips that you can incorporate into your content marketing model.
Our very own Steve Masters has also written a great post about 10 content promotion tips to help you get more traffic, so check that out as well!