Key Factors of Content Marketing for your Online Business
Content is a crucial element of your business’ online success. You might hear a lot of conflicting advice about how to create valuable and effective content that will convert readers into customers, however the key lies in quality.
SEO practices used to focus on tricks like keyword stuffing to achieve high search engine ranking. While a few SEO firms might still recommend this, these tactics no longer have traction with Google, and will damage your business’ credibility. Instead, SEO best practices now involve producing quality content that provides value to readers. Here is an overview of the different types of eBusiness content, and how you can utilize each type for promotional purposes.
Web copy refers to any writing on your website, including your landing page, “About” page, and sales pages. Any copy you publish on your website should reflect your organization’s branding, so you need to ensure the tone and style is consistent with your image. Dane Thomas from online resource Business2Community recommends using brief paragraphs and short sentences to keep your web copy readable and maintain users’ interest.
Blogs and News
Blog posts and news items are shorter pieces of writing you can post to your website on a regular basis.
When posting news items, cover current events as soon after they’ve occurred as possible, as relevant, informative posts will encourage readers to share your content with others.
Blog posts usually have a conversational tone and are between 200 to 600 words long. In contrast to news items, try to make blog content evergreen (i.e. timeless) where possible, as this increases the likelihood that your content will be relevant, and therefore shared, in the future as well as today.
Articles are longer than blog posts, and provide more informational content. An article’s tone will be more factual and authoritative than that found in blog posts, and this type of content is useful for demonstrating your or your organization’s expertise in a certain area.
Images help make blog posts more attractive to readers and break up blocks of text in longer articles. When choosing images for online content, you can create your own, pay royalty fees to use professional images, or source free images published under a creative commons license.
Graphics have soared in popularity and are now a popular method of conveying information in a fun and reader-friendly way. Darren Rowse, founder of ProBlogger, advises that infographics are shared more frequently than ordinary images or text, as they add more visual interest to your blog.
One of the biggest changes to Google’s algorithms is that they now take social sharing into account. In practical terms, this means the more your content is shared by your readers, the higher your ranking.
Online marketing resource MeasuredSEM highlights several elements of your content that will promote sharing, so you should pay particular attention to these during the writing process. Creating an eye-catching headline is one of the most important tools, as this will encourage more people to read the article or post.
You should always know why you are writing a particular piece of copy before you begin, as this will influence the style and content. Are you keeping customers informed of the latest happenings at your organization, are you trying to sell one of your products or services, or are you advertising an upcoming promotion? Each of these different purposes requires a different approach, so knowing the reason behind the writing before you start will help you produce more effective content.
The clarity of your content will make or break its success. Readers have limited time, and therefore a limited attention span. Any content you publish should be clear, with short sentences and scannable sub-headings. Copywriter Craig Anderson recommends using simple language, and avoiding scientific or complex words, as this will deter readers.
Create a web content strategy and schedule posts in advance so you maintain a consistent online presence. Publishing with regularity, even if it’s just once a month, helps improve your brand’s credibility. Readers infer a lot about your organization from your web content, and having a planned, regular content schedule looks more professional than sporadic, unrelated posts.
Every piece of content you publish on your business website is an opportunity to stir readers into action. Whether you’re trying to convert site visitors to clients, encourage repeat customers, or promote content sharing, your delivery will have a significant impact on what happens next. Digital Marketing Agency White Hat Media recommends including a call to action at the end of every piece of content. A call to action is an invitation or command stating what readers should do next. Examples include “Call now to find out more about our limited offer” and “Click here to enter the competition”.
What types of eBusiness content are most important to you, and how do you use them? Tell us in the comments below.