Digital marketing is in itself an extremely broad industry, and getting the know-how on how to be a content marketing wizard isn’t exactly a walk in the park either. If you’re convinced content marketing is your game, then chances are you’re invested in learning about blogging for marketing. However, before you proceed to make blogs of your own, it’s perhaps important to see what elements make up good content in the first place. After all, you’ve got to know your mark before you aim for it.
When quality is the game, sometimes people may wonder just why we should put a focus on audience “impact” when the strategy to go to should obviously be the one that generates the most returns – in short, numbers such as traffic and sales. In today’s digital era, however, quality is just as important as quantity. In fact:
Hubspot numbers indicate blogs as the fifth-most trusted source of information online in terms of accuracy. Add this to the fact that Google receives 100-billion searches monthly and you’ve got an entire audience base you can tap.
- According to Impact BND numbers, 82-percent of audiences are likely going to enjoy staying in your website if they read valuable content. In fact, because 43-percent of readers have a tendency to skim on blog posts, keeping them engaged is a sign that your content is onto something.
- Blogging, despite its rather straightforward nature, is still “in.” In fact, 65-percent of marketers are planning to boost their use of blogging in their marketing, which can potentially add to the list of a whopping 31.7-million bloggers worldwide. This is for good reason, too, as Tech Client numbers indicate that sites with blogs are likely to have 434-percent more indexed pages than those who don’t.
- This also means competition is aplenty in the blogging scene, however, as marketers who do take their time to get a good blogging strategy are 13-times likelier to get more positive returns. Search engine-based leads in fact have 14.6-percent closing rate, while outbound-based leads (such as print ads and direct mail) only have 1.7-percent.
So what is good content?
Spotting Good Content: Great Pieces…
If you want to know what good content looks like, you’ve got to take note of some pointers. Try to read some blogs from your favorite writers or industry leaders and try to identify if your favorite pieces have these qualities:
1.) Be as creative and original as you can get. This is probably the best tip and the hardest one to execute – after all, with a whopping two million (!) blogs written everyday, it’s pretty likely that someone may have written or is writing any semblance of an “original” idea you have. The important element, however, is to make sure the content you’re writing doesn’t contain anything that’s been rehashed from someone else. The more original the content, the better search engines will rank it, because remember, the point of ranking is to make sure your content – the most relevant, useful content – is at the top.
- Put a stop to the mentality that you have to produce a ton of content everyday, and as such you can write pretty much anything you think is getting a lot of page views. This can potentially make your blog crash and burn, because remember, if an authority is writing about your topic, then you can’t possibly “steal” their traffic.
- Find an alternative angle. If your topic is already written by another person, what’s a spin to it that can make it unique to your own blog? Try making the topic fit your niche, your area, or a particular “theme” of your site.
2.) Try as much as possible to create strong and engaging headlines. The reason why it takes news publications a long time to publish newspapers, and the reason why they get a lot of traffic when they do, is that they make compelling and effective headlines for their pieces. It’s not a matter of what’s long or what’s trendy, it’s a matter of how they word their phrases properly.
- Remember, as per Copyblogger numbers, while 80-percent of audiences may read your headlines, barely 20-percent will want to read them. As such make your headlines short, straight to the point, and engaging.
- Limit your headline to 35 words, and make sure the headline explains the point of your article and at the same time gives reason for your audiences to read it.
- In the below image, deadlines such as “actionable” and “tips” and “indispensable” are all words that readers may think can benefit them.
3.) Create content that is actionable, not passive. Sometimes, we have a tendency to write content that informs people about the current trends and happenings in the industry we operate in. This is normal, but this isn’t exactly effective content. As much as possible, try to make content that your audiences can act upon.
- Try to make sure your content includes some way for your readers to act upon the information you receive. While it doesn’t give them the assurance that it will succeed, they can at least try out what you’re suggesting them. You can lead them to tutorials, to actionable services and purchases, or outright tell them what to do.
- Actionable also means answerable content. Try to engage with readers by giving them content that answers questions they may have, or questions they didn’t think they needed to ask. For instance, this article you’re reading is telling you about what makes content “good” content.
- In the above image, you’ll see verbs such as “think” and “create” which encourage readers to act upon what they’re seeing.
4.) Always cite your sources – always. When you write content and you have to declare something, always make sure you give your sources and cite them properly. What does this data say, who took it, who were the respondents, and when was the data taken? Most importantly, why does this matter to me? These are some questions you need to make sure your blog answers whenever you indicate and form a reference to something someone said or numbers any entity declared in your topic. In the below image, you’ll see sources for the “Periodic Table of Content Marketing.”
5.) Graphics are good content, too. When we say “content,” it doesn’t necessarily just mean the blog itself, but also the appropriate graphics that are included with it. Adding appropriate images and video can greatly supplement the content you have, and can even increase overall appeal to your reader base.
- When you add images and video, make sure what you use will add information, not repeat information that has already been mentioned. Below you’ll see a graphic in the form of “The Periodic Table of Content Marketing,” which can add spice to the article.
The Takeaway: Good Is Relevant, Engaging, Targeted
Perhaps the takeaway from the above is that when we say content is “good,” it’s not just something properly written, but it has to be something that strikes a chord with your readers. While this is challenging – especially since if “content” is the “game” chances are we’d think it’s a numbers game – it certainly can become extremely fruitful once you get the hang of not just writing but recognizing worth while content.
Remember, if you do plan on pushing for an effective content strategy, not only should you have an eye for great topics, you should have an eye for great content as well. Check out your favorite bloggers, read up on your industry, and you’ll likely find pieces that will resonate with you. Take these pieces as an idea of your definition of what good content is, and aspire to make pieces that are just as good – or perhaps even better than what you’ve seen.
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