Content is currency on the Internet. It’s what people consume, share, and it’s what can help get your small business found. It doesn’t have to be difficult to shape content that is simply irresistible for your audience. Here are a few tips to keep top of mind as you consider what content to develop.
1. Write about topics people want to read
Your content should always have an audience in mind. That means you should have their needs in mind, too, not your own. Content marketing should provide something valuable. People want to read something that’s written about the things they’re thinking about (related to your business, of course) so ask yourself what concerns and delights your audience, then go from there.
2. Show people how to do things
Google’s Keyword Tool estimates that, each month, the phrase “how to” is searched 414,000,000 times and the phrase “how to videos” is searched 618,000,000 times. It’s clear that people are interested in learning “how to.” Create your own “How to” posts that discuss the things your organization offers, as well as anything else that your audience is interested in that can be related to what you offer.
3. Speak directly to your reader
It may sound simple, but use the word “you.” If you’re talking to directly to your readers, they’re more likely to pay attention and keep reading what you’ve got to say. Your readers will find copy less compelling if I talked about what an anonymous “they” should be doing with their content.
4. Use tweet-ready titles
Try picturing every title like a tweet—160 characters or less, and engaging . Think about what kinds of tweets drive the most traffic and model your titles after those. It will help encourage your readers to share the content.
5. Remember SEO
One of the most rock-solid benefits of content marketing is boosting your website’s ranking in search engines. You don’t have to be an expert to write content that’s great for search engine optimization (SEO). Just link phrases you think your audience is looking for to deeper pages on your website that relate to the topic and you’re halfway there.
6. Monitor what’s working
Always have a way to track what content is being read and what’s being ignored.With email marketing, you can do this by monitoring click-throughs and open rates. With blog posts, check to see which search terms are leading people to your site and what posts are getting read and shared. With social media, you can see who’s “liking,” retweeting, and engaging with posts.
All of this can show you who’s actually reading and interacting with your content — a surefire way to know what’s working.
Gina Watkins is a leading expert on e-marketing for small business – and has a real passion for helping businesses to succeed. Her ongoing series of dynamic lectures are filled with real-world examples, humor and results-driven wisdom garnered from more than two decades of sales, business development and marketing experience. In addition to owning her own business, she is an award-winning direct marketer, has been featured on WUSA Channel 9’s Mind Over Money show, Dr. Gayle Carson’s Women In Business radio show, Morgan State’s Briefcase Radio program, and in numerous other media. In her role as Constant Contact Regional Development Director, she’s presented to more than ten thousand seminar attendees about the keys to success with easy, affordable, highly effective technology tools that grow trusted business relationships.