Ask any experienced digital marketer, and they will tell you that a winning content marketing strategy has to be optimized for the people, as well as the search engines. Focusing on a single aspect of content creation and optimizing for search engines while forgoing your audience will yield the same results if you focused on the audience solely – you won’t get far in the SERPs, and nobody will want to read your content.
If you are to nail your inbound marketing strategy and use your content to attract business and convert leads, you need to create content that is readable and in-depth, authoritative, and optimized for search engines, all the while boasting a strong dissemination strategy that will put it in front of the right audience. Let’s take a look at the five primary rules of content marketing that will prevail this year, and in the years to come.
Branding, storytelling, and UX
The first thing you should focus on is, of course, the overall readability of your content. Now, this doesn’t just mean separating paragraphs or using bullet points; no, it also means evoking the right emotions and establishing a deeper brand-reader connection through storytelling, brand visuals, and user experience. All of these elements can make your content easier or more difficult to read, or if you diversify your content (which you should), and consume.
Start with your brand’s identity and make sure to weave it into the content. Audiences and customers nowadays want and need to feel a connection to their preferred brands, so you need to have a distinct tone of voice, a unique set of visuals, and a set of compelling values that closely relate to the values of your demographic. When you integrate these brand elements into your content, you can stand out from the crowd.
Of course, branding has to be accompanied by immaculate storytelling – you need to reel the audience in and inspire them to consume the content in its entirety. To achieve this, you will also need to design your website and content with UX in mind, making it easy to digest and visually appealing with interesting images, infographics, and animations.
Dig into the heart of the matter
Nowadays, audiences and search engines love content that is informative, content that digs deep into the heart of the matter to answer all questions and resolve all problems associated with the topic. The more time you spend researching and building an in-depth article, the better the chances that you will rank higher in the SERPs and gain traction among online audiences, simply due to the value of the piece. Creating these types of comprehensive articles might be time-consuming, but the rewards will be well worth the effort.
One of the best ways to create in-depth articles that are several thousand words long is to use the skyscraper method. After all, there are industry leaders who have gone through the trouble of creating amazing pieces, so why not build on their success and effort? Remember, no plagiarism, simply use the best-performing pieces to structure your own content, and then go the extra mile to answer the questions your competitors didn’t touch on in their original posts. This is a good way to start your ascension into industry leadership.
Integrate local and general SEO
When we’re talking about SEO, we need to pay special attention to keyword research and integration. Implementing the right keywords into the body of the text and spreading them out without stuffing the piece is the way to rank higher in the relevant search results – but you need to cover all of your bases. Concretely, you need to rank high in local searches as well, not just the general SERPs. Local SEO is especially important in highly-competitive markets the likes of Australia, so let’s follow the example from Down Under.
In Australia, business leaders emphasize local search engine optimization in order to, for instance, distinguish their business in local SEO in Gold Coast as opposed to ranking in some other competitive market where they have no brand presence. Likewise, it’s important that you integrate keywords specific to your city, state, or even country in order to boost your content’s ranking and deliver it to the right audience. Sprinkle market-specific keywords throughout the piece while at the same time ranking for general keywords related to your area of expertise to maximize your content’s visibility.
Become the authority in your field
Search engines and global audiences prioritize authority websites. These are the sites that are completely optimized in terms of SEO and UX, boast compelling storytelling and branding, and most importantly, have the necessary reviews, engagement, and experience to be the guiding voice of the industry. In short, these are the sites people trust above the rest, and you can be certain that Google pays close attention to these metrics.
Building your brand’s reputation is, therefore, imperative. Focus on making your content more authoritative through citations, quality research and referencing back to your sources, insightful statistics, and backlinking.
Disseminate the content across the web
And lastly, there can be no successful content strategy without a comprehensive dissemination strategy to get your pieces in front of the right people, at exactly the right time. To disseminate your content effectively, you will need to master SEO as we’ve already mentioned, and also publish regularly on your site, your social media accounts, and well as other authority websites in your niche. Leverage email marketing for this purpose as well in order to establish a direct line of communication between your brand and the individual.
Content marketing is a single part of the digital marketing puzzle, however it’s safe to say that it is one of the most powerful marketing tools you have at your disposal. Use these rules of content marketing to take your content to the next level and establish your brand as the authority in the industry.