The Must-Read Checklist for Strong Content Marketing
You’ve seen them before.
Business blogs that don’t really have much to say, but churn out content several times per day. The content is stuffed with keywords, the thoughts come across as disjointed, and they’re just plain boring.
You’ve seen the other kind, too.
It’s just post after post of updates about the company. The readers don’t care about the brunch the company held. They don’t care about who was named Employee of the Month. They want useful content that is directly relevant to their needs and interests. Company business doesn’t tend to fit the bill.
When it comes to establishing a valuable web presence, value-driven, relevant content is essential. Your content should establish a connection with your readers as a way of building consumer-brand trust. This will demonstrate your brand’s value, boost your industry authority, and turn your readers into paying customers.
So, how do you go about creating valuable content? How do you implement a content marketing plan for your business blog?
Keep reading for a checklist of things that help ensure you are producing valuable content that will get results.
Check: Content Should Be Useful
There is very little point in producing content that isn’t useful to your readers. Your audience – those readers – are made up of customers, those looking for some information, and prospective customers. Creating content that demonstrates your brand’s value is an essential part of making them want to stick around.
Your content should provide answers to their questions, solutions to their problems, and information relevant to their needs and interests. You want to encourage communication and create a sense of community with your readers.
This means adding a call-to-action at the end of each blog post, which would compel your reader to take action. This could be something as simple as leaving a comment about the topic or sharing an experience they’ve had. It could also be a bit more involved, like downloading an eBook or signing up for your mailing list.
Whatever actionable step you suggest they take, it needs to support your content. If your content demonstrates your company’s ability to provide valuable solutions to your readers’ problems, they are far more likely to follow through on that call-to-action.
Check: Content Should Be Accessible
You’ve found a great business. You like their products. You like the services they have to offer. You head on over to their website to check out their content. There are a million tabs that all link back to one another. It’s disorganized. It’s confusing. It’s hard to navigate.
Chances are, you’re going to go somewhere else to find what you’re looking for.
Your audience will do the same.
Your audience should be able to find your content easily and without needing to go through hundreds of tabs and pages. There should be a clear BLOG header, and you should be up-to-date on the best SEO practices. This will help when it comes to incorporating keywords, tags, and backlinks you need to increase your search engine rankings.
Author information and rich snippets are equally as important pieces of data that can give your position on the SERPs a significant boost.
Share your content on social media, forums frequented by others within your industry, and in your email newsletters. You may also want to contribute some articles to third party sites as well.
By implementing SEO practices, making your website easy to navigate, and sharing your content on social media, you will make your content accessible.
[Related: SEO tips for beginners]
Check: Content Is Targeted
Not only should your content be valuable and demonstrate your industry authority, but it should also be written in a manner that is appropriate for your audience.
If your audience tends to be very strict and formal, writing with a casual tone may result in you losing some readers and prospective customers. Content that has simplistic language that addresses topics in a casual tone may work for laymen and new readers, but wouldn’t go over well with an informed audience who has experience in your industry.
It’s important to keep your audience in mind at all times when creating your content. Your audience should be considered in the structure of the content, the tone of the content, the way it is written, and the way it is shared.
[Related: How to market to your specific niche]
Additionally, while SEO is important, it’s even more important to remember you are writing for people. Your audience is made up of actual readers, not search engines. Incorporate keywords naturally, without stuffing your content full of keywords and irrelevant links.
You want to create content that is written for human readers, but is still easy for search engines to crawl and understand. Organize your content according to the audience interests, with post categories that reflect those topics. The more targeted your content is toward your ideal audience, the more conversions you will get.
Check: Content Should Vary
Having a solid content strategy in place is important, because you want the full value of your content and brand to be immediately obvious to your audience. This means strategizing how often you post, how you title your posts, and what types of content you share.
Blog posts don’t have to be limited to just blocks and blocks of text. You could also share infographics, videos, long-form content, and audio posts. Having varied content not only boosts your SEO, but also helps appeal to a variety of people. Plus, it makes your website look more interesting, which helps you stand out from your competition.
By going through this short checklist, and varying the type of posts you share, you can offer some highly valuable content to your audience. This will position you and your brand as an industry authority and resource to your customers, which will help you grow your business.
What are some things you have for your own content marketing checklist? Let me know in the comments below.