Content: still king after all these years, Part 2
Last time I talked about the new marketing imperative for all businesses: content creation. Google has changed the way it searches, which means your website is more likely to be found if you’re offering up content that is fresh, interesting and unique.
So how do you get started with your content marketing program? The good news is it’s easier than you might think, and more cost effective. Here are a few ideas on how you can begin by working with a content provider:
Developed with a writer and a talented graphic designer, these newsy visualisations of trends and data are so useful. Include them in your own blog, offer them to prominent industry bloggers or publications, and you’re sure to get those sites publishing both your infographic and a link to your website, all of which will enhance your standing in Google’s eyes. Consider for example the Angry Birds infographic that we blogged about in September: well researched, compellingly designed and eye-opening, this graphic is classic “link bait”, attracting all kinds of writers and bloggers who want to republish it. The best ones take time and great research to produce, so do set aside budget if you plan to go down this route.
Ghost blogging service
Set up a weekly appointment to speak to your content writing agency on industry trends and ideas, upcoming events or the latest equipment and services from your vendors. Using your thoughts and insights, an experienced writer can easily create a short ghost blog post that conveys your ideas succinctly – and it’s very cost effective.
Have you seen ENNclick’s social media tips videos about HootSuite and LinkedIn, which we produced using Screenr? Be prepared: you’ll need a few “takes” before the words and actions flow easily, but how-to videos are so easy to do, and there’s nothing better if you want to help orient your customers. You can upload your how-to video to YouTube as well as other free video sharing websites, all of which improves your visibility for Google.
With high prices for short animation videos, you might wonder why anyone in their right mind would go down this route. But consider the viral potential, the YouTube visibility and the highly impactful brand message you can deliver with an animation that has a solid concept, great animation scriptwriting and brilliant artwork behind it. And don’t forget what you would pay to commission, write, illustrate, print and distribute a high-quality glossy brochure: the costs are roughly comparable.
Yes, there is a role for print: in fact ENNclick’s own most successful marketing initiative in 2011 was our hardcopy ENNclick brochure. But if you’re a start-up or if you’re trying to expand your business with a new range of services, would it be better for you to have an animation sitting online gathering Google’s attention, or a glossy brochure sitting on a desk, gathering dust?
What about grooming all of your content for search engine optimisation?
The most successful search agencies – such as Ring John, which recently delivered a brilliant SEO Boot Camp for the ENNclick team – are Google connoisseurs, and scrutinise and optimise every detail of your website and your other online activities, to improve your search engine rankings. But you also need to be sure that your content writing team has a clear appreciation of SEO: as a content provider, we at ENNclick make sure we know and absorb your target keywords and the audience you’re aiming at.
The content writing agency you choose should also excel at rewriting: Google hates to see any duplicated content, anywhere, and an experienced writer can turn your thoughts and ideas into various iterations for different outlets, from YouTube to your blog to LinkedIn. Some real writing skill is necessary for this, and for all website copy writing, which must strike a careful balance between readability and keyword density.
The content agency and the search engine optimisation agency are unlikely to be one and the same, but both provide a piece of the puzzle: a steady stream of high-quality content, and the in-depth Google skills to leverage that content as part of an overall SEO strategy.
One word of caution: when it comes to quality content, if you pay peanuts you will get monkeys. It has been recently demonstrated that Google has, and will continue to develop, new search techniques to spot poor quality content a mile off.
Now for something completely different
As you plan your marketing activities in 2012, will you do the same-old same-old? Even if creating a steady volume of quality content hasn’t been part of your strategy in the past, maybe 2012 is the time for something completely different.
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