06 January 2015

8 tips for creating standout content

Tags:Strategy, Content

Everybody knows there is an awful lot of content out there on the internet and every day it multiplies. One of the key challenges marketers face is getting their content to stand out and be seen. To help you create standout content for your blog, website and/or social media page, here are our top 8 content tips.

1. Know what your Audience Wants

You want your content to be valuable, appealing, entertaining and relevant to your target audience – so it is important to understand what they really care about. Profile your audience and find out what they want, need and find appealing. You may be able to contribute to this by using your CRM software or by asking your sales and customer service teams what your customers are regularly asking them about.

2. Engage with your Audience

Having valuable content is not only about creating posts, it is also about sharing and engaging with people. Interaction with your posts also helps expand your reach and build your online audience. Things you can try to help encourage interactivity include asking questions, engaging in conversation, sharing content from other pages, encouraging likes, shares and follows, responding to comments, and following, favouriting and subscribing to those who are sharing and commenting on your content.

3. Vary Your Content

Posting the same type of content all the time will make things less interesting for your audience. Mix it up and post varied content that can also be shared across your social pages. What you can create will depend a little on the social platforms you are using, but you can try including content such as videos, pictures, competitions, industry news and thought pieces. As well as creating original content, also share content from other organisations, business partners and even your competitors. If you do this it will help you develop new business relationships and will encourage others to share your content in return.

4. Share your Story

All businesses have a story and telling this story can be more effective at attracting new prospects and customers than regular content, directly targeting individuals or conducting sales pitches. An interesting story can help your business connect with people, bring your business alive and can even persuade your prospects and customers.

5. Make it Look Shiny

Layout and overall design are important elements for increasing the readability and appeal of your posts. You want to encourage your readers to jump right in! Don't make the mistake of spending time writing a great post and then skimping on the formatting. Use paragraphs, headings, topic sentences and regular spacing to make your content easy to read. You can also include graphs, tables, info-graphics and diagrams to improve the overall 'look' of your page and break up large blocks of text. Content that includes pictures is also more likely to be shared as sites like Facebook, LinkedIn and Pinterest usually feature the main picture from your post. Get creative and choose images that are interesting and fit with your company's mojo. These visual elements are critical to getting attention and can make or break the social sharing of your content.

6. Use Analytics

Most websites, blogs and social media platforms will already have their own metrics and analytical tools available for you to use. However, there are also many other paid and free options available to you - such as Google Analytics - that can be applied to websites and blogs. Analytical tools allow you to see your website traffic, audience demographics, click throughs, keyword searches, how people are finding your content and how long people stay on your page. You can use all of this information to create content that is better targeted the audience you want to attract.

7. Be aware of when your Audience is Online

If you post at your audience's peak activity times, your content is more likely to be seen, shared and followed. Use your analytical tools to see when the most people are engaging with your content. There are also lots of guides available online to help you choose when to post, but every audience is different and you should adapt your posting times to your own unique audience (if in doubt experiment with your posting times and frequency).

8. And Finally… Utilise SEO

SEO is a great way to generate more traffic to your website or blog through carefully constructed content. However, SEO should be the final step you implement when 'levelling up' your content. If you are following the steps above, it will automatically help with your SEO – but to get more of a boost you can try:

  • Connecting your blog or website to your social media pages.
  • Encouraging sharing, as this will help create 'natural' backlinks.
  • Posting often and regularly between different social media platforms.
  • Setting up a Google+ account so you rank higher in Google searches.
  • Posting good quality content (that people will want to find) containing your focus/key words in your:
    • Headings and titles
    • Tags, Alt image tags and picture file names
    • Page URL
    • Meta description
    • The main body of your written content – the greater your key word density the better
  • Using analytical tools such as Google Web Master Tools to get an idea of what content is performing well.

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