It’s very rare that anyone prefers the packaging of an item to its contents. Consider for example, a bottle of a wine or the cover of a book—sure, what’s on the cover or label may be what initially appeals to you. But it is only when you taste the wine or read the book that you know what’s good—and what’s not. So while appearance is important, content is still king.
Similarly, in web marketing and everything on the social web, visitors read content, search engines refer to content and determine the ranking of your website. Will it be a hit or miss? The result depends a lot on your web content strategy. With this in mind, here are five perhaps obvious reasons why online content strategy has now become so important.
Top 5 Reasons and Tips for Improvement
1. The Advent of Social Media
Social media is crucial in getting your content in front of your intended audience. People now dictate what’s great. They like and recommend on Facebook, re-tweet and quote on Twitter, plus one in Google+, and share links through other sites. They also forward emails, share their RSS feeds, participate in online forums and promote content through word-of-mouse-advertising among their peers. Maximize this opportunity to get their attention. You just have to identify and focus on your niche and target market. Research where your target customers are most active, then respond and address them correspondingly.
Recommended for YouWebcast: 4 Steps to Creating a Marketing Content Plan
In social media, what appeals is that you are a person and not a bot. One tip for writing your content conversationally is to use a tone like you are talking to one specific person only. Tell a story like you’re speaking over a cup of coffee. Comment like they are your friends and don’t treat them as customers in a formal business setting.
2. Google Algorithm Updates
If you chase Google’s algorithm to optimize your blog and content, you’ll be frustrated. Google is finding and implementing ways to improve its code and with its most recent updates, Panda and Penguin, ranking of websites is becoming more unstable. Rather than obsessing over specific tactics, focus on writing high-quality, relevant content for your audience and building links through social sharing. A blog content strategy which entails goals such as lead generation, traffic generation, link building and branding will support both search and business objectives over time.
3. Information Era
As the amount of content online has exploded, quality has become more critical. To build traffic without spending excessively on online advertising, it’s vital to keep publishing unique, quality content. Identify the subject-matter experts within your organization and supplement their knowledge with outside writing, video and graphic design expertise as needed. Having cornerstone content is future-proofing your site. Make sure that you deliver what yours customers view as valuable.
4. Competition for Attention
Content marketing is more than just the latest catchphrase. Competition is not just about the best product, lowest price or biggest ad budget, but about who can provide prospective buyers with the most compelling and search-worthy content. If your website provides substance, you’ll establish a reputation as a trustworthy source of information. When customers trust you, then Pagerank and other such measures matter far less. Market confidence in your content will be reflected in social shares and search results.
5. Thirst for Updates
Regular content updates give visitors a reason to return to your site. In addition, major search engines value fresh content. Create an editorial calendar that reasonably reflects your ability to produce new content. Break longer content into a series of shorter posts. Blog post and social status updates must be written clearly and concisely.
Excellent content doesn’t magically appear, it requires hard work and carefully planned strategy. Creative content, aligned with your overall business goals, will attract readers and turn them into buyers.