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6 Suggestions to More Effective Content Creation




As the results of a new survey from BrightEdge circulates online, it’s likely that increasing numbers of digital marketing agencies, content creators and anyone else vested in using content to attract attention to a site are discussing how to increase content consumption.

The survey collected 252 responses from Fortune 500 brand digital marketers, both B2B and B2C, with 43 percent of them stating that 75 percent of their content produced was not being consumed. Meanwhile, 70 percent said that 50 percent (or less!) of their content was being consumed.

The conclusion shared by SearchEngineLand.com is that “The overall picture that emerges from the survey is one of inefficiency and misalignment between where enterprise marketers think the audiences are going and what they’re doing to reach them. Furthermore, they’re pouring resources into content that they believe is not being seen or read by its intended audience.”

So, what should you do? Here are six suggestions.

#1 Do a deep dive into what your customers really want.

It’s time to ditch the spaghetti method where you throw content against the wall to see what sticks. Instead, look at your current content. Do you have pieces that truly resonated? If so, what can you learn from the top-performing pieces? What information did they share? What problems did they solve? How can you offer similar pieces of content to this audience at a different place in the sales funnel? Targeted to another audience of yours?

Look at previous surveys of your customers wants, needs and interests. Is it time to collect new data? Discover what people say they will consume even before you write it. If, for example, you’ve got a strong social media following, poll readers to find out what to write next.

#2 Understand yourself, then realize it really isn’t about you.

The American Marketing Association is calling customer attention the scarcest resource in 2017, with the average person exposed to as many as 10,000 brand messages daily. A British study shows that consumers switch screens up to 21 times every single hour. So, you need to do a mind-switch. Yes, you start out with creating goals (traffic, conversions and the like) and make sure that you’re very clear about your value proposition: what it is and how to best communicate it to site visitors. Then, however, you need make sure your content provides what customers want, not what you want to express about your company wants, needs or goals.

#3 Elicit emotion.

Compelling theater productions, comedy routines and more provide an emotional hook that cause viewers to keep on engaging. So, follow their lead to increase engagement. The American Marketing Association suggests that “simpler messages, communicated in a sharper way” are best, “making them more visual, emotional and engaging.”

#4 From a little ask to gated content

One way to keep customers engaged is to involve them in the content creation itself. If you’re a bookstore, for example, ask customers three easy-to-answer questions about their favorite book of the year. Create a piece of content based on those crowdsourced answers on your site, just enough to entice readers—including those who participated—and then create a piece of comprehensive gated content based on what you learn. It’s likely that a decent percentage of people who read the high-level piece will want to know more.

#5 Two types of site/social media visitors

A 2016 study reported on by the Washington Post shows that 59 percent of people who share news on social media channels haven’t even clicked on the story. In other words, they didn’t consume the content! It isn’t such a bad thing to have followers who are intrigued enough by your headlines and who trust your company enough to share your content, however; this can spread your reach enough to get your content in front of people who will consume it. So, yes. Clickable headlines are important, attracting people who will spread the news of your brand like bees spread pollen.

#6 Two types of content audiences: be honest with yourself

Although it’s entirely possible to write content that’s appealing to readers while being search-engine friendly, the reality is that many times, content creators are saying that their primary audience are humans, while really writing for the search engines. There is no shame in writing for the search engines, given that the content is of reasonable quality—and there is a huge advantage to being honest about your motives. Once you admit, even to yourself, that you’re writing to boost rankings, you can forget about trying to achieve perfection and focus on regularly writing decent content. Frequency is your friend. Conversely, if you really are writing to appeal to site visitors, then consider writing fewer pieces of copy, focusing significant effort on each one.

Chris Gregory

Contributed By: Chris Gregory

Chris Gregory is the founder and a managing partner of DAGMAR Marketing, a local SEO company based in Jacksonville, Florida. The agency’s work was recently recognized in Search Engine Land’s international search marketing competition, garnering the Best Local SEO Initiative award.

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