If you’re looking to grow your business, publishing high-quality marketing content is a must. But as the online marketplace becomes louder with each passing year, it becomes more difficult to stand out. How do you create content that consistently boosts your rankings, drives traffic, and generates leads? And what exactly constitutes knock-out content that’s guaranteed to wow your audience?
With such open-ended questions, it can be difficult to know where to start. The truth is that there’s no real “right” or “wrong” way to do things; there’s only the ever-changing marketing landscape and your ever-important target audience. Let’s look into why high-quality marketing content is so necessary.
The Benefits of Creating High-Quality Content
Let’s get this out of the way: the vast majority of marketing content on the web is not high-quality. In the age of information overload, countless websites and blogs churn out high volumes of thin, unoriginal, or poorly written content. The question is: if this quantity over quality method gets them results, where’s the value in spending more time on higher-quality content?
For one, unique, in-depth content positions your brand as a thought leader in your industry. Doing what no one else is doing is a recipe for success; consumers gravitate toward what’s new and exciting. And when they’re excited about it, they share it. Since 92% of consumers trust recommendations from friends and relatives (source), this word-of-mouth marketing is invaluable.
Furthermore, Google rewards those who produce original content with better rankings. This leads to more exposure and more revenue in the long run. Instances of duplicate content, however, are penalized, leaving you at a disadvantage.
How to Improve Your Marketing Content
It’s not easy to carve your own niche, break new ground, or create content that blows your competitors’ work out of the water. To help you out, here are some of our tips for developing content that will thrill and engage your audience.
Define your target audience and establish specific goals.
First things first: have you found your target audience? It’s well and good to have a general strategy, but if you don’t have a clear idea of who you’re marketing to, it’s unlikely to have much effect.
As you create your plan, ask yourself the following:
- What would a successful campaign look like for your brand?
- Which segment of your market are you targeting?
- What type of content should you create for them?
- What do you want that content to do? (Increase brand awareness? Boost conversions? Enhance brand loyalty?)
When you know what you’re setting out to do, it makes a world of difference.
Create original content.
Take some time to generate new, unique ideas that stand out from the content you’re accustomed to creating. While there’s nothing wrong with sticking with what’s been working, marketers should always strive for innovation to avoid their content becoming stale.
If possible, hold regular brainstorming sessions with your creative team. Try including people in other marketing roles, or even from other departments. Multiple perspectives lend themselves to new, exciting content.
If someone has an idea that seems unconventional or outside-the-box, let them take that risk. It could pay off in dividends. And, at the very least, you’ll be able to test how your audience responds to a more unorthodox type of content. For a safer, more direct line into the minds of your audience and to get clues on what they would want to see, check out blog comments and social media. You can mine ideas based on their discussions and who they’re interacting with.
It can be tempting to push out a bunch of content in the hopes of keeping eyes on your product. But even if their eyes are engaged, their minds probably won’t be! If you put in the time to come up with something engaging, relevant, and original, you put yourself in the position to become a thought leader.
Make some evergreen content.
But—didn’t we just say you can’t rehash content ad nauseum? There are exceptions to every rule! As the name implies, evergreen content is a resource that consumers can come back to year after year.
Ideally, it takes the form of a “how to” guide, or an “ultimate guide” to whatever subject you want to talk about. It should be a page that you go back and edit routinely to make sure it provides continual value. That’s what makes it different from rehashing the same ideas time and time again, as we mentioned above. Think of evergreen content as a foundation for your other content.
The beauty of an evergreen resource is that, as more people backlink to it and share it on social media, the higher it ends up in Google’s search. If you want to be a thought leader, putting out the be-all, end-all of “how to” guides is the way to do it.
If you’re stumped on how to develop something truly valuable, figure out a question your audience is asking. Then answer it! Are they looking for marketing best practices? Or maybe they want to know how to improve their site’s loading speed.
Offer actionable advice.
High-quality marketing content does more than explain concepts and offer general information. You want your target audience to get something out of every piece of content you provide them. Provide actionable guidance so your audience can directly apply the information you’re putting forth. Offer tips, hints, tricks, best practices — as these can result in an “aha!” moment for readers that may inspire them to share your content with their peers.
For example: let’s say you read a blog post about marketing attribution, a topic you’re interested in but only vaguely familiar with. The post is well-written and thorough, and it helps you understand what the value of marketing attribution really is.
But then you read a similar blog post — except this one doesn’t just explain marketing attribution; it also provides 10 tips to implement a successful attribution model from scratch. That’s the blog post you’re going to bookmark, return to, share with others, and use as a guide.
Track what’s working.
Here’s where things like A/B testing can improve your content creation process tenfold. More than having an idea of your customer persona, you need more concrete evidence of what they want and what they respond to. You can construct personas all day, but they won’t tell you anything about how a human being will behave in the real world. Pay attention to the data you gather throughout your marketing process. That way you can pressure test what’s working for your audience and what isn’t.
Practice social listening.
This complements the tip above in a more person-focused capacity. Social listening, defined as the process of tuning in to the conversations your customers are having about your brand, is a handy way for you to keep your fingers on the pulse of your audience. You can collect valuable data about your brand, products, competition, and more. If your current content marketing efforts aren’t landing, turn an ear to your community.
Keep in mind that only about 9% of conversations about your company are actually directed at your brand (source). This means it’s essential to take a deeper dive and track relevant keywords and phrases using hashtags, Google Alerts, and more. You’ll glean industry insights and a better understanding of what your audience is looking for from you.
Leverage the unique benefits of each digital channel you use.
Twitter, Instagram, or your own website—all of these platforms have unique features, capabilities, benefits and drawbacks when it comes to hosting content. Something that garners high engagement on one platform might not work on another.
Take some time to learn and use each platform’s unique tools to your full advantage. It’s also a good idea to keep in mind which media formats play well with certain websites. For instance, if you want to communicate with your audience via Facebook, where people view 8 billion videos per day (source), you’d be wise to make a video!
Once you’ve released your content out into the wild, stats and reporting trackers will be your best friends, and give you an idea of what content works best on what platforms. .
Prioritize visual content.
Add a few well-placed images or infographics to drive home the point of your content. Plus, infographics are easily shareable across the wider internet. This creates great opportunities for people to find their way back to your site or original post.
Refrain from adding images willy-nilly; visuals should be used only if they add augment your content. If they don’t, they become distracting.
Perform keyword research.
As always, craft keyword-rich content that answers the public’s questions and be sure to optimize that content with Google’s algorithm updates. Peppering keywords throughout your content brings traffic to your website long after it’s been published.
Be wary of cramming as many keywords as possible into one piece of writing. If your content doesn’t make sense, Google’s bots will figure it out and demote your rank. Plus, a human reader will pick up on the fact that something doesn’t sound quite right!
Link your content to the buyer’s journey.
Prospects in each stage of the buyer’s journey have their own specific needs and pain points. As a result, each stage requires its own types of personalized, specific content. For example, 71% of consumers said they read blog content during the information gathering portion (source) — but prospects in the final stages of their journey typically respond to more vendor-specific content.
Don’t expect a single piece of content to engage every segment of your audience. Offering valuable content throughout the stages of the buying process fosters a relationship with your customer; if you’re able to answer their questions and understand their pain points, they’re likely to come back to your content in the future.
Key Takeaways on Improving Your Content Marketing
In today’s fast-paced digital world, it’s easy to sacrifice quality for quantity when it comes to marketing content. We often let the constant pressure to produce more than the competition get in the way of our ability to produce better content than the competition. But if you strive to create truly groundbreaking, next-level content, the results will follow.
When your audience connects with your content, they’re likely to return to it, share it, and trust your brand as a valuable source of information and guidance.
Contact ZoomInfo today to learn more about improving your B2B marketing efforts. Our business database is the tool you need for more informed marketing decisions.