It’s not enough to just have content out there on the web. You’re competing with literally millions of people to get your content in front of the vast array of web consumers. Have a blog? You’re one of anywhere between 152 million or 173 million other blogs (and that’s 3 years ago, the number is much higher now). So the question becomes, how do you stand out from the mucky-muk? There’s no one hard and fast rule, but we’ve compiled 8 methods you can use to add high value to your content to bring it to the next level.
1. Custom Images/Infographics
People love pictures, especially infographics. They’re a great way to create brand awareness through visual recognition and they can be more easily shared through social media than text. In general, images are more easily consumed by the brain than text and can often demonstrate an idea or concept more succinctly than text. Take a look at all the reasons infographics are better for the brain than text.
Say you’re a construction worker and you’re on the job site, your boss isn’t going to describe what he wants the building to look like and then expect you to be able to construct the whole thing from that aural description. No, he’s going to show you a blueprint. It’s not only easier to understand, it unified everyone under the same building plan.
2. Videos are the content of the future
Videos are the new selfie. It’s predicted that in 2017 videos will comprise 69% of all consumer internet traffic. Like images and infographics, it’s simply easier to convey ideas in a “live” setting. Have you ever heard the term “Gesamtkunstwerk”? It’s a German word that means “total work of art” and it’s used to describe film and mass media that utilized every art form — videos (and film) are audio, visual, and now with the popularity of virtual and augmented reality, they’re immersive.
They’re also practical. Have you ever been in an email exchange with relatives or a boss that goes back and forth and back and forth because ideas aren’t being accurately expressed? Wouldn’t it be nice if those 12 emails were a 5 minute phone call instead? That’s what videos do — they truncate information in one easy to view place.
3. Tell Stories that build communities
Look at how happy that family is sharing stories about baseball and fedoras.
It’s not enough to just information dump on your audience. They’re get really bored really quickly. If they wanted a lecture on statistics they’d go back to grad school. It’s important to let them know that you are more than just a bundle of information — they want to know who you are and there’s no better way to do that than through anecdotes, experiential knowledge, or giving them concrete examples of real-world application.
Telling stories is HUGE when it comes to building a brand and community. Telling stories proves you’re an expert in your field not just in theory, but in practice. It shows that you’re out there, doing the things you say you’re doing, encountering obstacles, and working through those obstacles because you’re a boss!
4. Make relevant content that customers can use NOW
Unless you’re a niche movie reviewer that’s doing a “10 Best horror films of all time” people really don’t care about how it USED to be. They want information that can help them today. If they stumble upon your content it’s likely because they were searching for information in that moment to help them with a problem they’re having right now.
This also ties into virality. Now, nobody can predict what’s going to be viral, the very idea of virality comes from the idea that things blow up overnight without anyone really knowing it was going to happen. Albeit, there are people who try to predict viral content and mimic, recreate, or otherwise capitalize on viral content. When it comes to YOUR content, it’s more of a “do something that’s going to blow people’s minds” — be creative, think outside the box, and wow the world.
5. Analytics and data improve outcomes
Question everything and use a magnifying glass if needed.
Analytics and data are the proof that what you’re saying is accurate and backed up by facts. Look at the first two blocks of this blog — two different links to data points that completely back up the claim. It’s simple to pull data and analytics to back up your ideas, but it can also be time consuming. However, the payoff is that it proves you’re an expert in your field and you can be trusted.
It’s not enough to just cram data into your blog, but you need to know what that data is doing and how to leverage it — and that’s where Google Analytics come in. There’s no better way to improve your sales funnel and customer retention than to leverage the vast array of information available to you through google. Need a place to start? Check out this blog post on data-driven posts and how they can help you.
Links interconnect your content with the rest of the web. Link to your own site, link to sites of people you follow, link to site that you know your customers trust. It’s not just about telling your audience why, but you need to show people where to go and what to do. Plus, links are still part of the backbone of SEO and represent a key metric in your ranking. Note, there is a right way and a wrong way to link — take a look at these seven commandments from KissMetrics. If you’re linking out to people then people will start linking to you (so long as you have super high-value, shareable content).
7. Long-form content
It’s true that attention spans are getting shorter, but it’s actually good to have long form content on your site. Google likes it and your audience will too. At minimum you should be posting 500 word articles or longer (this one is clocking it at 1100+).
Part of the idea behind long form content is giving your users more of a reason to stay on your site for longer. You can easily triple the amount of time someone spends on your site through long-form content. This increases the likelihood that they’ll discover more content on your site and this is rewarded by search engines who then see your site as a popular place to be.
8. Everything Else: White Papers/E-Books/Guides
Remember in the intro to this blog when I mentioned the multiples of millions of people who write blogs? Don’t write a blog! Scratch that, write a blog (after all, we do), but don’t put all your content eggs into your blog basket. Think outside the box and take a look at all the other kinds of content that you could be leveraging for your audience:
- White Paper
- How-to Guide
- Case Studies
- Twitter Chat
- Facebook Groups
DEVELOPING YOUR CONTENT STRATEGY
Want some more tips on how you can bring your content to the next level? Contact us so we can go over your options and help come up with the best marketing strategy for your business.