How to ensure your content works as hard as it can

By Carrie Webb, head of content, The Bigger Boat.

Content now needs to cut through vast noise if it’s to resonate with the right people and impact on the bottom line.

Quality content that empathises with and engages audiences is a must to drive conversations, deliver unrivalled experiences and increase conversions. With so many brands leveraging content in one form or another, playing the long game is crucial if you’re to make meaningful connections.

Here’s how you can…

Clear planning and strategy

Every piece of high-performing content has a sound strategy behind it to provide the why, which is linked to marketing goals and, furthermore, overall business goals.

Make sure you factor in reams of information such as buyer personas – where they’re digitally active, how they like to consume content, their problems and pain points – alongside competitor and industry research, content audits, brand story and messaging and, ultimately, content purpose.

Quality will always win out

The most successful brands have long been crafting comms that are genuinely useful to, and resonate with, the people they’re written for. When it comes to digital content, quality has never been more important, as Google becomes even more sophisticated, learns to replicate human behaviour and judges a page the same way an individual does.

Every single piece that’s created must be original, have purpose, answer user intent and add real value to their life or, at the very least, their search query. Google solidified its requirement for in-depth, consistently high-quality content with its 2018 E-A-T update. Demonstrate expertise, authority and trustworthiness to rank well because search engines will weed out low-quality content and disinformation.

Actionable takeaways and clear CTAs

This content will have ideally been created with user intent in mind but once it’s found, it should engage the reader and entice them into action.

Impactful content provides information that can be implemented easily by your readers – they go away having taken real value from what they’ve consumed and are clear on how they can put its insights into practice. Provide content that informs and inspires in this way and your brand loyalty and improved engagement metrics should follow.

Maximising the reach

The lifespan of a piece of content can be almost endless. Repurposing enables you to reuse pieces of longer-form content to serve multiple purposes and goals. The main benefit of stretching comms in this way is a much-improved online presence that’s likely to expand reach and attract new audiences.

What’s more, repurposed and revitalised content boosts SEO efforts too. But a scattergun approach won’t work – hence the need to align activity with a brand’s overall strategy and goals.

Evergreen content is often a good place to start, alongside high-performing comms.

Think about how a lengthy blog that’s heavy on detail can be utilised in another way. For example, could you turn it into a downloadable infographic that’s more digestible for the user? Alternatively, repurpose it as a series of social media posts or video content for newsletters to provide further insight. Evolving the material this way means it’ll go further and drive more traffic to a website.

The landscape of content marketing is ever-changing, as Google requirements and audience needs naturally change. Generating results takes time, effort and consistency in your approach – a constant cycle of reviewing, testing and learning means your work is never done. Publishing great-quality content is simply the start.

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