Choosing and Optimizing Content
What is Content Marketing and Why You Need It
Content can be videos, written, audio, and images that can appear in various places online that are used to explain and promote your business. Content marketing is arguably one of the most important types of marketing out there. Without great content then you have nothing that anyone would want to engage with for your company. Content answers the question: why should I choose you? Content needs to be created on a continual basis.
Creating and optimizing content is necessary for a couple of reasons. There are a variety of ways to optimize content for humans, search engines, and social networks. If you can’t first get a human to interact with your content then the rest won’t matter. Typically the algorithms though are built to get the most engagement giving the user what they feel is important.
Second, creating and optimizing content allows you to have content to land on for PPC, social ads, native ads, display ads, and email marketing. It can be in a variety of different places. The important thing is that you are consistently building content and then using that content to build a marketing funnel.
Choosing Content Subjects
The subject of the content that your marketing agency does should flow through the parts of the marketing funnel. There is a natural state that you may or may not be aware that someone goes through when understanding what your business does. You need to create content that takes a potential client through that funnel.
Finding out what your “marketing funnel of content” can be as simple as interviewing those who work directly with clients in the field. You can ask them one question and then see what they commonly hear next. This is another great resource, AnswerThePublic is a tool that gets us a list of questions people typically ask. Your marketing agency can start with “answer the public” and bring that to interviews with the owners of the company, sales, and customer service reps.
Your marketing agency can also have keyword research completed in Google Keyword Planner Tool. Another great tool that allows you to build topic research is done in SEMrush, a third-party tool that showcases topic research on a keyword you found in the keyword planner tool. If your marketing agency wants to see what is trending right now they can use tools like BuzzSumo. What are people sharing most often? There are alternatives to BuzzSumo that are out there as well.
No matter the marketing funnel of content, you always need to start with the basic content of the “what”. What is it that you are offering, this is often basic content that is added to the website to describe products and services. Although this content is basically the words that you use to describe the content evoke certain emotions in wanting or needing your service.
Top Of Funnel Content
After you have basic content, where you go from here is starting with content that makes people aware that you even exist. This is what is called the top-of-funnel content. This is because of the nature of the post that when people are searching for this type of content they are at the beginning of their buyer’s journey. This type of content can also be good for search engines because it is showcasing your knowledge of the types of content that you can do. Search engines are looking for an authority on a subject. Content that is at the TOP of the funnel tends to answer questions, how-to’s, definitions, resources, checklists, stat-based, best practices, and beginners’ guides.
This content can also be for social media because you might be able to make people aware that this product or service is available with helpful information on the subject. As you create content you move down the funnel of questions, “I know what it is”, “how does it work”, “what can it be used for”, “will it help me with this” and on and on till you get to content at the very moment of wanting to purchase. It’s playing twenty questions because if you leave a question unanswered it might be why someone is not buying your product or service.
Bottom Of The Funnel Content
Content that tends to be at the bottom of the funnel tends to post about your products, debates or comparisons between competitors, case studies, reviews, ask the experts, testimonial wrap-ups, and more. At this moment in content, they just need to know “why you”. Be careful with starting with this type of content as it can come off pushy and push many people away.
The fact remains that your marketing agency needs content for both the top of the funnel and bottom of the funnel. As your marketing agency goes through the content journey they will need to balance adding both types of content to your website and social media channels. You also along the way need to easily connect the content from one page to another.
Format of the Content
Does the format matter, not really. Even if the format of the content tends to be better for social media vs. say search engines. It still needs to be made in all forms to ensure that you are not leaving off part of your audience that learns in a certain way. It might strategically make sense to make it in a certain format at the moment because you are getting more reach from that type of content. You just might start in one format and then move to another. For a review of the types of content marketing see our blog post on that subject!
So this is everything that goes into determining what type of content and then what your marketing agency is going to write about it. Next, let’s talk about optimizing it.
Content Optimization For Written Content
Once the content type and purpose are determined, it has to go over to a writer. The writer conducts research and establishes what’s currently ranking for a given topic. What is currently ranking only helps ensure you are covering all aspects of the topic. You should never be trying to game the system. The writer then creates a cohesive piece of content. Once the writing is complete the design of the content comes next.
Visual Considerations – Break it Up
Most people scan content rather than actually reading all the content. For this reason, different elements are used such as H1, H2′, bolding text, and creating branded images for posts. These branded images can also be great content that can be used for social media. You can highlight certain information in a piece of content such as creating tip graphics.
Your marketing agency will also ensure that images have alt tags, which is good for the visually impaired to be able to understand what the content is about. Search engines need to be able to read the image as well with ALT tags.
URL Structure Tells the Story
The URL structure helps both the user and search engines understand what your content is about. Everything should flow for both your readers from the URL structure to the title of the content to the H1’s and H2’s being sub-content of the main content. This just helps your readers be able to follow along and understand the story you are trying to tell about a particular content piece.
Internal and External Linking
Your marketing agency wants to make sure that content is internally linked; meaning there’s probably other content on your website that is related to the current content. They will want to make sure that we’re providing a link from one piece to another piece. On that same topic, we also want to provide external links. It’s okay to link to other sources if they’re good resources. It’s not going to hurt you, in fact, it can help you.
They can be the same thing as mentioned above is laying out content in a logical order. An important and helpful item to do with your content is to go back to previous content pieces and ensure new content has been inserted and linked to that content so that your user can find that information.
This topic is brought up a lot and the content length really doesn’t matter. If your marketing agency has thoroughly covered the subject then whatever the length of the content is will be sufficient. If someone wrote the content in more detail and provided more information then chances are if Google wants to be helpful to the end user then their content will be placed before what your marketing agency wrote in the search engines. It’s just important to be sure that your marketing agency does their research.
Once that content gets completed, if it is a blog post, a couple of other things to consider. Your marketing agency will consider that they have a category indicated for the content. The categories are often larger broader subjects and this content goes with this subject. A great way to make sure that your reader can easily find information about a category is to create a page that visually lays out all of the content subjects and then create category pages that you land on with those subjects.
Schema and Notify Google
Lastly, your marketing agency can add schema markup. This is just a technical piece of code that’s telling Google what the information you posted on your website is. Of course, your marketing will notify Google through Search Console that you have a new piece of content.
Then we need to move on to promoting the content!
Content Optimization For Audio Content
The first consideration for audio content is your sound quality. This usually involves the equipment and software you use to record. There are a variety of microphones out there that can give you better-sounding audio. The space in which you record your audio should also be considered such as having high ceilings. High ceilings or awkward room layouts can affect the echoing of your audio. You should also consider the software with which you record on. Different software is going to make it easier to increase sound quality as well as be able to distribute the audio.
Gaining reviews for your podcast on the actual podcast platforms is going to ensure that your popularity increases among the actual podcast players such as Apple, Spotify, Google Podcasts, and iHeart. Other items that will keep you popular on both these platforms and overall are the subject and topics of the content. Are these subjects that are already being asked for? See above for ensuring you are getting the subject of your content right
Podcasts particularly can also show in search engines by themselves but should also be added to the website. Getting podcasts to show up in search engines is going to involve writing keyword-rich descriptions and titles. You should also use podcast schema to ensure that Google knows about your topic.
Adding podcasts to your website can be done in a variety of ways. You can create a specific section of your website that is just dedicated to the podcast. With each episode, you could write a transcript of the podcast. Another way you can do it is to combine multiple types of content to one page in which you add, written, audio, images, and video all on one podcast. This can create a powerful combo of giving the user what they want.
Some social media platforms are now offering audio rooms in which you present with no recording. The same optimization tips on the subject can a big difference here. Having preset questions to engage your audience will keep them listening longer and wanting to come back for more.
Content Optimization For Video Content
There are so many styles of videos that describing optimization of video can be challenging. Take for instance short-form videos and social media channels. With this type of video, being authentic and less edited can go a long way. More users are looking for the natural look and feel of the brand.
This is however not going to work when creating the story of the brand in a professional video for saying the about us page. This going to take a lot more storyboarding, scene selection, and a lot of editing.
Training videos are the same caliber in which you want to have videos that are more scripted and put together. There are also other forms of video such as live videos, that taking a less scripted approach can go a long way in attracting users.
Lighting and Microphones
Optimization of video can include having great lighting and recording microphones. You want to make sure that you can clearly be heard and understood. The market for these types of equipment has exploded with lots of variety of tools out there.
For the videos that are more low-key and have more of an authentic vibe your background also needs to be carefully selected. You do not want it to be distracting from what you are actually talking about. Try to break of video with animations, screen changes, and more. A video that is just you talking might not hold the attention of the person watching it with the content alone.
Be sure to be clear with what is said with the tone of your voice matching the content. Smile! Yes, smiling is contagious, so when on video, practice smiling at all times.
A lot of thought goes into content marketing from picking subjects to optimizing what you produce. You have to have content when it comes to digital marketing, it’s one of your biggest drivers. You need to make sure you are providing the voice of the company.