Your content marketing needs a kick! It needs some spice, some extra flavor.
Yes, I know, all of my references are dated, sue me! In my day, Emeril Lagasse was the chef to watch on Food Network (this is when Bourdain was still on there). Why? Because everything he made was kicked up a notch. He never settled for bland.
I still make a hot sauce that is based on one of his recipes (shh, don’t tell anyone)…
Just like food, we’re fortunate to have tons of choices when it comes to the content we consume. There is a reason food from spice-rich regions is so sought after, flavor. Don’t you want your content marketing to be sought after?
Here are three easy but effective ways to give your content the flavor it deserves, BAM! (sorry, I’ll stop)…
- Write to solve a problem, EVERY TIME!
- Make it multi-dimensional with multi-media
- Build a content marketing community
Writing to Solve a Problem
When I say “writing,” I mean creating content in some way. Sure, this can be “written,” but it can also be video or audio content. Jay Z “writes,” but you’ll never see him with a pad and paper.
Anyway, each piece of content you create needs to solve a problem. For example, my goal for this content is to help you to create better, more effective content.
They Ask, You Answer (TAYA)
I’ve said a million times already, but I’ll say it once more because it’s important… read They Ask, You Answer by Marcus Sheridan. It’s an older book and some of the tactics might seem a little dated but the concept and overall takeaway are still very valuable.
The basic principle is this, create content focusing on every single question your clients and potential clients ask you. Answer their questions openly and honestly in whatever format makes sense, blog post, video, audio, webinar, etc.
This gives you content that uses their language, addresses their need, and helps you make a connection with them as a trusted resource.
This solves a very important SEO problem that every business faces, targeting longtail keywords…
A TAYA content strategy will result in content focused on long-tail keywords. These are phrases that are more specific than generic keywords. Here’s a great definition for longtail keywords from Yoast…
“Long-tail keywords are keywords or keyphrases that are more specific – and usually longer – than more commonly used keywords. Long-tail keywords get less search traffic, but will usually have a higher conversion value, as they are more specific.” – Yoast
For example, for the generic term “software,” a long tail keyword a SaaS company could focus on is “task management software for Windows.”
That is a much more specific search phrase that will yield more targeted results and better conversion opportunities.
If you’re asking and answering questions using the same language that your audience would use, you have a better chance of ranking for longtail keywords that your target customers would use in a Google search for your products.
They Ask, You Answer content also solves another SEO problem you have, reaching modern searches…
Semantic Search and User Intent
What do I mean by “modern searches?” Well, it used to be that we would go to Google.com and type words into the little box, then browse through the blue links and select what we felt was the closest match to our intent. The results were often hit or miss.
Times have changed. We now have voice search and search scenarios that could vary dramatically, even for the same keyword. Why? Well, now we have things like semantic search which focuses less on the words and more on the meaning behind them. Why are you searching for this term?
- Do you need something local to you?
- Have you been looking for similar items in the past?
- Are you searching on multiple channels?
- Is this search on mobile, is it a voice search?
There are so many variables that Google factors into every search a user performs.
They want to understand the user intent, not only what they want but why they want it.
They use things like machine learning and natural language processing so the search experience feels more like asking a friend and less like asking a computer.
What does this have to do with your content? Everything! Your content needs to speak to the user’s search intent. What is their need? Do you truly understand their need? Are you offering a solution to their problem?
Speaking of modern searches, written content alone will not get you found…
Multidimensional, Multimedia Content
When is the last time you sat and read through an entire 1,000 word blog post in one sitting? It rarely, if ever happens. If you make it to the end of this post without being distracted several times, I will be impressed.
And how often do you consume several written content pieces in a row? In other words, few people will sit and read post after post. Heck, they probably don’t even binge on YouTube videos one after another.
Some other format will come in and take their attention away temporarily or even permanently.
Content diversity is more important than ever. I am talking about producing content for your organization in several different formats. First of all, Google likes content diversity.
A website with quality written content will most likely lose out to a website with quality written, video, image, and audio content. But creating content for Google alone is a fool’s errand.
Broken record time… Focus on your target audience! Your target audience is a group of humans. Humans, at least the good ones, like diversity, they like variety.
Content Marketing Circle of Life
Give them what they want. And it doesn’t have to be brand new content for each format. Repurpose!
- A podcast interview is published as audio and video content.
- That interview is posted on your blog with a written transcription written below.
- Several interviews are used to create a “round-up” post (more on these in a bit).
- Those interviews can inspire or inform other posts.
- Those posts could be made into a series.
- That series becomes an eBook.
And it could go on forever. Be open to expanding on ideas and exploring new content formats to get those ideas out there. Also, remember, we’re humans, social creatures…
Build a Content Marketing Community
None of us can do this alone, even if we’re the only “writer” on staff. It takes a village to create great content and see success in your content marketing campaigns.
Village People Content Marketing
This one is simple, more brains are better than one, and more humans mean more connectivity. Here are some easy yet effective ways to bring people into your content marketing universe…
Collaborative Content Examples
- Expert Interviews – Zoom and the Pandemic have given me access to some of the smartest marketers on the planet. The content I get from these interviews is incredible. Plus, when I share these, I can tag the guests which means they will likely share my post with their universe. Plus, I get them to share it and their “star power” affords me more reach for my content. Who are the “accessible” experts in your subject matter universe? Interview them!
- Guest Posts – Ask subject matter experts, colleagues, and thought leaders if they would be interested in writing a guest post for your blog. Offer to exchange guest posts with them. You get more exposure from their reach and them from yours.
- Name-Dropping – I am shameless and will name-drop in posts when I feel it helps the content to be better. For example, I use a quote from Ann Handley, a very well-known marketer, so much that I should pay her royalties. Please don’t tell her I said this. Then, when we share the post, I can tag her in it. She appreciates the exposure (usually) and will usually like and/or share the post. Her universe is ginormous so it’s a win/win.
- Round-Up Posts – Round-up posts are great ways to involve experts, get quick content, and get all that extra lift from name-dropping. For example, I did a round-up post at the end of 2020 (the year that we all loved so much) asking a group of SEO experts what their predictions were for the future of SEO in 2021. I got so much great content from them that I split the post up into three parts.
Content Collaboration with Clients and Colleagues
There are other ways to bring people into your content marketing circle. And, even better, ways to bring clients into your content marketing circle.
Interviewing clients is an awesome way to build a better content community. They are speaking the same language as your target potential clients so you get that instant SEO boost. Plus, they will appreciate the exposure you’re giving them.
Then, you can share those posts, tag them in those shares, and get exposure in their universe.
Surveys are fantastic ways to bring people into your content marketing circle. But make sure you’re developing quality surveys that will deliver valuable insight and analysis.
Michele Linn (name drop) is one of the foremost experts on survey development. I interviewed her a couple of weeks back and her advice on survey development and implementation was brilliant!
We were in the process of developing our own survey so it was a twofer for me. Be on the lookout for those results to be published on this blog and our various social channels. Plus, we will be developing an eBook from this. It’s the content marketing circle of life!
Get Your Audience in on The Content Action
And finally, I want to mention one of the most effective ways to involve your audience in your content efforts. This can come in many forms but basically, you create content out of a discussion.
This could be a Twitter Chat like the one I did with #VCBuzz on DIY Content Audits. They sent me 5 questions and I answered them in a live Twitter chat. From that, they created the post linked above and I created this piece of content on our website.
You could also do an AMA, “ask me anything” post. Basically, you ask for questions from your clients, colleagues, social followers, etc. Then, you create a post around that where you list their questions and share your answers.
You see where I’m going with this, right? When you share it, you can tag those people in your post and get exposure from their universe. These can also be done live in a Twitter chat, Facebook Live, or something similar.
I really could go on and go but I think you get the idea. Don’t do this content thing alone! It takes a village, people!
Content Marketing – Kicked Up a Notch!
If you made it this far, thanks for sticking around! If you skipped to the end (no judgment here), here’s a recap…
- Write to solve a problem, EVERY TIME! – They ask and you answer. Create content that directly addresses the problems your clients and potential clients face and offer a usable, tactical solution.
- Make it multi-dimensional with multi-media – Don’t just settle for the written word, break out of the old content mold. Explore different channels and content formats like images, video, audio, live, and collaborative.
- Build a content marketing community – Don’t do this alone, involve thought leaders, clients, colleagues, and your community in your content efforts and the results will be amplified!
My daughter Lennah says “CRANK IT!” Do you need help with your content marketing, drop us a line or give us a call at 301.383.8351.