Have you ever tried to read a piece of online content, but it just didn’t hold your interest? Was it because the topic didn’t interest you? If you clicked on the link because the title captured your attention, then that’s probably not the reason why you abandoned the content before finishing it. Content marketing has two main purposes. One is to promote your brand and the other is to boost your SEO. In an effort to show up on page one of a search, content marketers sometimes focus on getting Google’s attention and lose sight of who they actually want to read their content – their audience. If you create content just for SEO, it is liable to be flat and feel automated. Your content marketing not only needs to improve SEO, but it also needs to make a human connection with your target audience in order to be successful.
Content that is authentic is essential to your marketing strategy. It needs to provide your audience with information they find interesting, that addresses their pain points and feels believable. Every brand has a human at its core that is passionate about the brand’s industry and their area of expertise. Those who read your content need to connect with that human.
However, your content should not only engage your audience but turn that engagement into conversions. Your content should encourage a call to action whether that’s making a purchase, signing up for a service, or any other action that benefits your business or organization. That’s why it’s called content marketing.
So, how can you keep both Google and your audience interested in what you have to say? Here are some things to keep in mind when creating your content.
Know your Audience
You need to get to know your audience and what interests them. You will eliminate any chance of making a human connection with your audience if your content only focuses on SEO. In order to make that connection, you need to learn everything you can about your audience.
Google Analytics is a great tool for learning more about your audience. It can provide you with the demographics to understand who your audience is including their age, interests, median income, which devices they use the most, and more. Many of the top social media platforms, such as Facebook and Instagram also offer analytics that can provide valuable insights to help you develop a buyer persona and truly understand who your audience is and what their needs are. Also, follow industry leaders and trends, and see what your audience is talking about on social media
Keywords and Content Marketing
Understanding who your audience is will make it much easier to identify topics that will interest them. Once you’ve decided on a topic you can start creating your content. Effective content marketing is a delicate balancing act between identifying the best possible keywords and seamlessly integrating them into engaging content your audience will find valuable.
Choosing the right keywords is important for SEO. It is a key factor in landing on the first page in a Google search which is the best way for your audience to find you. Tools such as SEMrush and Moz can be beneficial when it comes to doing keyword research. They will show you the most popular search terms for your topic. They can be a single word or they can be what is called a ‘long tail keyword’. This is a multi-word phrase or question that your audience is using to conduct a search on a specific topic.
Once you’ve settled on a keyword it’s time to start writing. Content marketing combines the creative and the scientific to provide your audience with information they seek while establishing your brand as an industry authority. You want to create quality content that includes your keyword but be careful. Overusing your keyword, commonly known as keyword stuffing, can actually hurt your SEO and cause readers to abandon your content before they finish it.
Keyword stuffed content can be difficult to read and appear to be automated. For those in your audience seeking authenticity and that human connection, this can be a turn-off. It can cause them to move on to competitors in the industry whose content they find easier to consume and that makes them feel like a person is behind its creation.
Keyword stuffing also can send up a red flag with Google. Your site could be penalized, demoted in the ranking, or even removed from the search results altogether. It diminishes the value of your content with Google and your audience.
While including your keyword is important, it needs to be done in a natural, conversational way. Think about how you talk to your family and friends. You need to relate to your audience in the same way. Provide them with the authoritative information they are looking for in a conversational way as if you were discussing it with a friend over coffee. Content your audience finds valuable peppered with just the right number of keywords will create engagement, encourage conversions and help boost your SEO ranking.
When developing your content marketing strategy, it’s important to keep the 80/20 rule in mind. 80% of your content should focus on your audience and only 20% on your products or services. Consumers want to be entertained as well as informed. Your content needs to be more than just an advertisement. Constant self-promotion can drive your audience away.
Effective content marketing needs to go beyond writing blogs and social media posts that just promote your brand. Create content that not only addresses your audience’s needs but helps them to feel connected to your brand and the people behind it. Tell a story about how your brand can solve a problem or make routine tasks easier. Use original images and videos to tell that story or create an experience.
Your content on social media is the perfect place to show the human side of your brand. Show the faces behind your brand. Feature team members’ personal milestones on your social media platforms. Engaging visually with pictures and videos is a great way to share funny, interesting, or touching moments with your audience. Creating an experience that tugs at their heartstrings or makes them smile or laugh will highlight the human aspects of your brand.
The strongest human connections to your brand are made through content that generates an emotional reaction and social engagement. Not only are you entertaining your audience while increasing awareness of your brand, but your efforts to connect shows them that your brand values their relationship with them.
Consistency is also an important part of effective content marketing. Many of us have that one friend that we can go weeks, months, and even years without talking and then pick up right where we left off when we reconnect. However in most cases, if you don’t keep in contact with a friend, one or both of you lose interest. Soon it’s just the annual Christmas card and eventually nothing.
The same goes for your content marketing. If months pass between blogs and social media posts, your audience will lose interest. This could lead to them engaging with a competitor and eventually abandoning your brand. You need to consistently create new content. Remain current, relevant and top of mind.
Content marketing allows you to share your knowledge and expertise with your audience. Keeping your audience informed about new developments and current trends can help position you as a thought leader in your industry. This can help establish authority with your audience and make you the go-to source for information and answers to questions about your industry. it can even result in social shares and recommendations on social media and expand your audience.
Creating and sharing content isn’t the only way to make a human connection between your brand and your audience. One of the benefits of online marketing is that it is interactive. If you’re not taking advantage of that, you’re missing out. While listening to what your audience is saying is important, it’s often crucial that you join the conversation. Whether it is pointing them to content that answers a question or responding to comments or reviews, interacting with your audience will not only show the human side of your brand but it will build trust and respect with your audience. Even if it’s just a “thank you” to respond to a positive review, it shows that you value your audience and it can help to solidify brand loyalty.
Professional Content Marketing
In today’s digital marketplace, the squeaky wheel isn’t always the one that gets the oil. You have to connect with your audience on a human level. Creating an effective content marketing strategy is the best way to do that. If you’re having trouble making that connection, we can help. Our content marketing and SEO teams will work together to help connect with your audience and get Google’s attention.
Creative Click Media is a full-service, cutting-edge digital marketing company. We deliver high-quality digital marketing services including website design, content marketing, SEO, and more. We believe that a passion for innovation is key for creating digital strategies that generate ongoing success. Contact us and learn how we can enhance your digital presence.