Importance of Good Content

Good content is the cornerstone of an effective online marketing campaign.  Through your high quality content you establish yourself and your organisation as trustworthy experts in your field.  The content you create communicates your message, educates your readers, and persuades them to purchase your products and services over your competition.  In fact, providing high quality content is one of the most important things you can do to attract clients and create interest in your business. 

In High Demand

Online adults spend an average of 7.2 hours per week discovering, reading and watching online content.  More than three quarters of online adults continue exploring information based content by clicking on links to related stories at the end of a post.  There?s no doubt that quality, engaging and informative online content is in high demand.

While social media is a part of the equation, most online adults trust online content when considering a purchase over recommendations from a friend on Facebook or other social media site.  The key is trustworthy and engaging content from a source with an established reputation both on and offline. 

Give Them What They Want

What makes content engaging?  Engaging content is simple to read, easy to understand, and interesting.  It tells a story that draws readers in and captures their imagination.  Good content answers questions and creates a thirst for more good content and ideally for the services you provide.

Consumers are looking for content that holds their attention by crafting a persuasive story and by presenting information they can use.  That story begins with vivid imagery that makes an impact.  Factual information presented in the context of a compelling story or anecdote draws the reader in and gives them a framework for applying that information to their situation.  If the story includes a little humour or human emotion it is even more powerful and engaging.

Of course, your content must be easily understandable to your target audience.  Statistics, medical facts, or complex information will miss the mark unless it is tied to issues your audience can understand and relate to.  Creating a context is one way to help the average reader understand the point of your message.

No matter how interesting or engaging your article, no one will read it if they can?t find it.  Your content is most powerful when it is being viewed and shared by as many people as possible.  Include keywords and make your content easily shareable by formatting it in PDF and including separate audio and video files. 

Formula for Creating Engaging Content

Quality content begins with an understanding of your audience.  Consumers want content that solves real problems or issues in their lives.  It?s not enough to blast a message with your brand and image.  You must make a connection with consumer needs to have maximum impact and stand out from the spam, marketing messages, and average blog posts online. 

Step 1 – Start with analysis of your target audience and put yourself in their frame of mind.  What do they need?  What do they want?  How does your unique product or service provide these needs and wants for them?  Make this the basis of your content.

Step 2 – Remember relationship when creating content.  Clients offer their business to organisations they trust.  Use your content to establish trust and rapport between your business and your readers.  Create informative content that offers solutions to your customers and establishes your position as an expert in your industry.  Share credentials, give good advice, and be sincere in your desire to help solve the problems of your audience.

Step 3 ? Back up your content with keyword research.  Keep industry jargon and complex terms out of your content.  Instead, research keywords and phrases your target audience uses when they think of your product or service.  Position these keywords throughout your content in a natural way.  When you speak about your topic in language your customers normally use you accomplish two things.  First you make the information you present understandable and clear to your audience.  Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, you make sure your article or blog is seen, found, and read.

Step 4 ? Make content visible in multiple areas online.  Do you share your content on the major social media networks?  Posting links to your blog or article on Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn add visibility and build online traffic.  Consider sharing on popular bookmarking sites like Digg and StumbleUpon as well.

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