Done effectively, content marketing can boost a company’s search engine results, inform readers about a product or service, and connect with customers. So it’s no surprise that content marketing has become an essential part of most companies’ overall business strategy.
And as a result, companies are constantly trying to create more content in the form of articles, blog posts, videos, social media, etc.
However, producing all of this original content can take up a considerable amount of time and resources. Therefore, you want to be sure you’re engaging practices that will attract readers, not scare them away. So in the spirit of Halloween, here are three dos and don’ts for crafting digital content.
• Don’t ghost post: In order for a blog post to be credible, it needs to have a byline. An authorless blog post will leave your readers guessing about the authenticity of the material. Why will no one claim the content as his own? What’s wrong with it? Is this information reliable? An authorless blog post comes across as a random, unquantifiable piece of content. However, if your content has a byline and an accompanying author biography, readers will be able to see that the post came from a valid source or even an industry thought leader.
• Don’t touch on batty topics: Although it’s always nice to tie content into current events or to holidays like Halloween, stay clear of controversial or strange subjects. Avoid unwanted attention or criticism by keeping your content fairly uniform in terms of topic and delivery. The language and subject matter of your content should be consistent and reflect your company’s ideals. Also, remember you’re blogging as a way to promote your company. Therefore, your content should always inform your readers about the business or link to a product or service.
• Don’t resort to black-hat SEO: Many marketers get caught up in how their Web sites ranks in search engine results. However, that’s no reason to resort to misleading SEO strategies, such as keyword stuffing or doorway pages. These strategies are obvious and look bad to readers. Stick with organic content production, and your site will do just fine in the search engine rankings.
• Do know your audience: Remember that what appeals to one type of consumer might not to another. Therefore, it is essential you understand your reader so that you can deliver relevant information to them. You may want to talk to your analytics team to find out exactly who is visiting your Web site. After you have the demographics, segment your readership by breaking them down into specific categories and creating individual buying personas for each group. This activity will help identify what topics you should touch on and where to post specific articles.
• Do use the 60/40 split: Just like trick-or-treaters want to go home with a good mix of candy, your readers want a good mix of content on your Web site. Also, keep in mind that your goal is not just to sell products and services, but to gain the trust of your readers. In order to do this, it’s important to let them know that you are committed to giving more than just advertorials. A good rule of thumb is to go with a 60/40 split of hard-hitting industry news and company-specific features. By providing your readers with slightly more industry news, you avoid coming off as too self-promoting.
• Do update your Web site or blog frequently: Readers will turn to another site if you do not consistently update your blog or Web site with new content. It’s OK to post just a few times per month if you don’t want to commit to a heavier schedule, but you should post consistently. Use the amount of available industry news as a guide when determining how much content you should post. For example, if your industry is full of breaking news, you could easily post several times per week. On the other hand, if you have to dig deep to find relevant content, then hold back. It’s better to post fewer but more relevant articles at regular intervals.
By following the above tips you not only avoid scaring readers away, but you also give them a reason to come back to your Web site. In turn, this will help build your business, connect with customers, and give your company a voice.