Content Marketing Tips: How to Avoid the Black Hole of Content

The internet has become a massive black hole of content. Here are some content marketing tips that can help you execute a smart content strategy in spite of it.

Beautifully created content is getting lost in cyberspace. It’s dropped off on the side of the road in the most remote areas of the information superhighway, with no one around for light years. If you’re developing content without promoting it, you’re dumping your content straight into a black hole. But there’s hope–here are some content marketing tips that can help you shine a light on your content.

1. Wave to the Bots!

Give yourself a shot with the search engine bots by investing in SEO. Conduct keyword research to understand what your audience is searching for. Set up on-page SEO with the appropriate title tags, headings, meta descriptions, and image alt attributes for your content. While there are a lot of factors that play into effective, modern SEO, it is still important to have a solid foundation of basic metadata for your content to help you get discovered online.

2. Sell it in the SERPs.

Create compelling, creative, and inviting page titles and meta descriptions to maximize your click-through rate on the search engine results page (SERPs). This is the copy that will show up when the user is trying to decide which search result to click on. Think of the meta description as the ad copy for your page. Describe your page in a way that sells the content to the “customer.” In this case, the customer is the search engine user that is looking for information related to your content topic.

3. Don’t be afraid to repeat your tweet.

If you are posting a link to your content via Twitter, you will want to schedule multiple tweets to promote your content since all of your followers will not be online at the same time. You can vary these posts with a different focus featuring a key quote, statistic, or question addressed in the content. No time to manage your social media? A social media marketing company can help.

4. Pay to play.

Unfortunately, the social media landscape is quickly becoming a pay-to-play venue. As algorithms continue to evolve, it is increasingly difficult to get a lot of eyeballs on your info without paying to promote a post (even if you have a large following). Invest in boosted posts in a way that will get people to your content AND will also increase your future organic power. In other words, use boosted posts on Facebook/LinkedIn/Twitter to drive people to your content, as well as increase followers and email subscribers. This is a marathon, not a sprint, but with consistent contributions you can continue to build a following and leverage their individual networks to expand your organic reach.

5. Images = Everything.

To increase the “shareability” of your content, be sure to include engaging visual elements. Use quality custom images both in the content pieces as well as the social media posts promoting that content. To overcome the noise in social feeds, consider what type of images will catch your audience’s eye.

6. Use network multipliers.

Expand your reach by encouraging team members to share your content via social media. This is especially applicable if part of their network would fall into your target audience. Also, using hashtags in social posts will help mark the content by relevant topic. This will help expand your audience reach beyond your existing followers.

7. Go serial.

Leverage the power of “To Be Continued” and create episodic, multi-part content to get return visits. Combine these parts and pieces to build powerful long-form content that will promote referral links from 3rd party sites.

8. Click-to-Tweet.

Make your share-worthy content easier to share. Include appropriate/relevant social share buttons on your blog post page. This will make it easy for those who want to share tasty bites of content, like a key quote or statistic from your article with in-context click-to-tweet buttons. You can find a number of “Click-to-Tweet” plug-ins available to make this easy to setup.

9. Keep your troops in the loop.

One of the most overlooked content marketing tips: Make sure you keep your loyal email subscribers up-to-date with your latest content. This is a group that raised their hand to say they are interested in what you have to say, so don’t leave them hanging. This may seem obvious, but it can get overlooked.

10. Captivate your captive audience.

In addition to your email audience, keep your current website audience engaged by cross-linking between related content on your site. Feature new content with links on your home page, and provide cross-links to new content from related blogs and pages. Make this new content easy to discover for your website visitors. Connecting the content dots across your site will help get more views and shares on the new stuff. It will also provide an SEO boost with increased engagement on your site overall.

If you create beautiful, valuable content, these content marketing tips will give it a chance to survive out in cyberspace.

Strap some jetpacks on those blog posts, infographics, and videos to make sure you get that valuable content in front of the audiences that need it. If you need more content marketing tips, give us a shout. We keep rocket fuel in the office.

Want to boost your SEO? Hire professional content writers

Professional content writers can rejoice.

Though the all-knowing algorithm remains under lock and key, Google’s Search Quality Guidelines were released less than 6 months ago. A cursory reading of these guidelines shows that Google now gives primacy to content written by professional content writers.

In short, the internet’s most powerful force now favor skillful, authoritative writing. This is especially true in sensitive areas like medicine, finance, and healthcare, where the stakes for misinformation are higher. If you want to give your SEO a boost, it’s important to hire professional content writers with industry knowledge.

Professional content writers yield higher rankings

This is great news for internet users, because it means we’ll be exposed to better content from more qualified sources. Content farms—known for paying writers measly sums to generate loads of chiefly insufferable material—were undermined greatly by this change. Flimsy organizations like Anti-Vaccine Movement, The Flat Earth Society, and Ken Ham’s Creation Museum all have expressed outrage, claiming that their voices are being stifled. Yet overall, Google’s new guidelines make for a better web experience with more respected voices now separated from the masses of chaff.

Lousy content brings lousy results

These changes confirm what Red Letter Marketing has stood for all along: valuable content that makes a difference for target audiences. There is still a plethora of false prophets in this territory, ready to sell you cheap and easy content marketing solutions. Some have even recommended hiring a college student on the cheap to churn out blogs in order to keep your website content fresh. But the fact is, this won’t work, and is even less viable now than when it actually had some—albeit slight—impact.

The new EAT standard: Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness

Though more vital in fields like finance and healthcare, no industry is exempt from Google’s new E-A-T standard. This is the acronym for Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness. For example, say you’re looking for information on air movement. Google is more likely to drive you to reputable sources like Dyson or Boeing. Though each of these companies operate in distinct industries, they have expertise in the realm of air flow.

Offering Valuable Content, Interestingly

What’s the lesson in all of this? Chiefly, you need to have expert, professional content writers to produce your content. This is especially  true if content marketing is a main artery in your business development strategy. But industry expertise alone won’t cut it. You need to present that information in a way that inspires engagement. Hierarchy of information, scanability, and relevance all become significant elements in the presentation of content. You need to keep a reader interested, even excited about the content.

Poorly-presented information will drive visitors away faster than a toupee in a hurricane, even if it’s valuable. It’s vital to keep your readers…well—reading. They want to leave the page feeling that you’ve provided something useful and accessible. If you’ve succeeded, they’ll remember, and are more likely to come back. If not, they may end up at a competitor’s site. In this regard, professional content writers are often more qualified than those who have industry experience, yet poor writing skills.

As marketers, we take content quality seriously. To do anything less is to disrespect readers, and consequently, customers. Because Google is now reviewing websites using the E-A-T standard, the quality of your content will affect your site content. If you’re wondering how to create effective content marketing that gets the attention of both Google and customers, let’s talk.

Social media roundup: 5 must-read social media marketing posts

The world of social media changes fast.

Here are 5 recent social media marketing articles (and podcasts) that caught our eye, and their main takeaways.

1. A map for the minefield.

 For small business owners, social media marketing is a playing field that can result in a lot of wasted time and energy if not approached in the right manner. Common Small Business Social Media Mistakes to Avoid provides great advice addressing some of the most common missteps and how to avoid them as you begin your waltz through the social media minefield.  One of my top picks on the list is Mistake #9, Failing to Establish Social Media Metrics. It’s crucial that you have a plan in place to evaluate your social media success.

2. Does size really matter? Quality vs. quantity of followers

How Do You Measure Passion? Figuring The Value Of Social Media Followers is a short-but-insightful podcast that ponders the question of quantity versus quality when it comes to your following on social channels. The focus is now shifting from accumulating larger and larger numbers of followers. Now, it’s more important to cultivate a truly engaged and passionate audience that will help amplify your content. The podcast also discusses what does (and does not) make for a potentially valuable, influential follower. 

3. Let’s get visual: Tools for creating quick social visuals

Adding relevant custom images to your social posts can greatly boost engagement.  Content with images get 94% more views than content without images.  So, having the right resources to quickly and effectively develop visual content is critical to social media success. 20 Killer Blogging Tools for Customizing Your Content is every bit as useful for social content as it is for blogging. The piece offers a nice list of tools for quickly developing custom images to use in social posts. 

4. Tweet first, ask questions later (strike that, reverse it). 

One of the biggest issues that we see with clients dabbling in social media marketing is lack of method to the madness.  Sporadic communications with no clear target or objective won’t get you very far. Before jumping in, take an extra second to aim.  It is important to first define who you are talking to, where they are hanging out, what message you want to convey, and what action you want your audience to take. 6 Steps to Create a Bare Bones and Profitable Social Media Plan will help make sure you are asking all the right questions as you formulate your plan to infiltrate the social airwaves.

5. Numbers speak louder than words. 

If you are trying to drum up some support from decision makers to invest in social media, you may need to call for a little statistical back-up to help make your case.  The impressive stack of stats provided in Pew Research Center’s Social Media Update 2016 can help build a better understanding of the current size and opportunities available across social channels. This article covers a wide span of statistical information related to the current state of social. For example, 70% of the US population now holds at least one social networking profile!

Get social media marketing help with Red Letter Marketing

Thinking about ramping up your social efforts? Learn more about our social media services or contact us with any questions you may have about how best to tackle social media marketing for your business.