Yesterday, Listly posted a content analysis of 22 top blogs. They analyzed and coded the last 25 posts from each blog based on the types of content represented within these blogs. Their obvious assumption is that the more varied the content, the better the blog. But, is that the REAL definition of great content? Let’s explore a little.
Is it the quality of your content marketing or the variety of your content marketing that makes for great content?
While it might sound simple, the answer may not be so simple.
The reality is that searchers look for content that solves their problems. So, that implies the quality of the content is much more important. But, searchers must first FIND content before it solves their problems.
So, while quality content is obviously better for solving searchers’ problems, having content on various platforms, such as YouTube, Scribd, and other content management platforms helps make content easier to find as each platform enhances search with its own tools and metrics.
To be valuable, content must be in a form that’s usable by the searcher. That means you need multi-format content to address different learning styles as well as solve different types of problems. For instance, if I’m looking for information on creating a blog, detailed instructions are less valuable than a YouTube video demonstrating step-by-step how to create a blog or a checklist of tasks that I need to accomplish in creating my blog. To see the value of video for aiding understanding, see my video on installing the WordPress SEO plugin. Or, if you want to give a lot of information, embedding a .DOC on your site is much better than a series of posts that break up the content into little snippets. For instance, check out my doc containing the first 2 chapters of my new Social Media Analytics book. Adding this content also helps by using my community to help edit the book.
Content marketing must also support your brand
But, your content really must do more than solve searchers’ problems. Your content marketing strategy should also support organizational goals, such as:
- Build your brand reputation
- Inform readers about your ability, competitive advantage, and other information that motivates purchase
- Move visitors toward purchase
- Encourage visitors to develop a relationship with your brand
- Improve brand sentiment
- Bring more visitors to your website or ecommerce platform
Luckily, with a robust content marketing strategy, you create both value for searchers and for brands.
Creating a robust content marketing strategy
So, what goes into a robust content marketing strategy?
1. Understand your target audience and their pain points
2. Search, learn, and discover about topics your target audience needs help with.
And, become an expert on topics that solve their problems. Or feature folks who ARE experts on these topics. Creating content without a high level of expertise on the topics, isn’t quality content.
I once read a statement that if you read 2 books on the subject, you’re an expert. Balderdash. And, that’s why several of the blogs identified by Listly are really not worth the read. Sure, they have lots of visitors to their sites, but they’re fighting a loosing battle to keep those visitors because they rehash the same superficial content over and over. Or, they’re so concerned about selling their training or books or other products, they don’t give visitors valuable information.
A key element of your content marketing strategy should be continuous learning and sharing of cutting-edge insights on topics your target audience needs help with.
3. Understanding the platform
To achieve your content marketing goals, as well as meet the needs of your target market, you need to understand the platform.
First, you need to understand SEO and search engine marketing (SEM) to help your target audience find the answers you provide.
Second, you need to understand how to create a marketing strategy using your content. Creating elements such as landing pages and enabling easy sharing help you reach your marketing goals with your content.
Final thoughts on content marketing
So, enough for today. I’d love to hear from you. What do YOU think makes quality content? How do you develop your content marketing strategy? How do you discover WHAT your target audience needs?