In San Jose the last few days SMX West took place. Gemma Birch is there and reports back on some of the sessions for State of Search.
Unsurprisingly, content features heavily on the SMX agenda. The 3 speakers on the panel shared some tips for planning and developing effective, quality content, as well as re-purposing content you already have.
Heather started by saying there is a lot of pressure to create and distribute content and 92% of marketers surveyed by Marketing Sherpa said that they believe content is effective for SEO but its the most difficult element to implement.
The secret to staying sane? Strategically re-purpose existing content. Write big pieces you can slice and dice into smaller pieces and use on different channels. There are lots of options for this - tweet stats from whitepapers; link back to content; turn blog posts into an e book; Share examples from case studies and testimonials.
Heather also suggested thinking about what your main conversion goals are. what do you want to achieve from your content? Keep going back to those when you are creating content and content strategies.
1. Pull tweets/social posts from blog posts, training materials etc. Taking snippets from each old pieces of content and pushing them out actually brings old posts back to life and gets more value from things you already wrote. It of course also saves you time on writing new ones.
2. Turn popular posts to a downloadable white paper. it encourages signups and gets you email addresses. It will require some work, but much less than creating entirely new content.
3. Turn video posts into a how to guide.
4. Update old blog posts – there is new information to add but you can end up writing the same thing again and again – so just update what is already there. Less time consuming but also continues a conversion that you already started.
5. Answer FAQs by blogging. If customers or prospects ask the questions, you can send them the blog post link, but it also makes your content available to others. It’s doing 2 roles.
6. Highlight posts in the newsletter – it connects with people in a different way than social sites. And it will increase traffic to your site.
7. Internal documents can also provide useful information that you can use in different ways, and share externally.
The focus of David’s slides was planning. For content to be King, you need the whole court to be in order.
You need to have a plan. This will vary from business to business but 5 things to do:
1. Think beyond the blog – have an overall strategy, don’t just write isolated posts.
2. Identify your content concept – What is direction of the content, what is the tone, what is unique about it? Who is writing it?
3. Give your content a home. Where does it fit best in the site structure. Where will it have the best impact and most value? Do you need a new section or does it sit better in an existing part of the site?
4. Call out the conversion path. The aim with the content is to make money – so what do you want people to do with it. where do you want them to go having read it?
5. Optimise – You need to take SEO into account- no matter how good the content is, it still needs to be found online.
Brian focused more on what makes good quality content.
It should be relevant, interesting, include good quality photos and quality headlines, have lists and bullet points to make it easy to digest.
It should be unique – visitors need to see something new that they haven’t seen elsewhere.
Design your pages for the user, not the search engines and don’t deceive users – it won’t get you anywhere.
Do research -find out what people in your industry are interested in and what are your competitors doing. Look at what is working for them, and how they are doing it.
Brian’s equation for content success is Q + Q = T2 ………. Quality + Quantity = Traffic squared