Creating Good Content is Easier Said than Done

There has been a raging argument this summer amongst experts stating, “SEO is dead”. Marketers and technical experts alike have weighed in on their version of what is happening in the search engine world. The bottom line, regardless of which side of the argument you take, is that another round of changes to the Google algorithm has once again highlighted the need for a high quality content marketing strategy for any business big or small.

Getting found on a search engine is incredibly important for all businesses but the tactics have changed and the experts agree that the way into Google’s and other search engines’ hearts is through a strong, well planned and executed content marketing strategy.

But creating “high value” content for both humans and machines is easier said than done.

Every article we have seen on the web to date, talks about the importance of content marketing. But very few explain the best way to develop content that is highly targeted and relevant to your specific business audience.

This summer alone, Marketing CoPilot worked on more than 30 new blog posts and articles for clients. And every one has the exact same thing in common:

  1. They are focused on a specific buyer problem.
  2. They do not discuss products or features.
  3. They have a strong keyword strategy attached to them that helped define the article in the first place.

The best quote of the summer goes to my favorite author and marketer, Seth Godin, who noted in a post last week, “you don’t need a roadmap if you don’t have somewhere new to go.”

This statement hit me like a ton of bricks. I think the primary reason why so many business leaders struggle to develop good content is because they are afraid to go somewhere new. We have worked on the Marketing CoPilot Methodology for seven years now to refine the steps associated with turning a web presence into a lead generation machine and the number one thing that holds companies back is being afraid to try a new approach. Who needs a roadmap then if you want to travel in the same direction?

For those people and clients who have used our Content Marketing Roadmap and attended our workshop in June 2013, the people seeing the most success in their program have gone somewhere new. They have been brave enough to deploy a new business strategy, use new tactics on their website or write in different voice, one that is business problem-centric, not product-centric.

To our colleagues who have boldly gone somewhere new with their content strategy, we salute you!

For those people that still think developing good content is easier said than done, we have a guide for you to download and we have some simple words of advice to get your started:

  1. Brainstorm the top 10 questions you get asked in the sales process and look to see if the answers are addressed on your website. If they are not, turn the questions into a bi-monthly email and blog post campaign to provide a 90-day window of testing your content.
  2. If the answers to the top 10 questions are on your website, think of other ways you could share the answers besides dense content on your website. Example: Could you turn an answer into an infographic? Could you create a get started guide out of one of the answers? Could you write a press release about a question that you have helped a current client achieve?
  3. And finally, could you do a sit down with the CEO of your company and ask them how they spent their summer vacation? Most companies spend the summer months finishing up projects or product and you’d be surprised what you uncover.

For most companies or marketing teams, it seems gathering the content is less of the daunting task, and publishing and sharing it is more the issue. For those people, here’s what we suggest:

  • Create a keyword strategy first and foremost so you have a framework and content for developing your content.
  • Use our editorial calendar planner to drop your plan in to.
  • Make sure you have good content management system with an SEO plug in available to post your content. We use WordPress and Yoast.
  • Make sure you have second set of eyes to review your content and provide feedback.
  • Make sure you track and measure everything you publish to see if people engaged.

Next week we will be running an article about the top 13 content marketing tools we have seen on the market. Technology is great but you need a strategy and plan regardless of the tools you use.checklist for seo friendly content thumbnail

And last but not least, keep this handy little SEO friendly content development checklist (people can download the PDF here without providing an email) next to your desk when you produce content to help you get it done.

If you want to deliver sales leads and business results via a content marketing strategy, creating good content is like anything that’s worth doing, it takes time, money and resources to plan and execute. Not everyone is a writer but good content gets created every day in your business. Take the time to find someone to help you mine out the gold and share it with prospects and customers alike. Content marketing is the key to driving traffic to your company in today’s new SEO world and the key to helping people understand why they should buy from you. Get past the hurdle of thinking it’s hard and start understanding why it’s a “must” for your business.

Marketing CoPilot