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A Guide to Content Marketing

The good, the bad and the ugly

Content marketing is one of the most powerful ways to market online. Unlike regular advertising, it aims to engage online users by producing blogs, videos, social media posts and more that indirectly generate interest in your products or service. Good content marketing is an excellent way to raise brand awareness, and will even improve the SEO of your website.

S2F manage the content marketing strategy for over a dozen businesses every month, and we’ve put together some of our top tips for creating the best online content. Our guide is split into three parts:

The good: The things you should be doing
The bad: Don’t do these
The ugly: Common mistakes that you should avoid at all costs

 

The Good

Appeal to people

Try and solve a real problem people might have, and do so in personable, frank and honest way. Two of the best things you can utilise in your content are story and emotions. Make your audience laugh. Or cry. Or get angry. Utilising the power of an emotive story will get your message across much stronger.

Inform and educate

Quality content means providing something of value to the audience. People should come away from your content having learnt something useful. If you are an expert in your field, or are aware of a common industry problem, use this experience to give advice to your customers.

Entertain

The best way to engage your audience is to keep them entertained. Dress up the style and presentation of your content so it’s genuinely enjoyable to read or watch. Go easy on the industry jargon and try to allow some personality to come through. Your audience will appreciate it.

Hit the sweet spot

In general, there is no rule for the ideal length of online content. Audiences respond well to both short and long content, but it is entirely dependent on your industry. So keep your audience in mind and adjust the tone and length accordingly. The platform you are posting your content to may also be a factor.

The bad

Writing an advert

The biggest mistake you can make is to treat content marketing as advertising. Remember you are selling indirectly, by growing your brand’s profile and trustworthiness. People don’t like ads, and they won’t stick around for long if they suspect your only purpose is to sell them something. Yes, you need to make them aware of your services, but do so from the perspective of a trustworthy commentator, and not a sales person.

Forgetting your goal

Remember that you aren’t only writing to entertain. Every article you write should have a business purpose, keep your content relevant to your products, services or wider industry. You may be able to write a very entertaining article on cats but it won’t be achieving anything (unless you sell cats).

Ignoring your results

Your content strategy is only working if it’s leading to an increase in brand awareness, leads or increased business. Don’t ignore the numbers, and adjust your strategy according to what works best. If you are using social media to distribute your content, most sites have ways to delve into the numbers. Or ask you web designer to check your analytics for increased traffic to your website.

The ugly

Don’t write for robots

It’s easy to fall into the SEO trap. Overloading your page with links and keywords could make for a worse read and turn people off your brand. Quality content comes first, then keywords to boost your google rankings.

Go easy on the click-bait

Internet users are no fools, and headlines that scream click-bait might taint your brand’s image. Intriguing titles are important, but you don’t want to be considered untrustworthy. Pen titles that honestly describe what the content is about. This will also make sure people stay on your page for longer, because you’ll lose those who click away quickly when they realise it isn’t what they thought it was.

It’s not an essay (even if it’s a good one)

Even if you are very passionate about what you’re writing, or it’s a very technical issue, your content does not have to go into every excruciating detail. People are thirsty for easily accessible info, so don’t scare them off with War & Peace. It’s good practice to go into the basics, and if people are interested, make sure you tell them how they can get in touch with you for more information.

Need a helping hand? S2F provide complete digital marketing management, including article writing, videos, social media distribution and more. We streamline the online presence of your business and bring it into line with your brand. Get in touch with us.

How can we help you?

Let us help your company grow, contact us today to discuss your marketing needs.

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