4 Ways to Improve Content Marketing

Search engines can detect when a business creates content of value versus content that is designed solely to capture web traffic. Scalable link building methods and over-optimizing your website by unnaturally stuffing content with keywords is counterproductive, and likely to land you with penalties from Google. Today, effective content marketing is key for successfully building brands, interacting with customers, and selling products.

Two out of every three businesses currently spend more than 25% of their marketing budget on digital marketing, including content marketing, according Accenture’s CMO Insights Study. However, the same study found that while many marketing executives understand the importance of content marketing, they are “unprepared” and “unsure” how to best leverage this marketing technique for maximum success. Without a clear strategy in place, businesses are ineffectively throwing money at content marketing – and hoping something works.

Follow these four tips to get the most out of your content marketing budget:

#1: Be interactive.
Google’s algorithm updates are capable of detecting “interactivity” of content. How does Google determine if your content is meeting this metric? Content that is shared, reblogged, reposted, emailed, retweeted, and commented upon is considered interactive. In other words, you need to figure out how to use social media to your advantage. To increase your content’s reach, be sure that it is relevant to your clients, original, and creative. Don’t rehash old news; make each story your own.

#2: Solve a problem.
In order to improve your content’s interactivity, it is important to understand what drives your target audience to share information. Solving a problem is one of the most basic and important reasons why individuals share information. Rather than making a sales pitch on your blog, provide how-to instructions or tips that address a common problem faced by your clients or customers. Giving away valuable content for free will not only increase the likelihood that your content is shared, but also build your business’s reputation as an industry thought leader. When clients face another problem, they’ll likely turn to your business for a trusted solution.

#3: Be visual.
Content that includes a picture or infographic is more likely to be shared than a text-only blog post. From Pinterest to Instagram, today’s most popular social networks are increasingly based on visuals. Photos increase user interaction on Facebook. Images shared on the popular social network receive 120 percent more engagement than plain text updates, and the latest format changes reflect images as priority. Don’t hide your best information in a sea of words and numbers. Turn old PowerPoint slides and charts into a compelling infographic. Accompany each blog post with a unique or thought-provoking image. When adding images to a blog post, be sure to add keyword metadata to the image for enhanced SEO.

#4: KISS.
This acronym, which dates back to the 1960s, stands for Keep It Simple, Stupid. The KISS principle can be applied in many circumstances; for example, when you’re creating a piece of content, you want to keep the format as uncomplicated as possible. This is why lists have become so popular; you’ll grab the attention of your readers with a straightforward title, then keep them hooked with easy-to-read bullet points or numbers, subheadings, and brief paragraphs. Everyone is moving so fast on the Internet, jumping from website to social network to blog, that a simple, formulaic post delivers information most effectively.

Like any good marketing strategy, content marketing requires clear goals and benchmarks for success. Content marketing is also a long-term investment. While your business may not see immediate measurable returns, in the long run, effective content marketing will build your brand and improve customer relationships, two critical goals for your business’s marketing success.

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