There's a lot of elements needed to make your online presence stand out from the crowd, but none are more important than original, quality content. The right content has the power to educate, inform, enlighten, entertain and motivate your web visitors to take action. Content is the difference between an internet user engaging with your brand or clicking off your site in a hurry.
Why Create Original Content?
Creating original, quality content that readers will find useful is the foundation of any good marketing plan. Great content will drive traffic to your site and will improve your search engine optimization (SEO). Quality content will increase your leads and generate word of mouth from areas and niches you never dreamed of. In short, original, high quality content may be the ultimate factor between your business succeeding or failing.
Content isn't just your blog posts or the words written on your web pages. Content also refers to pictures, videos and press releases. Content is the endorsements on your testimonials page. It also refers to your Facebook page posts, your tweets and images on Pinterest as well as the words on your LinkedIn page. Whatever speaks to your brand should be considered content.
If you think about it - that's a lot of content that's speaking on your behalf to the world, 24/7. Now ask yourself if it's all consistent with your brand image that you've worked so hard to create. If not, your content may be sending inconsistent messages to prospective buyers. At worst, it may be driving customers away from you and towards your competition.
How much of your content is original? How much was cut and pasted together and modified slightly? How much was bought or collected from other sites? If the content on your site isn't original, did you really expect people to flock to your site? Google has made it clear it does not like duplicate content. You may be severely penalized for borrowing someone else's articles or photos. It's time to review everything that speaks about your brand and get rid of old, tired content and replace it something that speaks to the uniqueness of your brand.
What if I Can't Make My Own Original Content?
We understand that creating your own content is a lot of work. And if you can't do it yourself, you're going to have to hire someone who can do it for you. But it's necessary. Like many things in life, taking a short cut with content won't get you to your goals faster, it'll just get you deeper in quicksand. Stay on solid ground and take the path towards fresh, exciting content that internet users are searching for.
What Are the ABC's of Content?
When getting started, remember the ABC's of content:
Accuracy - If you are writing a blog, posting a message of your Facebook page or writing text for your web pages, check and double check any facts. Verify any statistics you use. If you're quoting someone, make sure darn sure you the words are verbatim. We've seen irreparable damage happen to companies because of statistical mistakes or sloppy proof checking. Don't risk the reputation of your brand to careless inaccuracies.
Brevity - Forget about flowery descriptions and trying to impress the reader with big words. Write concisely. Get your point across in as few words as possible. Keep your paragraphs short. If a visitor clicks on a blog or a web page and sees a lot of text with huge paragraphs, chances are they won't even begin to read it. Don't waste your reader's time. Allow them to get the information quickly and efficiently.
The same advice goes to video content. Your videos will more impact if they are carefully edited down to just the essential message.
Clarity - Is your message clear? Does your prospective customer understand exactly what point you are trying to make and what action they should take? Have some objective people look at your message and ask them a few questions to see if they understood it completely. Often times, because we're so knowledgeable about our business, what's clear to us isn't always clear to others.
Is your content in need of a make-over? Do you find it difficult to keep your website and social media fresh with original ideas? We want to hear from you!