Need to create some content for your new website or inbound marketing campaign? Before you panic, I’m here to tell you that it’s easier than you think. In fact, I’m pretty sure everyone can learn to create great content, quickly and easily. Once you get started, you’ll wonder why you were ever worried in the first place!
To get you started, I’ve put together an easy-to-read article about the basics of website content: what it is, why it’s important, and how you can create great content, fast and easy.
What Is Content?
When you hear the term, “website content” what do you think of? Words on a page? A blog article, maybe? Actually, website content is a lot more than just text. Website content includes anything you can consume on a website, like words on a page, photos, videos, or a downloadable PDF.
Why You Need to Care about Content
Website content is key to your online presence. In fact, in the digital marketing industry, we regularly use the phrase, “Content is king!” as a way to express how valuable website content is. Especially when it comes to online success.
There is more than one reason to care about content, but I’ll focus on two of the most important reasons in this article: 1) your target audience and 2) Google.
Communicate with Your Target Audience
Website content is all about communicating; we create content to communicate to our target audience. Communication is important. By communicating with your audience, you build a relationship with them, just like you do in person. If you handle the relationship respectfully, it’s likely your audience will learn to trust and rely on you.
And many of us realize that it’s much easier to sell to someone who knows and trusts you as opposed to someone you’ve only just met.
Communicate with Google
So, how does Google work?
When you navigate to Google and type in a question (also called a “search query”), you’re pretty sure that you’re going to find what you want. After all, that’s why you use Google – because it’s a reliable resource. You trust the results.
See, Google kind of wants the same thing we do – to sell its products (AdWords) and make a profit. To do this, Google focuses on its target audience above all else. Google works really hard to understand its audience and give users what they want, which is really great information (read: content) that answers questions.
By giving its users what they want, Google creates a relationship with them and gains their trust. People start seeing Google as an indispensable resource – one they just can’t do without. Google then uses its position as a valuable resource to sell its products and make money. In fact, Google’s algorithm for AdWords is comparably as strict as its algorithm for SEO – only the highest quality ads have a chance to make it to the top of Google’s Ad results.
In order for Google to keep users happy, it has to have a way to determine what website content is the best – or at least, the most valuable to its users. Through constant algorithm updates, Google has become very good at understanding what users want. And what users want is authentic, informative content that answers questions, is easy to read and understand, and offers an enjoyable experience.
Now that you understand how Google works, you can influence it by giving Google what it wants, namely, great content.
5 Steps to Create Great Content
Okay, hopefully you’ve come to terms with the fact that content is a necessity if you want to succeed online. Now comes the fun part – creating the content!
- Create What You Know
- Embrace Variety
- Make it Easy to Understand
- Enjoy Yourself
- Be Helpful
Create What You Know
As you craft the content for your website, focus on what you know. Why did you start your company? Why do you do what you do? Tell your customers, write your story; nobody knows your company like you do.
Another amazing way to find great topics to create content around is to answer questions. Your customers are always asking questions, and many of these questions are very similar. Instead of answering those same questions over and over, write a comprehensive article (or shoot a video) that answers those common questions. When a lead asks one of these questions, save yourself some time and send that lead to your article (or video). It’s a quick copy and paste of a link into an email. Send it, along with a personal message, and you’ve saved yourself time and given your lead a solid answer that she can access again and again.
First things first, make sure to research your target audience to understand what type of content it likes to consume – images on Pinterest, videos on YouTube, eBooks via email, you get the picture – and focus on that type of content. If your audience likes more than one type of content (and they probably will), then make a variety of content – from podcasts to whitepapers to videos – to engage them.
Make It Easy to Understand
When creating your content, make sure you start with the basics. Your audience is, most likely, not as well-versed in your topic subject as you are, so… keep it simple. Keep the industry jargon to a minimum (unless your audience uses those terms frequently), and make it accessible to all of your personas.
No matter how complex your topic, make it as simple and concise as possible. How do you do that? Remove the extraneous information that isn’t absolutely pertinent and present only the most necessary items. Don’t waste time on details; share the overarching concept instead.
Yes, that’s right! Enjoy yourself. Find a way to create content that’s easy and enjoyable to you, be it shooting how-to videos from your smartphone or writing articles on your tablet. That’s right – easy and enjoyable.
Let’s talk about the “easy” part first – fit content creation into your day-to-day activities. Look for opportunities to create content while you go about your day – find yourself on a phone call for thirty minutes explaining why a blog is so important? Once you end the call, write down or record the questions and answers. Imagine that another person has the same questions – explain it to them before they ask!
There are several opportunities to create content every day – that internal debate about crafting an email subject or the team brainstorm for that new website design project – so capitalize on them. Grab your phone and snap some photos, take some notes, then put together an informative article. Get insights from co-workers to add variety.
Now let’s discuss “enjoyable” – do what makes sense to you. Create content that captures your attention and inspires you. Love to read and write? Then do so to your heart’s content! If you find yourself watching YouTube videos all day, figure out how to work a camcorder and record an educational series about a subject you love. If you don’t want to write or stand in front of a camera, consider podcasts. Record a conversation or debate between you and a coworker, then publish it online. As long as it’s interesting and informative, it’s gold!
As you create content, remember to make it valuable and relevant by being helpful. Offer advice, guidance, insight – those things that your clients don’t have immediate access to. After all, that’s one of the main reasons somebody consumes content – to learn something new or gain more knowledge about an interesting topic. So consider adding a helpful purpose behind your content.
Help Creating Content
Do you need help creating content for your new website? Or maybe you’ve started an Inbound campaign and need content to increase your sales and leads – whatever the case, Artonic can help you! We have a team full of content creators with experience in blogs, eBooks, articles, whitepapers, videos, podcasts, emails, and more! Contact us if you’d like more info!