Content marketing did not just come about recently. Centuries ago, companies from different industries were already producing marketing materials to try to attract new customers. But the internet has popularized the digital way of creating content focused on a target audience that is now online.
At the beginning of 2022, 4.95 billion people had internet access on the planet (or 62.5 percent of the world’s population). Even if it achieves a small portion of this, a well-crafted content marketing strategy can bring numerous benefits–from attracting new customers to greater brand recognition.
The problem is that everyone is doing the same thing. How do you stand out from the competition in this tangle of accessible information?
These are the five basic rules for crafting quality content that reaches and wins new readers (and potential customers).
1. Quality Over Quantity
In the academic world, there’s an aphorism to describe the pressure to write more and more: “Publish or perish.” Apparently, this has also become a commandment in marketing.
Some argue that the quantity of content is more important than its quality. However, if an internet user is looking for answers on a search engine and dozens of websites with similar low-quality material come up, then they will simply continue browsing until something better suited their needs appears in front of them.
Focusing on creating a few high-quality pieces of content rather than churning out lots of low-quality ones may be a more appropriate strategy to stand out. Yes, it’s important to publish often. But that does not mean you have to decide between quality and quantity.
The bottom line is that having more content available doesn’t mean more people will access it. Have you ever tried to read a book only to find out in the first few chapters that it’s no good at all? It’s frustrating and leaves one feeling empty.
The same concept applies with web content. Having too much with very little substance can make people feel overwhelmed or neglected, which leads them away from your website altogether.
2. Research Your Topic Inside and Out
When you decide to write better instead of writing more, you’re faced with the need to produce content so good that it becomes a reference. For that, make sure you know what you’re talking about before you even start writing.
Here are some tactics on how to research any topic quickly and write about it authoritatively:
Only research from reputable sources.
Filter search results with options like “Advanced Search” to avoid questionable sites.
Link to these sources whenever necessary to prove you aren’t fabricating data.
Only start writing after creating a complete brief to know what data you need.
Look for unlinked mentions of your brand on published websites that don’t provide a link back to yours. If you don’t know how to do it, research how to find unlinked brand mentions with Ahrefs.
3. Write for Your Audience
One of the most common mistakes among those who invest in content marketing is to produce lots of standardized material, sometimes even generated by A.I. without any regard for its target audience. When generating content that appeals to a very broad audience, you end up not captivating anyone properly.
Before you even start writing, try to find out who your audience is and what they are looking for. If your business’s target audience is women between the ages of 30 and 40, there’s no point in producing content for 15-year-olds or adult men.
Knowing who you’re creating content for will help guide your work. You can decide the type of language, if it should be more modern or conservative-looking, what information is most important to convey this time around, and so on.
4. Edit, Edit, Edit
The quickest way to alienate any audience is to publish content full of errors such as misleading information or typos. Editing and proofreading are essential.
Check ideas for clarity and cohesion; and whether they are conveyed in a manner that’s easy to read and understand. SEO experts guarantee that grammar mistakes can negatively impact your website in search engine rankings.
Depending on your target audience, simplify the terms, reduce the size of the paragraphs, and even make shorter sentences.
Once you’re done with this step–or even if you’re stuck in the editing process–try to get someone else to read over your work and give you feedback. This will help identify any issues with your work and make improvements before publishing it online.
While it is important to value quality over quantity, it’s also necessary to publish new content on a regular schedule to keep your audience engaged.
Create an editorial calendar or publishing schedule and stick to it. Even if it’s just a single blog post weekly publication, turn it into a ritual with a specific day and even time. This way, your audience (and potential customers) will know when to access your website or social networks in search of news.
Quality Content Paves the Way to High Audience Engagement
According to Semrush’s The State of Content Marketing 2022 Report, 90 percent of marketers who invested in content marketing last year will continue to do so in 2022. Around 47 percent of these companies plan to even grow their content teams this year.
That means there will be even more businesses creating and publishing content, and you’ll need to be even better and more efficient to stand out. As a rule, marketing is impossible without offering differentiated quality content. This content can boost business and draw in new customers.