Determining Your Content Goals
In order to send humans to the moon, the Saturn V rocket required more than 1.97 million litres of fuel. If this fuel was lacking, Neil Armstrong would never have transmitted his famous words back to us earthlings. In the same respect, quality content is the single most important variable which will transform your online marketing intentions into a physical reality. Without the correct formulation, even the most concerted of efforts will likely fail. How can you clarify your goals and what methods can be utilised to propel yourself into the stars?
What is Your Ultimate Intention?
Purpose-driven approaches will always yield results. Still, this is a rather broad topic. There are a handful of questions to answer in order to develop a digital road map in advance. These can include:
- What results do you expect from your posted content?
- What type of consumers are you hoping to address?
- Is revenue your primary concern or are you looking for online exposure?
These content goals are quite broad in scope and yet, they are essential if you hope to hone your efforts and utilise the tools at your disposal.
There is also the question of hierarchy. In other words, are specific goals more important than others? The answer is different for everyone. Some are concerned with revenue generation while others highlight the need to foster active customer engagement through personalised content. In truth, a well-balanced methodology espouses both of these concepts.
Regardless of what your ultimate intentions may be, any content needs to be able to establish a rapport with the reader and to highlight the benefits of whatever it is that you may be offering. It is only through this type of targeted engagement that people will be interested in what it is that you have to say.
How Can You Turn Content Goals into a Digital Reality?
Everything that we have discussed up until this point has been elementary. The main concern is how these principles can be correctly utilised to obtain real-time results. Still, the issue is that countless so-called digital marketing “gurus” fail to address a handful of the primary points that should always be emphasised. What approaches should you take and why will each prove to be effective?
Exclusivity is essential; particularly in an age when the chances are high that you are not the only one writing about a specific topic. Sites which are able to produce unique content tend to rank higher within search engine results pages (SERPs). However, there is a very real psychological component behind this tactic. Targeted content will garner more attention and the reader is likely to take some type of action at the end. Generic text or “spun” material will only serve to mute the point that you are trying to make.
We also need to pair exclusive content with material that is organic in nature. In other words, it needs to be able to appeal to the human reader as opposed to the search engine. Keyword stuffing and other techniques no longer have any merit, as the text will appear dull and contrived. Never forget that you are addressing a real person as opposed to an algorithmic bot.
Content should never be static. It needs to flow and change depending on the feedback from your audience as well as marketing trends in general. The best way to keep on top of this concept is to directly engage with your readers. AS SEO expert Tor Refsland observes, speaking to your audience will provide response-driven results. Another ancillary benefit of this approach is that you can foster brand loyalty over time; a content goal which should never be overlooked.
Well-written material does not exist within the digital void alone. In order to generate interest in a particular product or service, this content needs to be shared across multiple portals. Social media, blog posts and tweets are all examples of how this exposure can help to spread your word to a wider audience. Many bloggers and marketing professionals tend to gloss over this point and as a result, great content may never reach the intended reader.
What Problems Might You Encounter Along the Way?
Even a well-organised plan is likely to encounter a few pitfalls along the way. These should not represent discouraging situations, but rather opportunities to learn. Identifying potential problem areas is the first step towards eventually realising your content goals. What are some issues to keep an eye out for?
Improper or Outdated Marketing Techniques
In terms of the content itself, one of the problems that could crop up is failing to follow proper SEO guidelines and only realising this after you have been penalised by a search engine. Some common mistakes include:
- Using outdated or clumsy keywords.
- Embedding irrelevant textual links.
- Content that is obscured by third-party advertisements.
- Duplicating content from an unrelated website (literally “stealing” material).
- Stuffing affiliate cookies within the text.
These “black-hat” techniques should be avoided at all costs, as your content will otherwise suffer as a result.
Static Text Alone
Recent research from Hubspot has shown that Internet users spend more than 100 million hours viewing videos on Facebook alone. This is due to the fact that most consumers are visual in nature. A blog post or a webpage that contains a single block of text is no longer enough to attract attention. Some marketers believe that an image or two can address this trend. Unfortunately, this may no longer be enough. Videos and infographics can help to reinforce your content while simultaneously breaking up the text. This is particularly relevant for smartphone users, as they are more likely to view images as opposed to zooming in on a piece written material.
Failing to Include a Call to Action
Always be sure to include a call to action within your text. After all, how can you ever reach your content goals if the reader fails to take the next step? This can represent a hyperlink to a product page or a “contact us to learn more” clause. Either way, a CTA will essentially serve to bridge the gap between your content and the next step in the engagement process.
Determining your content goals is easier said than done. Adopting the correct strategies and avoiding potential pitfalls from the very beginning will lead to success over time. Producing engaging and dynamic material is the key to ascending above your competition while allowing your voice to be heard.