In 2019 reports demonstrated that over half of the online population consumed information through blogs. In 2020 the prediction is that this will only increase.
So – although you may have heard it before – it REALLY is very important that you focus on content marketing. And it’s equally as important to remember that as we become more familiar with consuming information through blogs, the WAY we do it is also evolving.
Once upon a time, in the digital olden days (about 5 years ago), we were told that the optimum length of content was 350 words. Today that’s almost prehistoric!
Long Form Content is King (or Queen!)
Now, when we say ‘long-form’ we don’t mean 1000 words – we mean several thousand and more! The longer the article, the more traffic it attracts. Anything over 3,000 words in length will get a greater amount of web traffic.
But how many of us have time to read that amount of information in one go? Especially during a working day?
There are some tips to make this content ‘evergreen’ – something that people can find over and over; easily digestible in chunks, doesn’t get old and provides almost a mini-book to valuable content that can be revisited. Plus, if your readers like it enough they’ll keep coming back to see what else you have to see.
It’s Google that decides what’s best for your readers. So if Google likes your blog, then your readers will be more likely to find it. The shorter it is, the less likely they’ll favour it.
Plus – another ancient skill is shoving those multiple keywords into your content. Don’t do it. Instead Google will be looking for something that’s really useful and provides inspiration; that informs your readers. Although it’s long, it needs to be well organised.
The bad news is, you can’t just mark a day out in your diary and whip out 10 pieces of content to sustain you through the next few months. This is no quick-fix. Whether you are doing it yourself or paying someone else to do it for you, you’re looking at a good day of writing and research PER BLOG. The longer it is, and the longer it takes, the more it will fit with the objectives of your business.
Keep in mind that research element. It’s very important. After all, you need to know exactly what sort of audience you’re aiming to connect with. Why they would want to read it and what you want them to do once they have?
Another trend for 2020 will of course be the need to outsource the writing of blog content. After all, as I have already said, the thousands of words will take plenty of time to do and it may not be something you can do in-house.
We write many blogs and content for clients so please talk to us if you think you’d like someone else to do it for you.
Don’t forget the short form parts of the content
Although the content needs to be long for Google and for best practice. It also needs to be easy consumable for readers. If your reader is on the bus or tube, lying in bed before they get up for work, or double-screening in front of the tv at night they need to be able to skim through it and pick the parts of it that they want to know the best.
One way to make this work well is by breaking the content down and transferring it to your social media. Mini-blog posts via a Facebook status update can be really useful in guiding people back to the longer content too. But this is a signpost and not a way to rank highly. So the long form comes first. However, if you add great images, infographics and video content, then you really will grab attention from your followers.
Make it look good as well as read well
Is your website mobile optimised? I really hope so because if not, you are wayyyyyyyy behind the curve! It needs to be easily readable as well as navigable on a mobile. After all, if those commuters are finding it hard to read, then they’re going to leave your page and never come back. There’s nothing worse than wanting to read something and after faffing about with expanding the words and flipping your phone to see if it helps – just having to give up all together.
That’s also why the ‘bite-sized chunks of content with plenty of space around them’ technique is the best way to go. If they get off at the next stop they can come back to it later without losing their place.
This is not a one-stop shop
This is not something you can do once – despite the amount of time it takes to create. It needs to be regular as clockwork. So set aside time every month (or preferably every week) to research and write. You might not want to hear this – but for optimum benefits a daily post is needed. But that’s not always possible in small businesses is it? However it really would be the very best way to be recognised for your expertise and that’s what PRs like us want for you the most!
Be known in your world
Now that you’re creating regular content, you don’t want people to miss it. So consider how you want them to know you’ve done it. Other than social media, do you have a content management system? You can send snippets out via newsletters. And keep in mind that this really does need to be regular.
Let’s add some flavouring
You’ve got the topic you want to write about. You’ve done your research on what your readers want from you and you know what your expertise can give them, now how else could you present it to them to make it extra appealing?
Video content is everywhere now. Whether it’s through social media stories (Facebook and Instagram), through live broadcasts, Youtube channels or expert content on Linkedin. 87 percent of online marketing is done through video and the consumption of video content rises by 100 percent every year.
So use video! You should be making them on a daily basis to be most effective, but if not then as often as possible. Plus – don’t forget to add subtitles. Not the written ones on boards (as per the olden days) but via an editing system like iMovie or various apps which are incredibly easy to download. The subtitles make it easy for people to watch your video at anytime without having to disturb those around them.
The idea of the video content is not to go on and on and on. In contrast to the written content, this is actually a way of making things shorter – not longer. If you have info and ideas that you wish to impart, keep it neat and concise. Paired with the written blog, it’s a winning formula.
In terms of investment. You don’t need much more than time. You can easily make video content from your phone and probably without the need of edits.
That’s a familiar word isn’t it? It’s all about engagement nowadays. If your blog or your video is engaging it means that the person who’s taken their time to look at it isn’t just skimming through for a couple of seconds. Instead, they are clicking on the graphic to explore in more detail, or taking the survey that you have included to gauge their opinion, or they are commenting because they feel they have something to add. The more they engage, the more valued they feel. The more valued they feel, the more likely that they’ll keep coming back for more.
It’s all well and good….BUT
Ok. So let’s say you take everything I have written here to heart. You write that content, you make that video, you broadcast some ‘lives’ and you create some infographics. What then?
You’re only just at the start of your journey. You need to start marketing them and yourself. Because once you start getting people coming back for more – you know you’ve got something they want. So you need to reach further and further with it.
Instead of waiting for people to come to you by looking at the blog on your website – how are you going to go out and find them? To gain real traffic, you need to engage with readers by other means.
Utilise those platforms that I’m sure you already have; Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
On LinkedIn you can post your content as an article and watch engagement soar! You can signpost back to your blog by breaking it down into chunks that entice the readers to find out more.
You can pay for boosted posts and advertising which will guarantee clicks. Plus, with the ability to target your audience, all that previous research pays off, because you can get it in front of the noses of the very people you wrote it for in the first place.
Finally. As we said at the very start, the process of content creation is ever evolving. As I write this article there are already new pieces of advice that I could be adding. To consistently produce written content that will rank highly in search engines and build engagement, stay connected with the trends in the world of content marketing. That includes changes in algorithms (something that the likes of Google do to keep us all on our toes) and changes in behaviour with the introduction of new platforms and even new tech.
Finally, if this has inspired you to get going with your content – then tell us about it. We’d love to be a follower of yours. Comment on this article, tag us in your content and stay in touch! Then that’s some of the engagement happening already!Outdoor lifestyle brand Timberland has made a pledge to plant 50 million trees over the next five years to encourage consumers to take steps to help the environment.