There’s no question that content is one of the most important ingredients in any internet marketing campaign. Great content is what the search engines want, and for one simple reason: it’s what web users are looking for.
So what makes great content?
According to search engines like Google, it’s content that is informative, well-written, engaging, and that helps establish your expertise in your industry. Whether you run an office supply site or manage a busy law practice, users – and by extension, search engines – are looking for proof that you know what you’re talking about.
The challenge for many businesses is the process of creating great content. Content development is a time consuming process, especially since a steady stream of fresh content is necessary to help your site grow. Some businesses opt to hire freelance writers to create content for them, but finding excellent writers can be a costly proposition; finding excellent writers with relevant experience can be costlier still. Factor in the quantity of content needed, and the prospect of meeting the demand for expertly written content can seem daunting.
Allow an Expert to Set the Example….Once
Fortunately, there are ways to create a wealth of expert content without hiring an expert to write all of it. One effective strategy is to employ the Content Pillar approach. Simply put, a Content Pillar is a central piece of content from which subsequent content can be derived. For instance, you might want to create an ebook discussing workplace organization for your office supplies store.
When resources are limited, making the most of your own team is key, and that may or may not include the world’s most skilled content writing experts. But if it’s an option, try recruiting an expert just to get the ball rolling. Through the Content Pillar approach, once an expert piece of collateral has been created–the rest is much easier to create and promote from there, whether or not that expert’s part of your full-time staff. After the example’s been set, let’s say an ebook, then you, or your other writers, can generate derivative content from that ebook. One excellent source of material can give content developers the boost they need to write knowledgeably, effectively, and expertly from there.
Focus Your Energy
Narrowly focusing your content around a small aspect of your market gives you the opportunity to establish yourself as an expert in a particular niche. Niche marketing means you can create a content marketing plan that’s targeted, knowledgeable, and manageable–with less-competition to boot.
As Joe Pulizzi mentions in his book, Epic Content Marketing, a pet store owner may have a hard time establishing himself as an authority on all matters related to pet supplies. However, if he focused on a very narrow segment of the market – say pet travel supplies – he can take ownership of that niche and position himself as an authority with in-depth knowledge of the travel needs of pets and their owners.
Let Your Writers Explore New Approaches
Writing for a niche is a crucial part of successful content marketing. But another approach that helps when creating the kind of content you’d expect from an expert, is to broaden your horizon in terms of topics.
It’s a common misconception that content created for your site has to be very tightly related to your site itself. However, your customers undoubtedly have a wide variety of interests and concerns that you can serve, even if they’re not directly related to the products and services that you offer. For example, a site that sells maternity supplies has a target audience with a broad scope of interests that you can touch on: parenting, childcare, healthy eating for children – the list goes on. While the eating habits of children does not directly relate to maternity supplies, there’s no reason you can’t position yourself as an authority on the issues that matter most to your customers. Doing so can help engender a sense of trust and confidence, and can position your site as a trusted informational resource.
By blending concepts like the Content Pillar with careful positioning – either by expanding or narrowing your focus – you will soon find that it’s possible to create excellent, expertly written content without having a specialized writer create all of your content for you.
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