As a small business trying to get ahead online, you need to figure out what will draw people into your online content. But audiences are getting tired of click-bait style articles with no value, says copywriter, publicist and owner of Velocity Media + Communications Amanda Jesnoewski.
“Quality content builds your business credibility and expertise, and showcases your value in such a way that readers see the benefit in working with you without you pushing for the sale,” says Jesnoewski.
“Valuable content entertains, educates, inspires and challenges readers. It identifies needs, awakens desires and provides the promise of something better,” she says.
“It is relatable and reminds people that they aren’t alone. What’s more it evokes an immediate response - a laugh or a tear, an epiphany or idea, a yes or a no.”
Think like a publisher, not a marketer
You may be familiar with marketing your business, but creating valuable online content for your business, or “content marketing”, requires a publishing mindset - and there is a big difference between the two, Jesnoewski says.
“A marketer’s focus is on selling, where as a publisher’s focus is on creating interesting content that engages readers and keeps them coming back,” she says.
Content marketing shouldn’t be about the quick win, it should be about the long-term gain, she says.
“With content marketing you need to be authentic. When customers and potential customers sense inauthenticity they lose faith and you lose followers.”
To establish credibility you need to recognise and define your values as a company, understand the reasons you are inspired to do what you do, the audience you plan on targeting and their needs and desires, says Jesnoewski.
When you identify what your business stands for and what your audience wants, you can work to ensure your content is relevant, valuable, consistent and authentic, she says.
Optimise your content for online
Unless your content is emailed directly, your customers will most likely find your content through search engines and stumbling across you online. Therefore, ensure you have used search engine optimisation (SEO) best practices to develop your content.
“Use relevant high impression keywords throughout your content and in your social media hashtags,” says Jesnoewski.
“Make sure that on your web pages and blog posts you link to other relevant pages or blogs on your website to increase internal links. Also look to publish your content on other credible websites to increase external links back to your website.”
Jesnoewski advises that while SEO is important, you shouldn’t let this get in the way of making your content readable.
“The goal is to produce high quality material, not to see how many keywords you can fit in,” she says. “Make sure your writing is natural and your keywords are subtle. Ideally your reader shouldn’t know they are reading optimised content.”