Developing fresh content for digital marketing is the best way to drive traffic to your website and to turn leads into repeat visitors, and visitors into clients. In January 1996, Bill Gates published an essay where he coined the phrase “Content is King”. In this essay, he describes the future of the Internet as a marketplace for content and suggests that content is “where much of the real money will be made on”.
Was he right when he said this and does it still hold true today? Is content marketing worth the hype?
Well yes. However, NOT all content will bring forth the same benefits.
Not all content is created equal, therefore, not all content will reap the same rewards. If we go back to his essay, Gates elaborates further on this and says:
“If people are to be expected to put up with turning on a computer to read a screen, they must be rewarded with deep and extremely up-to-date information that they can explore at will.”
From this, we can draw a definition of what type of content would be considered compelling content.
Compelling content is the foundation of effective digital marketing. However, it’s not enough to simply create it and leave things at that. Your competitors are not standing still, and the smart ones are learning – maybe from you.
An ongoing strategy to continuously create compelling content will help drive and maintain higher rankings for your website.
Your content needs to offer the sort of information that your audience finds useful. It needs to capture their attention and make them want to continue reading (explore at will). If you are only posting for the sake of posting, then you won’t reap the full benefits.
Are YOU taking advantage of everything your content has to offer for your digital marketing strategy?
Not clear yet? Think about the websites you spend the most time on. How do they keep you interested and why do you keep coming back? Is it visually appealing? They probably have impressive page speed or a fantastic user interface, but there’s one thing that really motivates you to revisit these websites. We are betting that the answer, of course, is that you find the content of these sites useful.
In digital marketing, we describe “compelling content” as information on the internet that “satisfies a user’s need and that works in tandem with a copy to move people along the sales funnel” (Champlin, 2021). Having compelling content helps drive traffic to your site, maximizes your conversions from that traffic, reduces your bounce rate, and increases the time your users spend on your site. If done correctly, compelling content converts leads into repeat visitors and visitors into clients.
When Gates said that content is “where most of the money will come from,” he was referring to this. Ensure your content creates an environment where potential customers can learn how your product or service can solve their problems, fulfill their desires, or even create a new problem or desire in them.
The following list is by no means exhaustive but consists of types of content that can be served into different formats, that is well-received in the digital world (website and social media platforms) and that can help contribute to your overall online marketing strategy:
Pro tip: Know your audience. Create a persona, identify their concerns and problems, and put yourself in their shoes. Then, use your content to provide solutions or answers they might be looking for.
Compelling content is well crafted, appropriate to your audience, and accurate. Not only do you need to consider the type of content you publish, but also the format in which you will publish it. Quality content can come in many forms. Keep in mind that certain types of content lend themselves better to particular industries than others, similarly, some segments of your audience may also be easier to reach with one content format over another.
Pro tip: Repurpose one piece of content into several formats for the greatest audience reach and cost-efficiency.
You can repurpose a blog post into an infographic, a video, a quiz, etc. You can also combine them, for example, you can enhance your blog posts with visuals (videos or images). Doing this will lead to more compelling and engaging content.
The types of content you post, as well as the formats in which you want to present them, will depend upon what platform you use. Is it for your website, Instagram or YouTube?
Pro tip: Research your audience to learn what types of content they engage more with and which platform they are more active on. While some companies will benefit from having an Instagram account, others might be better off having an active LinkedIn account instead.
By now, you are probably asking, why do I need to put so much thought into this?
Well, because today, having a website and social media profiles isn’t enough. We are all bombarded with information and content almost every second. Getting found, being seen, and becoming relevant to your target audience is the challenge. You have to stand out among hundreds of people who are saying or selling the same thing. The more compelling and more valuable your content is to your target audience, the larger the benefit your company will receive from your digital marketing efforts.
In summary, compelling content has its biggest effects on the following areas:
One of the biggest benefits of content is that it increases your chances of getting found by potential clients. Moreover, compelling content goes beyond just increasing your website’s traffic or likes on your social media profiles, it should help drive your audience to make the final decisions. As mentioned before, your content should educate your prospects about what your value proposition is, how your products/services solve their problems or satisfy their needs, what makes you different, and why they should choose YOU.
Pro tip: When posting your content on social media, be sure the content on your website and the copy of your ads or organic posts are synergistically aligned with your digital marketing goals.
If you have good content, you should get more traffic to your site, and as audience retention increases, your bounce rate lowers and the time your users spend on your site increases; thereby improving your website ranking score. Fresh content is also an important aspect of your search engine optimization efforts. Search engine algorithms notice and reward with better rankings those websites that are keeping their content up-to-date, have lots of inbound links and demonstrate relevant valuable content.
By posting regularly you make sure that your followers don’t forget you that easily. Moreover, great content allows you to educate potential customers about your offering, what your business is all about, and what sets you apart from the competition.
Your business will be viewed as authoritative and trustworthy if you post well-researched, informative content. Being a recognized authority in your market will increase your chances of driving direct and “branded” quality traffic to your site. You can stand out from your competitors if you become a thought leader in your market. As a trusted resource, thought leadership attracts leads earlier in the buying process, thereby improving your website’s conversion rate and the business you get from your marketing.
To sum up, content marketing is a long-term marketing strategy capable of attracting and engaging your target audience with a low-cost investment. However, you do need to keep in mind that not all content will generate the same return on investment.
So make sure you publish compelling content to increase your chances of getting a better lead and higher audience retention. Create and publish content that is up to date, brings value and is relevant to your target audience.
And remember, content development is a never-ending process. Even if you are at the top of the heap one day, there are others trying to get your spot, and if they are providing better content than you are, they just might succeed!