What goals do you try to achieve with your content? Are you publishing with a strategy, or focused too much on keywords? In this guest post by Catherine Fyson from Koozai suggests four questions to ask before you hit publish.
Incidentally, I’ve decided to ramp up my guest blogging activity. So if you’d like me to write a free article for your blog then please get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org.
There is no point in creating content just for the sake of it. Without the right planning and execution, it won’t boost your website’s ranking or your brand. Whilst it needs to be tied to your principles, content needs to be useful and entertaining if it’s going to resonate with your audience and get shared.
So before you click publish, here are four questions to ask:
1. Does it have the right tone of voice?
Whatever your business sells, having the right tone of voice is vital.
Your content’s tone needs to reflect your brand’s personality, to differentiate you from your competitors and promote your key qualities. It also needs to appeal to the personality type of your customer and their expectations of your company.
Whether you are going for the witty, friendlier tone or want to appear formal and informative, your brand voice needs to be approachable and honest.
You also want to ensure that you stick to this voice across your content. Otherwise, if you start using multiple voices in your writing, readers will become confused and you will struggle to build a cohesive impression of what your brand is about.
2. Does it answer customer questions?
Your content needs to provide valuable information to customers if it’s going to build trust in your expertise. Answering your customers’ questions will also keep them coming back for more.
Q&A sites like Quora are a brilliant source of article ideas. Simply type in keywords for your industry or product to get a list of questions ripe for a blog post, infographic or video.
Remember, your content needs to provide practical advice readers will understand, find useful and want to share. Helpful content such as step by step guides on how to use your products or in-depth articles on your industry will not only be beneficial to readers but will also build trust in your expertise.
3. Is it relevant?
The web is constantly being updated. In fact, it doubles in size every five years. The content that interests people is often tied to current affairs, popular culture and up to the minute events. Your brand can capitalise on this. Renowned marketer David Meerman Scott coins this as ‘news jacking’ where you create content tied in to the latest buzz topics people are interested in. This could be anything from sporting events (e.g. the Superbowl) to what’s hot in the news (like the Royal Baby).
Remember to keep your content inspired by current affairs tasteful – brands have got it wrong in the past by shoehorning hot news topics into their content and then being made a laughing stock on sites such as the Royally Desperate Tumblr.
4. Will it get shared?
There is no way to guarantee your content will be shared. But there are steps you can take to increase your chances. First, your content needs to be worthy of their attention. It also needs to be entertaining, engaging and useful if readers are going to want to share it with their friends. Your content should also be unique, and not regurgitate the same information covered on other blogs.
Finally, you need to make it easy to share. Make sure your blog has a social sharing widget installed with buttons linking to all the popular social networking sites, in particular Google+, Facebook and Twitter.
Asking these four questions before you hit publish should help you to create content which will build your brand’s reputation through being of interest to readers. It will also help to generate sales, with blogs estimated to be one of the core lead generators on business websites.
Now we’ve given you our four questions to ask of your content, what are yours?