How do you create high value content? Focus on your audience – your community.
When you combine this effort with a basic understanding of search engine and social media optimization, you will also assist Google in helping you expand your customer base.
Yesterday we addressed the question of what is content marketing, with the result being these three essential qualities of content marketing:
- Create Valuable Content for Your Community
- Package Your Content for Distribution and Sharing
- Personalize It to Encourage Engagement
Embedded within those three activities is a key content marketing challenge. Serving your customers well clearly requires a human-centric focus. However, you also have to simultaneously address the needs of the search engines – who are serving the same people.
People use search engines – and some of them are your prospects and customers. So, when you acquire a basic understanding of how search works, you will get much better at creating valuable content that is readily available for you ideal customers.
Packaging Your Value
This is actually an interesting dynamic because it forces you to think about creating valuable content for your community and packaging it for the search engines. That's how I like to look at this. Doesn't packaging a gift enhance its value?
Fortunately, Google just simplified your work. They are now placing emphasis on making low quality content less visible in search results. If you speak geek, this article will give you some of the details on Google's latest search emphasis.
What's Low Value Content?
The two most common types of low value content are what you have borrowed or otherwise repurposed from other sources, including your own, as well as self-promotional content.
Google will give credit to the original creator of quality content, but will de-emphasize its value when it appears in other locations. The first source gets the majority of the credit.
In regards to self-promotion, anyone that gets in front of a live audience knows that self-promotion is a slippery slope. You can do it effectively if you embed an interesting useful story or anecdote. Whether or not that will work for search is another thing, but I believe it will.
Search is going to continue to get better at recognizing what works in our everyday world. So, if you learn the basics of search engine and social media optimization – namely, using key words and links, then the majority of your effort can be focused on your customers.
How to Determine Your Highest Value
The most straightforward way for determining the content that is most highly valued by your audience is to listen to them and take action. This is what I do with this blog. You have to tune into each and every inquiry and ask yourself how you can be more clear.
When you address the needs of your community from many angles – you get clear. What happens after that is once in a while you strike gold. You write a post that resonates so well with your community that they share it. That's the gold, because the links they use to share it are votes that Google easily recognizes.
Here's another example. Today I received a call from a speakers bureau that asked me to give a keynote presentation to an association for the third year in a row. Why are my presentations for this group of small businesses always well-received?
That's a question only I can answer, as I should. It requires that same customer focus that we have been talking about. And that exercise will hopefully provide valuable insights that will help me to better serve them – and my other audiences.
I love speaking to this group – we share a chemistry. Is it because they have something in common with the green industry where I owned a small business for 20 years, as one consulting client suggested? Maybe. All I know is they are my ideal customer.
Who is your ideal customer and why? Just because they consistently hire you is not enough.You have to know from their perspective if you want to uncover the value that will elevate your content marketing – making it more shareable, more relevant, and you more likeable – by your customers and the search engines.
I have a I have a feeling you may find clues in our aforementioned list of content marketing essentials -with personalization being the most likely contender.
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Until tomorrow, Jeff