Successful Content Marketing: Think Like a Journalist, Then Apply SEO

Now WhatSo, it’s likely that someone has recently leaned over the ‘digital’ table to you and whispered a sweet nothing in your ear…

‘Content Marketing, it’s the future of SEO, dontcha know?’

In fact, we’d go a little further than that – content marketing is SEO right now and, on top of that, it’s also a key driver for your future digital leads and new business generation. Or rather, it should be.

So, the challenge that most businesses face is now not all about whether it’s a good idea, it’s how to deliver a viable solution that works. This process starts with a joint content vision, which¬†both delivers good rankings bring relevant natural traffic AND also engages visitors.

It sounds easy and yet most companies end up making a complete horlicks of it for a number of reasons:

  • They have no resource, so outsource and then find either the returns or quality is not there from their external copywriter or agency
  • They put the wrong person ‘on the job’ and end up with poorly thought out content strategy and delivery
  • They limit the scope of the work to just the odd generic article
  • They prioritise SEO, get some traffic but no leads, because the content is dull
  • They prioritise the content, forget about the SEO and have a great page but no one ever visits it

Do any of these sound familiar to you? They should, we’ve heard all of these, every day!

Marketing Content Generation РThink Before You Shoot!

The main issue is however, that the content is just awful. It’s all about you and your business, or just ‘reporting’ of facts that no-one is interested in, or seems to resemble a sequence of rambling press releases.

No one stops to think: “will anyone really be interested in any of this?”

They should, because if there is no interest in what is created then you may as well not have started in the first place. Digital has, for too long, been a dumping ground for pathetic attempts at writing – and that is now changing, for the better.

Google is working out, mainly through Social Media as well as analytics, what is good and what is bad content, and is prioritising the good stuff, because it knows that users will use Google the more they send them to the good stuff. Right?

So, how do you get your content sorted out? Our number one main recommendation we give you is to think like a journalist.

What do we mean by that? Well these four things:

  1. Write for Your Readership (Audience): think about who you are writing for – prospects and customers – and write FOR THEM. Write good quality content which you believe they will take the time to read!
  2. Write Conversationally: let your character shine through (within reason), make an impact, cause a reaction. Better to be hot or cold than lukewarm!
  3. Use Every Word Wisely: attention spans are shot. Go through everything and cut out the flab. Do a word workout!
  4. Do Not Sell IN the Content Itself: people know when they are being sold to, so stop doing it. You can sell through the page, through adding value, through data capture. If your content is all about you, delete and start again!

Please do not put PR people in charge of your content, they just don’t have the full skills to make the content shine for you. There is a good reason why a journalist is sent a Press Release, because they know how to turn it into a story which is going to be read.

Which is exactly what you want from your content marketing…

And then, any good SEO, can tweak and optimise the content to get you the rankings you want. Whereas if you put an SEO in charge of your content, well, have you seen what they write?