The importance of content production for online marketing is higher than ever. As the digital landscape continues to evolve, we continue to see the importance Search Engines (particularly Google) have placed on different types of content. Several years back, our agency consistently touted to advertisers the importance of optimized web copy for their sites. That was really the focus back then, to ensure a website had enough pages with high quality content on them, and furthermore that the copy was optimized around a keyword group or theme.
Fast forward to 2014, content production has expanded exponentially beyond just a website. Of course, those same principles from years past are still valuable and should be addressed – however, onsite content isn’t enough. MoreVisibility introduced the concept of off-site content several years ago, when it became evident that Google was placing emphasis on this in their rankings. Additionally, when the concept of paying for inbound links became banned by Google, offsite content quickly became the most optimal (and acceptable) way to generate natural, relevant inbound links for websites that are able to refer qualified traffic, not just “link juice”.
Given the current importance of content for website and brand visibility, as well as consumer/community engagement online, a sound strategy is required. Too often I see content being produced, particularly offsite, which is just plain, old and boring. Content can be developed in numerous forms to be both engaging and optimized. Think beyond the standard one to two page word document. There are images, videos, short form text (Twitter at 140 characters), mid-form text (1-2 paragraphs with lists for a blog or Google+ post), and of course, long-form text (white paper or slideshow presentation). Although there is no blanket solution or format for companies, typically producing different pieces of content is valuable to reach all audience types.
Most importantly, though, is producing compelling content. Producing any style content for the sake of checking it off your Marketing To-Do list, is simply a waste of time. If your content isn’t exciting and interesting, very few people (if any) will take the time to read it, yet alone share it. The process graphic below highlights information to consider during content production:
Before you publish content, onsite or off, determine if it is good, bad or boring. If it falls into either of the two latter categories, then don’t bother. Develop your content strategy and calendar first and then focus on how to make the information compelling. One of the biggest pitfalls we see is trying to ‘sell” within your content. Consider, education or a thought-provoking topic, as these are much more valuable pieces for the reader and more likely to be endorsed or shared.