Sharing on social media is a mainstay. People love to share quotes, pictures, videos, and articles with each other. The search engines also love sharing because it creates higher rankings organically.
People share content to fulfill certain psychological needs:
- Relationship building
Your audience also shares content for a sense of social acceptance. When they see thousands of people of a certain group liking and sharing a post, they will too. It is the “jump on the bandwagon” mentality.
People also share content to nurture relationships or start a discussion. Aesthetics also play a role in why people share so much content. If the content is a meme or infographic, it will be shared if it is visually appealing.
What This Means for You
So how does all this sharing help your website and search engine rankings? Having a lot of social media shares will raise your rankings organically. It is like free advertising as your customers or prospects share your content. It is virtual word of mouth. Followers sharing your content will give you social proof and credibility.
Mark Traphagen, the Senior Director of Online Marketing of Stone Temple Consulting, reported on Moz.com, that he does not believe that social media is a direct ranking factor, however the increased activity may have a positive effect on the search engine algorithms.
Traphagen analyzed the results of a study to see what made the websites successful. He studied the social shares of each website and reported that 45% had no shares at all, while 66% had less than 300 shares. However, the remaining websites scored high in content sharing.
To be fair, those websites with no social shares lacked social media buttons on their pages. If you have remarkable and valuable content, make it easy on your readers by providing them one-click sharing. Some readers will find a way to share your content if they really like it, but the chances are much lower if you do not provide an easy method to do that.
Knowing your target audience and ideal customer will help you give them content they are likely to share. This is true only if you know where to find your readers. Depending on your industry and niche, the social platform your audience visits will vary. For example, lawyers and recruiters can be located on Linked In more readily than Pinterest. However, your friend that owns a craft shop will likely spend time on Pinterest and Etsy.
Frequent the specific social platform your prospects are using to build relationships and trust. Your content will be more attractive to these individuals than just a general audience.
A very popular piece of content that will increase your shareability is the How-to. These articles, guides, and e-Books offer a solution to your prospect’s problem. How-to books have been around for a long time and their success is proven.
Look at Dale Carnegie’s book “How to Win Friends and Influence People.” This classic was first published in 1936 and has sold more than 15 million copies. Your How-to article may not be a life-changing book selling millions of copies, but it may be life-changing just the same.
People love to share How-to content with their friends if they believe that by doing so a dilemma can be solved. You need to focus on your target audience’s pain points to create the perfect content piece. You can observe what your prospects are saying by hanging out on their social platform.
To really make your content shareable, remember to stand out from the crowd and deliver solutions.
One of the most difficult parts of marketing and keeping up with your blog is simply coming up with the topic ideas for your articles. Whether you outsource to someone to help you write the posts or you attempt to do it on your own, the topics are always a key element. Of course, those who are not accustomed to creating subjects on a regular basis might find they have some trouble with this. It doesn’t have to be difficult at all though, and this post will provide you with some helpful pointers and simple tips that will make coming up with great topics nice and easy.
Know Your Business
First, you need to know your business, which should be easy. What is it that you offer your clients and customers? What is it that drives you and your business and what types of messages do you want to get out to people. You know your business and products better than anyone else does, which is a good thing. However, to come up with topics and subjects that are of interest to those who are just now starting to learn about your company and what you offer, it’s sometimes good to think like the customer. What types of information will they want to know and need to know about your business?
Know Your Goals
Additionally, it helps to know the goals of the posts when coming up with content. Take time to think about your content goals, and remember that not all of your posts need to focus on the same exact goal. In fact, if they do, it could turn people away. You want to have a variety of different types of posts.
Should the post try to attract attention, which can boost awareness of your brand and possibly even go viral? Should the post attempt to educate the clients on your offerings and establish you as a trustworthy name in the field? Should the post be geared toward making the reader take some type of action, such as signing up for a newsletter or email, or even buy a product? Is the post attempting to generate traffic?
These are the most basic and common goals that you will have. It’s important to change up the types of posts and the topics based on the goals you have at the time. It’s also a good rule of thumb to try to come up with a list of topics all at once rather than doing them piecemeal. As you get closer to writing about each specific topic, you can narrow your focus and make the topic fit neatly into your particular niche.
Find the Hook and Reel Them In
Every article needs some type of hook, something that will make the reader who sees the title want to read more. More than that, the hook has to carry through the article and make them actually want to finish the entire thing. Whether it is taking a stand on a subject, looking at something in a fresh light, telling a story, hitting on something topical and connecting it to your business in some way, entertaining someone, or educating someone, there needs to be something to pull the reader through the article.
When you are trying to come up with topics, think about these hooks, emotion, along with your goals and the knowledge you have of your business, it becomes easier to come up with good topics, just make sure that it fulfills the needs or wants of a customer, and that it offers some form of enjoyment while reading. It doesn’t need to be comedy gold or a Nobel winner. It just needs to speak to the reader in some way.
It certainly doesn’t matter how beautifully built your website is. If you don’t market it properly, no one will ever see it. Many businesses simply don’t realize everything it takes to step above the competition and actually become successful online. However, if you even want a chance, you need to understand what works with online marketing and what doesn’t.
Google Rules All
While it sounds strange that one company and one search engine can have ultimate power in a world where there are millions of websites, it is actually quite true. If you are punished in the Google search engine rankings, you will have problems. People use this site more than any other to the point that Google it is now synonymous with searching the web.
This means, for online marketing, you have to understand that everything Google does and every update it rolls out will have an impact on what you need to do. A good example of this would be the Penguin 2.0 update that rolled out last May. This new search algorithm completely shook up the Internet and left large and small businesses alike scrambling for a solution. The change was so drastic that it even affected major companies like Dish Network and Wikipedia. Obviously, it would have an impact on your own web presence.
Knowing What Works
Essentially, if you question the morals of any online marketing option, it probably doesn’t work. That’s because the newest Google update doesn’t just punish black hat (underhanded) marketing methods. It will actually punish anything that even remotely seems like it may be black hat. If you have been riding the fence up until now, you have to jump down on the white hat side or you will suffer in your search engine rankings.
A few things that will work for online marketing include:
- Well-written content from a professional writer.
- Guest blogs that are completely original (that includes the bio at the bottom).
- Professionally written press releases.
- Backlinking that uses high quality websites and links.
- Content that will keep the reader on the page.
If you hire a professional writer and get their help with online marketing, then you can have a better chance of building your search engine rankings. A few things that will not work include: spammy links, poorly written content, keyword stuffing, duplicate content, and no social interaction. If you try to save money by hiring a questionable writer, then you are likely to watch your page drop in the rankings.
You need to know what works in online marketing and what doesn’t. If you don’t stay on top of things and make smart decisions, then you could suffer immensely and lose customers since they simply won’t be able to find you.
Because of the newest updates to Google, you have to be even more aware of the things that will work so that you can keep up with strict changes. You simply can no longer skate by on questionable content because Google has continued to get smarter and more technical.
Branding is vital to today’s companies. The primary goal of most branding efforts is to create a situation where a customer sees a company name and instantly associates it with something about that company that the company wants to advertise. Increasingly, it’s important for companies to put a human face on their products. Oftentimes, this means producing informational content that explains how their products can be used.
The Value of Information to the Consumer
Understanding how consumers are likely to use information is important to understanding why some types of information work better than others for branding. For instance, imagine that you run a company that sells security doors. On the surface, the selling points for this product may seem obvious. It’s a door that is also secure. There is more to producing good branding content for such a product—and the company that sells it—than pointing out the obvious, however.
A good content company could produce any number of articles that provide a way to brand such a company in effective ways. The company might produce articles that demonstrate how security doors can be worked into the existing look of a home or how the many options available make it possible to change the look of a home in a desirable way. They may also produce articles about mounting such doors, about how the doors actually increase security or how they increase security without making your home feel like a fortress.
All of these articles can be used for branding. The articles about security and safety can help brand the company as a source of comfort. The articles about installing your own door can brand the company as one that produces high-end products for do it yourself projects. There is any number of ways that this can go, but all of them help to add some dimension of depth to product marketing by making it apparent what the product has to offer and what problems it solves for the consumer who buys it.
Good Content Versus Bad
One of the things about branding that needs to be taken into account is that it has to do more than just serve a marketing goal. People are not going to read content that just hammers a point about a company into their heads over and over again. There are more interesting things to read on the Internet.
Good content actually engages the reader and makes them want to learn more. With such content, a company can help to increase the effectiveness of its branding by making consumers aware that the company has more to offer than just products. It has expertise, is interested in engaging with customers and wants to help customers to use its products more effectively. This creates trust and that’s a very powerful thing for branding.
Good writers can stay on point—confusion negates the value of branding, after all—but still keep things interesting enough to make them worth reading. A good content production company can make sure that what you put on your website does its job, and much more.
For most businesses, their website is a vital part of the way that they reach out to the public. Getting websites noticed in search engines, where the public is most likely to find them first, requires that there be a steady stream of quality content published on the site. For some businesses, the first strategy they pursue is to have existing employees write the content. This tends to be more expensive and more time consuming than having a professional do the work for several reasons.
Writing Is a Team Effort
Professional writers, though they have reputations for being solitary types, actually almost never work alone. Writing something of a high enough quality to be used to advertise a business requires that more than the writer be involved in the process. Editors are also vital and it’s important that the content a writer produces is reviewed by other professionals to check for simple errors and factual inaccuracies. This helps to ensure that quality is maintained at every step. It’s also nearly impossible for an individual to do this on their own, which is why newspapers, publishers, web sites and any other entities that produce content as part of their businesses address writing as a team endeavor.
The Time Factor
For non-professional writers, coming up with content is a very involved process. It’s easy to think of this by comparing it to other activities for which you have the option of hiring a professional or going the DIY route.
If you’re pretty handy with cars, you can probably handle maintenance tasks such as changing your oil and so forth. When you do this work, however, you’ll likely notice that it takes you a lot longer than it does for a professional mechanic to do the same job. This is simply due to experience. A professional—whether they’re a writer, a mechanic or in some other profession—does their job every day that they work, which means that they are very efficient and able to handle complex projects more quickly than non-professionals can. Where a non-professional writer may be able to turn out 1 or 2 good articles in a day, a professional can turn out 20 or 30.
This means that the people who contract professional writers get more done in less time than it would take them to do the project themselves. It also means that the other costs of the project—management, etc.—are much less, as they are simply put off onto the company handling the writing. This is economically much more feasible and, of course, it’s also a great way to make sure that deadlines are met, as professional writers make their livings by never missing deadlines.
Professional writing can make it possible to keep a lot of content flowing onto a site, increasing the search engine optimization characteristics of the site considerably. While it may seem easier to just have someone in the office handle the content for a site, that strategy usually ends up costing more, taking more time and producing less desirable results.
High-quality content is a very versatile marketing option. The content can be written to satisfy most any need a client has and it can connect with readers on many different levels. This doesn’t always mean making an emotional appeal for a product or service. Read on to learn how this can be done for your product or service.
One of the really great things about Internet shopping is that customers can go through literally hundreds of different products very quickly and determine which ones might suit their needs the best. They can get a great deal of information that can help them to make the right decision.
Professional content production companies can make sure that your customers have the advantage of getting good information about your products. If you take a look at the descriptions of products on most shopping sites, you’ll see that there is a lot missing from them that could be added to informational articles, giving companies that sell those products an advantage.
For example, if you’re shopping for water bottles and carrying systems online, you’ll see the same information over and over again in descriptions. Capacity, the carrying system and the materials of which the bottle is made will all be included. Now, imagine you’re a runner. What you’re probably going to be most concerned with is whether or not the bottle is going to be comfortable to carry while you’re running. Essentially, you’re going to want to know whether or not it’s going to bounce up and down, chafe or be too heavy to carry on a long run. Good content can actually answer these questions, and be interesting.
Consider how information about such a product might be presented in a way that really connects with a customer’s needs. Articles might address topics such as staying hydrated while exercising and give some recommendations about water bottles. Other articles might address the problems that runners sometimes have with equipment chaffing them and point out that some water bottle systems—yours, hopefully—will help them to avoid that problem. Other articles might explain the advantages of various materials for water bottles and tout the materials of which yours are made in particular.
The great thing about this is that you’re not deceiving anyone. You’re actually providing customers with useful information and, in doing so, you’re still steering them toward your product, since it addresses the need mentioned in the writing.
Customers tend to like companies that show some expertise. They like to know that the products they buy are the results of some sophisticated engineering that takes into account the needs of the people who use those products. By having good quality content online that allows customers to realize all of these advantages, you have a powerful branding tool. Part of the branding advantage is that you connect to the customer as a company that cares about the value of its products and that understands the needs of its customers, which are very powerful things in terms of image.