Don’t Worry, Be Content

The evolution of marketing has made its streak in society over the past decades. We’ve watched business advertise their brands through traditional mediums including print, TV and radio. Although these channels are being used by businesses today, do readers and viewers still find these sources as stimulating as they used to? Unfortunately not.

Digital Marketing holds the crown in terms of how products and services are being promoted in today’s industry. Although there are many online features and platforms for a business to promote their products through, the most important aspect to digital marketing is in fact the CONTENT, that is being published. You can have heaps of content regarding your topic, but at the end of the day how valuable is your content to the person sitting on the other side of the screen? Is it going to spark interest and perhaps enable conversation? Is the information you’re publishing going to help the reader solve an issue they have? There are so many things content can deliver! You’re conveying a story if done correctly, and the objective is to entice the reader with rich information and build a relationship. You want them coming back for more, right? Exactly!

Valuable content, content marketing, digital content, consumber behaviour, social media, social development, content curation

The Importance of Valuable Content

When you provide effective content you build a relationship with your audience. You’re both there for the same reason, getting to know each other on a personal level. Whether you’re the one looking for a solution, or the one providing it, you both share that passion for the product or service at hand. All businesses want profits, but it’s most important to understand what the customer or prospective customer wants, and it’s your job to establish the best tactic and strategies to meet those needs.

Quality Content, Creation and Distribution

There are many ways in which intriguing content can be created.  Always remember that the primary purpose of creating content is to provoke and engage in conversation with your customer. There is an array of possibilities to choose from when you’re creating content. Think about topic and information pieces that provide room for questions and responses from the viewers. Like I mentioned before, you want to build a relationship with the viewer, you want them coming back for more.  An article from Webs 9 states that ultimately, it goes beyond just providing your viewer with a positive experience and content that informs, entertains and makes their lives better. Whether it’s a product or service you’re providing information about, or just providing your own personal opinions, the viewer wants to know and feel like you care about them.

Content curation is fantastic, but you as a writer are going to want fresh context, opinions, insights and perspectives! I came across this info graphic which provides great ways to create compelling content when, well… you don’t even have a clue! Some of these Include:

  • Interview People such as luminaries
  • Ask your readers about their thoughts
  • Share your success and failures
  • Converse within your online community
  • Monitor social trends
  • Host an event

Context is great, but in today’s content marketing and advertising society that isn’t enough. You need to add more simulating and captivating content to attract and retain the viewer’s attention and extract a response, tweet, share or any type of involvement action. So besides contextualizing and distributing content for your target audience, what other valuable digital assets could be added to your social sites? Take rich media for example.  People like real-time photos, videos and action. It creates a sense of trust between a viewer and the product or service. Instead of just writing about it, why don’t you show them! Take your blog for example. When you publish content, context isn’t the only thing on your page, right? Right. You include photos, videos, twitter feed and in bound and out bound links to other webpages for example. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and they’re right. Take a look at this web page I recent read about social media and the effect of visual content. Ekaterina Walker mentions that a study was conducted in 2012. ROI Research found that when users engage with friends on social media sites, it’s the pictures they took that are enjoyed the most.

44% of respondents are more likely to engage with brands if they post pictures than any other media.

Photos and videos have become one of our default modes of sorting and understanding the vast amounts of information we are exposed to every day. On a daily basis, people don’t have time to sit around and write 1000 word blogs, there for we compensate lengthy context with tweets, posts, likes, sharing, re-tweeting and uploading to our social platforms.  We love in a society where we are bombarded with content overload, therefore publishers need to make sure the content they posted via Twitter, Facebook, Blogger, Pinterest or whatever the social site may be, holds value. Every word, every sentence, every photo. And depending on what social channel you are publishing content to, determines what type and the amount of content that will be distributed.

Social media channels, blogs, facebook, twitter, linkedin, brand integration, web marketing, digital content, valuable content is important

Social Media Channels

Content on social platforms is like picking out the right purse for the day. As a woman, we have many to choose from in our closet. Just as we do social sites. But for the most part, they all serve the same purpose. Like how valuable content entices interest, engages in conversation and communication with the viewers. We wouldn’t use the same purse for a day of shopping at the Eaton’s Center as we would if we were going out for dinner. When shopping, we would want to bring a large purse so we can fill it with larger purchases, like a blog post and its larger amounts of information. If we were going out for dinner, we would bring a small purse only large enough to hold lip gloss, gum and credit cards.  Similar as posting a Tweet.

 

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Who’s Your Biggest Influence When Shopping? Well, I Can Tell You It’s Not Your Mom

With the inter-web world aggressively progressing by the minute, there is a constant increase in the evolution of social media platforms. Do you remember when social media didn’t exist to the degree it does today? Or when the hottest form of online communication was a messaging system called MSN? How about when “Tweeting” wasn’t an action, and blogging certainly did not have the insights and worldwide interaction it does today? Well, that has most definitely changed.

What's Next?

What’s Next?

Whether we know it or not, social media sites like Twitter, Facebook and Blogs all have such a significant influence on society’s consumers.

Did you know that..

Social Networks Influence 74% of Consumers’ Buying Decisions

Not only am I speaking for myself, but also for the other 74% of society, when I say that social media content influences a hefty chunk of judgement whether to buy a certain product or service. Money is valuable, and when I’m going to buy something other than an everyday item, I want to have facts and opinions! I want information from users of the product or service themselves. I’m tired of fabricated content from companies, because in all honesty, we all know the objective is to sell and make money, right? Right. Therefore it doesn’t matter if the product or service being sold is in fact, going to provide you with the results the ads claim they do. That’s when you hit up social sites to see what other people have to say!

For Example, I was in Shoppers Drug Mart the other day trying to find a shampoo and conditioner that will solve my problem of dead ends and breakage. The thing is, after scanning the bottles lined up brand after brand, I started to realize that a majority of the products offered all stated the same things… So here I am debating on which brand to choose from. How am I supposed to know if L’Oreal would be better than Head & Shoulders? I don’t. Problem solver: Google about it, find a discussion group or blog post because trust me, I highly doubt I am the only girl who has experienced this contemplating brand problem… thing.

Jennifer Beese from Sprout Insights states that on Twitter 53% of consumers recommend companies or products through their tweets, and 48% of those follow through with the intent to purchase that product or service. This is a great way for people to find information regarding certain brands they have an interest in. In further detail, in terms of listening, businesses are using consumer insights in 80% of sales and merchandising decisions. So in other words, the businesses that you tweet, blog or post about care about YOUR opinion! Who better to critique better than a consumer.

Jenniffer Beese also mentions that as consumers increasingly turn to the internet to search and review products, ODM Group believes that by 2014, 53% of total retail sales will be affected by the internet. That’s clearly more than 50% of the population! Clearly social media is doing something right.

Snip The Rich, I say.

In today’s world society revolves around competition. Everybody’s objective is to be number one, to be on the top of the list. You want everyone to like you, and to be popular amongst your observers, right? Right.

The same goes for webpages found on Google’s SERP, also known as the search engine results page. But how are we going to ensure that search engine users will have an interest to click on your webpage? Well, that’s simple.

When we’re so occupied juggling school, jobs, extra circulars and a social life, all we want is efficiency. It’s unnecessary for things to take longer than they need to, it can be frustrating. We want to keep the little things in life simple.  Am I right?  Like browsing the web for your favourite Artichoke Asiago Dip or Saturday night Sangria recipe.

With the amount of content and data that is continuously being generated on a daily basis, it is important for a search marketer to ensure websites are observable and understood by search engines, at the same time providing valuable and relevant results to the searchers.

A Rich Snippet is structured data! And structure is very good when it comes to search engine optimization. I found an article on Search Engine Watch called “Structured Data: Content, Rich Snippets & Authorship vs. Author Rank” which gives excellent insights in regards to the efficiency and accuracy of having a rich snippet for your search result.

Let’s go into further detail. A rich snippet is essentially well… what it sounds like. It’s a rich chunk of information in the snippet below each listing on a SERP. Its purpose is to assist the searcher in determining if the search results were relevant, and how relevant they were. This saves the searcher from having to click on the link itself, and browse through the webpage. It also provides the viewer with information that is engaging, important and precise in relation to the content provided on the webpage.

“Using a rich snippet is a great way to stand out from your competitors, through interaction such as star ratings, photos, authors, prices and more”

– content blogger Jim Yu of “Structured Data…”

Take a look at the rich snippet example below.

See The Difference?

See The Difference?

You can easily tell the difference, and are attracted to, the search results that are accompanied by rich snippets including appealing content and visuals, versus the first result.

A little goes a long way in the world of search engines. I told you, it’s all about efficiency!