7 Reasons It Kills to Have Awesome Content

What Makes a Good Infographic chart by DashburstIn the music world, a one-hit wonder is a group that hits it big with one song that rises quickly in the Top 40, but then that group is never heard from again. Think Pseudo Echo’s “Funkytown,” Calloway’s “I Want to Be Rich” or Billie Meyers’ “Kiss the Rain.” Being a one-hit wonder is great in the moment — you get tons of attention and make a little money — but most singers would rather have a career like the Beatles or Madonna, who produce consistent hits that stand the test of time.

So it is for content marketing. It’s easy to become a one-hit wonder with a fluke infographic or video that goes viral. But it’s much more rewarding to offer consistently impressive content that remains relevant a week, a month or even a year from now. Among the many arguments for high-quality content, the most convincing is the many long-term benefits of using this strategy. Investing in content can pay off in a plethora of ways, not the least of which is more sales. In fact, 90 percent of consumers say that custom content is useful to them.

Here’s a look at seven reasons why it’s worth offering awesome content and how that strategy can work for you.

1. Increase Your Search Engine Presence

It stands to reason that the more content you put out there, the greater your online presence. And the greater your online presence, the more chance there is that someone will come across your site on Google. When you’re publishing lots of high-quality content, that’s a lot of information for Google to crawl. Make sure you are optimizing it correctly, which will help you show up in results more often. On average, a site with a blog boosts indexed pages and indexed links by a whopping 434 percent.

Some high-quality content you may want to consider publishing:

  • Blog posts
  • Studies
  • Infographics
  • Videos
  • White papers
  • Podcasts

 2. Offer Link Bait

It only makes sense: The cooler the content you publish, the more people will want to link to it. Link bait is essentially anything that is so compelling, so unique and so interesting that it draws people in, and prompts them to link to it from their own sites. There are many forms of link bait. “How Tos” and “Ultimate Guides” are two approaches that tend to get a lot of link backs. Infographics are also a rich source for link bait.

3. Build Trust with Your Potential Customers

Advertising is a proven way to raise awareness of your business. But if you want to really connect with consumers and teach them what your company is all about, content marketing is the best approach. Seven in 10 consumers say they would rather learn about a company by reading articles than through an advertisement. Your content should convey not only your mission statement, but the essence of what’s important to you and your business.

For instance, CJ Pony Parts is in the business of selling Mustang parts to collectors. But its owners are also car enthusiasts who care about Mustangs, as reflected in their recent infographic The Reveal of the 2015 Mustang, which demonstrates the company’s giddy excitement about the new reveal.

 Mustang infographic

4. Grow Your Newsletter

Part of creating great content is training people to look to your company as a source for great information. When you consistently offer new information, unique perspectives and invaluable advice, you’ll have people clamoring to get your newsletter so that they never miss a post. As a business, this is valuable because you have a greater chance to reach out with them through newsletter posts, and thus also a better chance to close a sale.

5. Drive More Social Shares

Loose Threads infographicWhen you post something that is out of the ordinary or has popular appeal, you will get more shares on social media. People like to show others the things that make them laugh or make them think. When your content engages them, they will want to know what others think about it, too.

One smart way to do this is to piggyback on a topic that many people are interested in, such as a pop culture event. For instance, rehab center Clarity Way had great success with an infographic about “Breaking Bad,” the popular AMC drama. The Loose Ends that Could Unravel Walter White went viral in 2013, getting tons of traffic from Facebook and StumbleUpon shares. Plus, a pop-culture-focused topic like this is just fun to produce.

6. Increase Your Social Following

Not only will you earn more social shares with top-notch content, you’ll also build up an audience of loyal followers who want to hear from you. Think about your own social media accounts. You follow people who have interesting things to say and who share information that you want to pass on to others.

By sharing blog posts, studies and infographics, things your followers can’t find elsewhere, you’ll establish yourself as an expert in the field. And experts tend to have a huge social media presence. Just look at Moz. The search engine optimization site has established itself as one of the top-shelf experts in the field by publishing engaging and informative stories, and that’s reflected in its social media. Moz has 287,000 Twitter followers and almost 146,000 Facebook fans.

7. Close More Sales

Ultimately, closing sales is what your business is aiming for, and you can achieve that goal by employing smart content marketing strategies. This approach helps turn visitors into customers, especially when you employ sales-driven content, such as:

  • Product pages
  • Product content blogs
  • Product awareness surveys
  • Sales training presentations
  • Product digest emails

The Smart Approach to Marketing

There are many benefits to offering high-quality content to your customers. In addition to establishing your company as a thought leader in your field, it can also pay off with greater sales, increased social media reach and a boom in newsletter subscribers. Just make sure that the content you’re producing is actually high quality. Pumping out oodles of low-quality blog posts and mediocre infographics is not going to have nearly as great an impact as smart, well-researched content.

How to Create Awesome Linkbait

linkbaitContent marketing is a bit of a blunt instrument. It’s a number’s game, after all, designed to boost metrics like site visits, conversion rates and Shares, Likes, Tweets and Pins. You might not always feel like there’s a lot of subtlety at your disposal when you create marketing content, but the truth is a little more complicated. The very best content marketing is capable of doing two things at once: (1) Contributing to a rich marketing campaign to entice prospective customers and (2) Offering something of real value to the audience.

The word “linkbait” might sound at first like something exploitive or cheap, but the fact is that its place in an effective content marketing campaign is assured for the foreseeable future. Here’s a look at why that is.

What Is Linkbait, Anyway?

Linkbait can mean the difference between content that’s “just okay” and content that just begs to be shared, right now, with everybody. The name itself might be unpleasant; the word “bait,” after all, is an integral part of phrases like “bait and switch.” The good news is that there’s nothing inherently dishonest or exploitive about linkbait, despite the relatively inelegant name.

In fact, the Internet is full of editorials from experienced marketers that give linkbait their wholehearted endorsement as a sound marketing practice. To put it simply, linkbait refers to a type of content that readers will be compelled to click on, because they expect it to benefit them in some way. Linkbait can take many forms, but the endgame is always the same: to entice readers to click a link with the promise of high-quality content. Of course, delivering on that promise is another story entirely.

What Does Linkbait Look Like?

If you want to take advantage of linkbait as a method of capturing the public’s attention and loyalty, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with the types of linkbait that are at your disposal, and take a look at which ones have proven track records.

Some of the very best linkbait out there are articles that promise to teach the reader something. As a result, articles with “How To” or “Beginner’s Guide” in the title can be highly attractive.

In addition, readers are always on the lookout for useful resources about the topics they’re interested in. Consequently, another type of linkbait you should consider is an extensive resource list, such this one, compiled by 12 Keys. Because they maintain this list, they have gotten many high-quality links from universities, health organizations and other health institutions. If linkbait is about offering the best of the web, then turning your website into a valuable and credible resource for readers is a great way to ensure not only that they return again and again, but also that they’re sharing your resources with their friends and family.

Quality linkbait can also be highly visual. If the information you hope to pass on to your readers is numbers-based, you’ll probably want to spend a great deal of time thinking about the best way to visualize your data. A great way to go is to build an infographic. Infographics offer an uncomplicated way for your readers to learn about your brand, the issues that matter to you or the values that you stand for.

Is Linkbait Future-Proof?

As one of the driving forces behind content marketing strategies, Google has a tendency to make the SEO and marketing worlds nervous any time they introduce a change to their search algorithms. Most of the time-honored SEO practices are still alive and well, but with each algorithm update, Google has propelled us closer to the end of link building as we know it.

While link building is still alive and kicking, it’s our approach and even our very definition of the practice that needs to change with the times. That’s where linkbait comes in.

Link building is the process whereby quality online content is encouraged to go viral. Marketers take advantage of the influencers in their niche and their own contributions to social circles and online communities to distribute their brand across the web. The thing is, Google is actively forcing content marketers to pursue more organic approaches to link building. Linkbait, coupled with a sound social media campaign, could prove to be that missing link.

No matter what Google does, and no matter how radically they redesign their framework or their algorithms, high-quality content will always be the order of the day. Where and how that quality is shared is changing, however. Today, quality linkbait thrives on social networks like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, where passing on a piece of content that inspires laughter, thought or self-improvement is as simple as hitting the Share, Retweet or Pin button.

As marketers, we’re the ones who get the ball rolling. Fortunately for us, the tools to do so are already available. Thanks to Google, Facebook and the rest of the Internet giants, we really don’t need to actually build a new framework. Instead, the task that falls to us is as straightforward, albeit somewhat difficult: to use our creativity to provide something compelling and valuable for our audience.

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