As with any business decision, content creation needs to provide a positive outcome. Whether it’s viewed through ROI, lead generation, public perception, or any other business metric, content must be viewed as “valuable.”
But what, exactly, does “valuable” mean when creating content? How can you take this area of business and show value? Here’s a checklist of ways content can be valuable to your organization – when working through its creation, make sure to use these points as a road map to ensure you end up at the most valuable end result:
How Content Provides Value:
- It speaks to an audience group which has a strong connection to your organization or your offering. The first step in creating any valuable content is to clearly identify to whom your organization should be speaking. Target audience identification allows for you to pinpoint your content planning to best cater to what your audience wants to see. The old method of quantity over quality has fallen by the wayside. It’s not enough to just produce a lot of content and hope some of it resonates – efficient content creation is what becomes valuable to you and to your audience.
This is because the more targeted and efficient your content is, the better return it will have with less effort on the back end from you. Not to mention, when someone visits your content page, they will be more likely to trust your organization if they see posts that are relevant to them and to the business.
- It improves search rankings and SEO. Online search is moving quickly toward becoming the most important way for prospective customers or clients to find your business. Consistent and quality content is a major factor in search algorithms, as it not only shows search engines that you are a legitimate business, but also provides positive input for the algorithms’ domain authority ranking calculations.
Search engine optimization (SEO) goes hand-in-hand with content creation rankings, moving your brand up on the pages and giving you a more likely chance to be seen online. Users are very unlikely to go past the first page of search results, and often aren’t going to scroll to the bottom of the first page. Therefore, in order to have consistent website traffic driven by search, your SEO must be strong enough to move you to the top-half of the searches related to your company.
- It establishes your business as a thought leader. You want people to visit your website – that’s a given. But how to do that? Alongside strong SEO and search factors, one reason audiences will seek out your organization is if they believe you are a knowledgeable leader within your industry. Content drives this perception.
There’s a content model called the E-A-T concept, which stands for Expertise + Authoritativeness + Trustworthiness. These three words, if brought to life through strong content, will make your business rise above as the go-to source for knowledge and information. Expertise is built through finding and working with subject matter experts within your organization to create insightful content that brings value to the reader. Once you’ve done this over a period of time, you can begin to build Authoritativeness, where quality of content is recognized by others and spread as such. Finally, Trustworthiness is the final piece of the puzzle, and comes only after Expertise and Authoritativeness are firmly established. Simply put, if readers see you as a thought leader, they will trust you and what you have to say. Once your site visitors show trust and search your content, so will the search engines, which in turn drives website traffic.
- It drives new business or creates new leads. Chances are, your industry is crowded, with multiple businesses vying for the same customer pool. So how do you separate from the pack and stand out enough to bring these potential customers or clients to your site? One way is through content. As mentioned above, valuable content drives thought leadership, online search rankings, and other lead generation tactics. These create new opportunities for your business development teams, who are then armed with strong leads who come in with information about the organization and an expressed interest in your product or service, putting them ahead of the game.
Strong content is also an effective step in the sales cycle and can be included in various stages. Whether it’s using content at the start of the cycle to bring in leads or used down the line to move them along and provide additional information, strong content can be implemented as a valuable tool for business development.
- It inspires action from the reader. Once your audience has found your content, consumed it, and trusted it, what next? Valuable content includes the answer to that question in a way that inspires the reader to act in a way that benefits you.
Clear call-to-actions can be included throughout the content, which guide the reader to the next step, whether it’s a link to find out more information on your website, a place to input their contact information to start a conversation, or a direct link to a purchasing page.