For the majority of websites, you'd swear the content evolved from a pool of mud. So how do you become a supreme content guru? What resources are available for writers, PR professionals and marketing managers? What do the experts recommend? And, what are the benefits? It is well known that quality content delivers a significant return on investment (ROI), so where should you focus? Content can be considered in two categories: primary and secondary. Primary Content Vehicles
- Blogs: Without question, blogs are one of the best methods for adding frequent and fresh content to your website. Setting up a blog is relatively easy. Managing the content and marketing the blog is hard work that requires a talented blogger and management resources. A comprehensive management plan, which clearly outlines your goals, objectives, and available resources (labor), is highly recommended.
- Press Releases: Studies prove well designed and managed PR campaigns are very cost-effective, especially for those using Internet marketing channels. Our previous post here provides additional info.
- Articles: The frequent publication of articles has always been an effective means of promoting yourself, your company's services, and now your website. Articles published online should be less than 800-1,000 words. If you think your article needs to be longer, it doesn't – write two articles (i.e., Part I & II). One of many article publishing website services is ezinearticles.com
- Testimonials: Almost any testimonial is good, but testimonials that define the issue faced by your customer followed by how your service or product solved that problem are excellent.
Secondary Content Vehicles
- Expert Q & A Section: You know the questions, the answers are valuable content for several reasons: they attract new prospects, help your existing customers, and convey the message that your company employs the experts your customer seeks to fulfill their needs. Here's a sample Expert Q & A page for AVONEX (MS therapy).
- Product & Service Reviews: Using reviews works best when you add customer-to-customer content and/or quote customer feedback. Does anyone really care what the company's marketing department thinks about the product? Amazon.com was one of the first to include customer generated product reviews on their web pages – the rest is history.
- FAQs: Pay attention to the questions your customers are asking and provide the answers. Avoid the mundane as well as complex issues. FAQs should be short and sweet. Reserve the more complex issues for your Expert Q & A section.
Creating quality content is hard work. First and foremost, you need a keen understanding of your target audience. What do they need to know and what do they want to know? How can they benefit from the content you are providing? Consider the following:
- Know your target audience, get customer feedback, conduct surveys. A free and easy site to use for basic surveys is Zoomerang.com
- Segment your prospect lists and customer databases, prepare content for each target segment and avoid generalizing to be all things to everybody
- Write multiple versions of your press releases highlighting different keywords in the title and body content; the customer controls the search and different people use different search terms to find the same solutions
All content you add to your website should be focused on increasing your reputation in your field. Time is required to establish a reputation, be patient and persistent. Once you establish a reputation for providing quality content, others will syndicate your work and your business will grow rapidly. Additional Resources TechCrunch, written by Michael Arrington is a classic example demonstrating the power of quality content, read Blogging for Dollars. Why Quality Content is Key for Search Engines is a special report from the Search Engine Strategies conference, Feb 28 – March 3, 2005, New York, NY. Gerry McGovern is a proponent of website content. He has written several books such as Content Critical and The Caring Economy. Visit netconcepts – Stephen Spencer Interview with Gerry McGovern for more. There are numerous other resources. Do you have one you recommend? If so, please leave a comment and we'll share it with our readers. Thanks!