01 Jun 0
From a marketing standpoint, the game changes every week, but from a writer’s standpoint, this is the part of the job that can stay a while. Every year, a writer must stand back and look at their work, especially if that work is written in a high-profile niche. This year, I’ve taken some time (it’s already March!) to look at my words and how they work for my clients and myself.
Words seldom change meanings, but how people perceive those words change, among other factors that may gain you an audience, or send them running for the hills.
What can you change or learn to be a better writer, content specialist, or content marketing professional?
Writing and Marketing Tools
How many of you have spent hours searching and researching marketing and writing tools to help you with your job? I’m assuming everyone raised their hands. I certainly did.
I found Grammarly last year. I’ve always been the type of old fart that wrote in complete sentences with proper grammar and punctuation in texts and social media posts, but it helps with mistakes I don’t catch here and there. Grammarly is essential for not sounding stupid when you are writing any type of words on the internet. Tools like these will help us track ROI, distribute important information to existing and prospective customers, create better content, and enhance the overall customer experience whilst making your job easier. What does any of this mean for the client / customer?
Audience Knowledge and Experience
More people are becoming more aware of what’s good and what’s not just by how your content is structured and worded. I’m not talking about the armchair bloggers that blog once every six months and fancy themselves ‘experts’. I’m talking about the people that read every single day. Honestly, it’s safe to say they are experts at reading important information.
Ease of use is one of the biggest priorities your digital content needs to have. I guarantee if you were to go back through all your digital media and the structure of your site, blog, etc. you’d find plenty of places to improve upon within the site.
Your content may need an overhaul as well. Everyone wants evergreen content (content that stays relevant for a long time). Sometimes though, it needs to be edited to stay with the times. Have your writer put some fresh words in your content to keep it smelling fresh.
It is no longer possible to fool the people of the internet with shoddy material. Sure, click bait won’t go away anytime soon, but if you want to have a legitimate site or blog, you want to stick with the facts and know what you’re talking about. You’ll be called out on it so fast you’ll consider deleting your site and blog a minute into publishing it. Yep, those internet ninjas are that fast. They don’t mess around.
The Future of Search Engine Optimization is Premium Content Clusters
It used to be that a writer or website owner could get away with having quantity over quality. Google, Bing, Yahoo!, and other top search engines have created their algorithms to search for the best content possible for the people using the search.
If you want to be a successful writer, you need to be updating your content frequently, but also inserting all the right words that have to do with that topic to be relevant to search engines.
Content Clusters are simply a bunch of topics that revolve around the same topic or piece of information. For example:
- Main Topic: Pizza
- Subtopics: Veggie Pizza
- Homemade Pizza
- The History of Pizza
- Pizza in Famous Cities
The list can obviously go on and on, but you get the idea. Having a drop-down menu on the top of your website can give many subtopic filled pages for people to get their information from. Those are Content Clusters.
Google and others are using smarter machine learning to actually engage with the search queries instead of just searching for keywords, and as time goes on, it’ll get smarter. Having these clusters will tell Google and others that you are an expert on this topic and it is safe to put your website in the search results.
All the other SEO work you or a company you’ve hired has done will help determine your rank in those results. So, the fight for SEO is not only getting to the top, but it is now getting in the results, period.
Staying Up-To-Date on SEO, Content Marketing, and Writing Strategies
This seems like a no-brainer, but it goes deeper than you think. I’m going to touch on more of a client / customer perception of brands before we all understand how using different strategies that might’ve worked in 2016-17 will hurt you, your business, your brand, your reputation, and ultimately your revenue if you continue to use the same strategies in 2018.
The relationship between the average person and a brand has deteriorated so much because of scandals, corporations doing awful, scumbag things just to make a buck, not having their customer’s best interests at heart, and making products and performing services that have gotten worse over the years.
A company can consistently advertise and brand themselves as ‘the best, most competent company’ to perform a certain service, but people aren’t listening to those advertisements and marketing ploys anymore.
In 2018, companies are finally realizing that they need to come back down to earth and focus on how they can help their communities by providing good products and services people need. Real engagement, compassion, commitment, stifling greed, and being honest is going to take over in 2018, especially with writing and content marketing.
So, once you become a good person, if you aren’t already, you can now focus on staying with the times and changes to stay ahead of the game and the competition.
Doing research and networking with authoritative entities in the business isn’t something you’ll be able to put on the back burner. It needs done yesterday. Marketing as a whole is changing day-to-day, so knowing what direction you’re going is probably a good idea.
If you’re a seasoned writer working for clients that demand adaptive writing strategies using keywords and formatting that you aren’t used to because they’re new, then you need some remedial training.
As a writer, you should have made some friends throughout the years that you can turn to for help. If you haven’t, you might want to take a look at your personality, as it might suck. People are generally nice, and willing to help, so do your best to network and research authoritative websites on the web for the newest information.
Dynamic Content is on the Rise
Social media isn’t slowing down, so you probably already have all the platforms integrated into your marketing plan, but static posts are a thing of the past. People want to see videos, live channels, group chats, and stories you can post on some platforms.
Dynamic content is just a faster way for people to digest information in the fastest possible way, even though it can never be of better quality or more informative.
But, if you balance your live feeds and stories between keeping them relatively short and being super informative, you may just find that you found the way to grab a ton of potential clients / customers.
Relevance is Crucial
The internet is full of click bait and garbage today. Tomorrow, it’ll start getting cleaned up with better content. You can stay ahead of the trend by writing and marketing better quality content that is relevant to right now and in the near future.
I’m not talking about politics, movies, or music album releases. I’m talking about emerging trends, information that matters, a new, intelligent opinion on a topic that matters, new information about technologies, and millions of other topics that help people become more informed, smarter, and better equipped to make decisions in their everyday lives.
If you claim that to be your overall goal you want your content to reach, you’ll be in great shape going forward into 2019.
Creating a Following
If you’ve done any research on building an audience online or a following on social media, you’ve read two sides of an argument that shouldn’t even exist.
Some people will tell you, emphatically, that building an audience is a waste of time. I’m pretty sure by this point, you made a face like: “why would people say that? That’s stupid.” And, you aren’t wrong. If people follow you, they care about what you have to say. That’s huge in a world of 7.7B people. If people sign up to your email lists, they care about the information you give them. That’s huge. Do not take that for granted.
On the other hand, their argument is that building a following to which you disseminate information to have a habit to not make you any money. You’ll have to decide that for yourself. I subscribe to things just for the information, and I don’t buy a single thing from them, and I’m positive you do too. But, if you don’t engage with your base, they won’t care about you, because you don’t care about them. And the chance of them buying something is forever lost.
Learn to make your content make you money. I have never had a client that has fired me, especially for a lack of revenue the content generated, directly or indirectly. That’s absurd. Your content should be making you tons of money. If it isn’t, either make your writer adapt, or fire them and hire me. I guarantee revenue increases as well as customer / client increases.
Format Your Content for the New Internet
The new internet has settings that can cripple your chances of showing up in the search queries or having your ads show up in a feed.
Ad Blockers are becoming the bane of advertising companies’ existence. I personally can’t get enough of Ad Blockers. I love them and I hope they get even better. If you want those little programs that smash your ads into oblivion to leave your ads and content alone, completely do away with pop-ups, ad boxes, light boxes, or any other super annoying pop-up box.
They don’t work anyways. If your site has pop-ups, get rid of them immediately. People aren’t seeing them at all anymore. Whatever information or user engagement boxes are present in the pop-ups can be used elsewhere on your site.
Also, and I know I’m not quite practicing what I’m preaching here (to be fair, I could write thousands of more words on this particular topic, so it’s short to me), you should do your very best to keep your content short.
If you can, give out information in little bite-size pieces frequently, and people will respond to that in a positive way. Especially if you are marketing towards younger folks. Their attention span isn’t short, like most people say, they just have better things to do if your content is long, boring, and it sucks. These young people are the smartest people the world has ever seen. Don’t underestimate them.
Alright, there you have it. If you abide by these adaptations, or rules as I call them now, you’ll be well on your way to gaining more customers, followers, and people will be more open to giving up their hard-earned money for your products or services.
Remember though, these tips, tricks, and trends are to be added to your current knowledge and strategies, not to be confused with ‘replacing’ your current plan. Every business is different, so you’ll have to dig deep to adapt and overcome using the right amount of a part of your strategy in order to succeed.