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Content Marketing 101: The “How” and “What” in Content Marketing

The internet has become a junkyard for content marketing. One too many people create content just for the sake of having content. Very few do it for the real reason you should be doing it, that is to offer value.

Sameer talks about “what” kind of content you should be creating and “how” you should go about it.

Content creation and content marketing should be a strategic process. It shouldn’t be random and definitely not impromptu. The more well thought-out your plan is, the higher the chances of making content marketing work for you.

Transcript – 

Today I’m going to talk about something really interesting that people are fascinated about. And they don’t really mastered. It’s a difficult thing to master.

How do you create killer content? How do you create content that really stands out?

There are dime of dozen people in the market creating content every single day. How do you match? How do you beat your competitors?

How do you beat everybody. Everyone’s calling of your attention.

Everyone’s calling of for your reader’s attention.

How do you make sure that you are the one who’s always step ahead. How do you make sure you capture reader loyalty. That’s important.

So what I’m gonna talk about is a process, a framework, that you can follow for creating content in a smart and strategic manner.

So here we go. Content creation very broadly, you break it up into a WHAT and a HOW.

Now let’s talk about the WHAT.

What kind of content can you create?

Now, lets talk about, first thing that you have to keep in mind is that every piece of content that you create should offer value.

That’s a given. I’m not going to restate that, although it needs restating given the amount of content that I see coming out on a daily basis where they don’t offer any value.

So, you need to offer value. And keep that in mind when I cover specially the first point. Because everything that you’re offering, you’re essentially offering it to a particular buyer or a particular reader.

He fits in a particular industry. So you wanna keep his interest in mind. his persona in mind.

So, when you are thinking about what content you should develop, think about what his needs are?

What are the questions he asked? What are some things and problems he has that you wanna solve?

Those are all the kind of things that you’ll need to think about.

And there are many ways to go about that. 

Best way of course is, interacting with your users directly and finding out from them.

But if that’s not possible, check out, what your competitors who are targeting the same persona are doing.

It’s very important to get that right.

Because if you’re writing for the wrong audience, you might get the best content, you might get the best amount of traffic, but you might not get the right traffic.

You might not get the right audience.

So, be smart about what you create and are you creating it for the right buyer, the right persona.

So, once you’ve got that right, then what kind of things should you keep in mind?

What do you write about?

You could cover trending topics. You could use tools like …… BuzzSumo, you could use tools like even Mondovo helps to a certain extent where you can identify what kind of topics are trending in the market.

If you had to use BuzzSumo, you’d enter the keyword. And you will see a list of top content that is shared socially with it’s highest social impact.

Similarly, you could even do a Twitter search, do a Facebook search. See what kind of content comes up basically.

That might give you ideas.

There are many times you want create content for the purpose of SEO.

And it could be a blog content, it could be website copy.

But what’s important is that when you’re coming up with content for SEO, there is also, it’s usually if it’s for the blog then you want to make sure that blog post offer enough value as well.

But if it’s for website copy, then don’t just keep SEO in mind, because that page is gonna be a landing page. And users are gonna come to it.

So if it’s website copy, it has to serve a purpose where it has to mark it or educate.

So keep that in mind.

So what content you create if it is for SEO, don’t think just about SEO, think about when the potential user lands in a page, is he gonna see value basically.

Then you could write about news, you could write about educational stuff, and you could scout many forums and communities in your space where you could get many ideas basically.

For our own industry, I usually refer to Quora, I use forums like Warriorforum, I go to the Moz community.

There are many such communities and forums where you can see what people are asking, you get inspiration for topics you can write on.

So, when you’re deciding the What, look at the persona, look at trending topics.

When you’re writing for SEO, keep the value in mind, if you’re covering news events, timely events that have happened in your industry, keep that in mind.

Educational content is important because there is only so much value that you can offer through an article.

Sometimes guides, resources, useful ebooks, they all come in handy to a user.

So you want to diversify your What.

Now when it comes to the How.

How do you go about creating your content?

You’ve identified what you wanna create.

How do you go about it?

The first thing you do is  whenever you’ve identified the kind of topic, you do want to confirm whether there is enough search volume, whether there is enough demand for the keyword.

But it doesn’t mean that you stop.

If you find that a keyword that you are targeting may not or the topic that you’re targeting may not necessarily have search volume, it doesn’t mean you should not write it.

Because I’m assuming that whatever you write should always have a  captive audience.

You’re gonna build email list, you’ve gonna build users around your product, around your brand.

So, first thing you gotta consider is will they find it useful.

This is useful for especially when you’re writing topics for SEO.

Definitely you want keyword research to confirm your keyword bias.

Are you targeting the right word?

When you’re writing content towards a persona or a trending topic, because the trending topic the search volume might just be picking up.

Even the tools might not necessarily pick up the trend if you’re really ahead of the curve.

So keyword research is important when you’re writing about SEO, educational or Q&A.

Because those are the things that you wanna keep in mind to confirm that you are on the right track.

You want to optimize for keyword which has enough substantial volume.

And whatever topic you are, irrespective of the keyword research, I would strongly suggest to do a top ten analysis.

See what others are ranking for when you search for your target terms.

So if you are targeting if you are writing content on how to go about content creation or how to go about content marketing, what I would do is I’d first  go to Google, see the top ten results, see what they are ranking for, what kind of content they have developed to rank for that resource, and make sure that I try to match the quality I should not only beat the quality, I should essentially try to see what attributes are working for that piece of content.

So a top ten analysis when I say is not really seeing the structure of the content, the tone, the tenure who shared, who are the influencers, who are the authors, you might find patterns. So its important.

Think of your tone. Do you want to keep it conversational? Should it be technical? Should it be formal? Can you add humor?

But why I’m saying is this because when I talk about tone, I mean personality as well. Personality should come across, your content.

It shouldn’t be bland, it shouldn’t be very dry, if you know what I mean.

So this is important if you are telling your write to write, tell him to give some personality. Add examples.

Always I prefer conversational content or content as if you’re speaking to the users, you could be a very formal brand that could be a strategy. but still in every situation there is always a way to add a bit of jazz to your content.

And personally for me whenever  we write content for our site, before actually getting down writing it, I always prefer thinking about the title.

Because that usually can change the whole tone of the article. When u think about the title, the catchiness of it and how specific you can get it down to, that really changes the structure of the article.

So if you can first try to finalize the title, and then come up with the broad outline, and then get down to writing it.

Don’t just jump into writing an article if you wanna be smart about it.

There are many people who just writer , but I think that it’s always smarter if you have a plan in anything. And this is important, this is very very important. You do not write for everybody.

If u r writing u r writing for very very specific segment of audience basically.

So if there is a real estate site, and he is writing an article he want to write article on his blog, he would cater to very specific segment. like he’s writing an article about how do you negotiate agreement with a potential landlord for some $1000 properties.

So basically, I meant you are keeping a particular persona in mind trying to narrow down the niche, narrow down the segment, because your content will resonate more, with that audience and they will tend to share it more.

You do not want to be too broad. You do not want to be too generic. That is good for news, that is good for educational, but if you want content to really resonate with your audience, keep this in mind. Narrow down to a niche if possible. 

Always a niche is a specific set of audience, segment of audience is much better then generalizing an writing for everybody. Doesn’t work all the time.

Consider your format options. It’s important you do not need to necessarily write an article all the time.

When you are coming up with your title. When you are coming up with an outline, if you really do this, you might really figure out okay the best way I could communicate with this information could be via an infographic or may be  a slide show of which you could post on Slideshare or even on your  blog, that could make a lot more sense.

You could even post a video like what I’m doing right now. I thought that the best way to communicate this piece of information was through a whiteboard what I’m saying. Because as much as I would like to write all this down, I thought the best means of communicating this to you was through a video.

You could do an e-book, conduct an interview with a potential influencer or an industry leader, and the space that you’re talking about.

Or could even be a white paper, but consider your format options. Because you want to make sure that whatever content you offer, you have  diversity.

Every reader of yours some people might prefer videos. Some people might prefer ebooks, 

Of course the best option to do it convert every piece of content that you have into multiple formats.

So like what we’re going to to do right now for this video we are gonna transcribe it and make it an article as well and if possible may be we could even make a slide show out of it. I don’t know.

But it could be done. And it might be done as well. So do check out our post after this video is published.

So there you go, keep value in mind, do not add to the junk of the internet, the internet has become a junkyard for content. We do not want to create a content without the content calendar, without a plan. Make sure you target your personas, and make sure you think about how you go about it.

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Sameer Panjwani

Sameer Panjwani is the CEO & Founder of Mondovo.com, an online marketing toolset that helps you track your rankings, monitor your site stats and research your competitors'. A man of many talents, Sameer occasionally writes about social media marketing, content marketing and SEO. In his free time, he loves reading about the latest trends in SEO as well as spending time with his two little daughters.

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