Content is a buzzword when it comes to enhancing your company's SEO (Search Engine Optimization).
Content (in particular, GOOD content) is the gift that keeps on giving. It can be shared, liked, forwarded, starred, bookmarked, +1ed, retweeted, and so on. When your content is in an active state of being passed around, it means good news all around for your SEO. In fact, according to Searchmetrics, 7 out of the 10 most important factors in SEO ranking are coming from activity on social media websites: Google+, Facebook Shares, Facebook Total, Facebook Comments, Facebook Likes, Pinterest, and Tweets. Facebook Shares alone are found to be as influential as a backlink.
So, how does a company actively create social-media friendly content? Here are our tips:
1. Make a Content-Building Strategy
Developing your content building strategy begins with an understanding of what your company would like to (and be able to) offer the community. Ask yourselves this series of questions:
- What are my potential customer's needing help with, and how can I help them?
- What kinds of content are they likely to share?
- What form does this content come in (i.e. videos, articles, Facebook promotions, contests)?
Having an answer to these basic questions or by working with a content creation specialist will help steer your content campaign in the right direction.
2. Make a Social Media Strategy
Now that you know what kinds of awesome content you're going to be creating, its time to figure out how to best promote it. Ask, what social media sites will best display my content, or even better, where will my best prospective clients be?
We typically suggest almost all of our clients use the big 4: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn. Other social media sites, however, may also be well-suited to promoting to your specific company's attributes. If you sell a product, for example, maybe you'll be well suited on image-based sites like Pinterest or Tumblr. Many companies find value in using services like YouTube or Instagram, especially since they are highly compatible with other social media sites.
3. Set a Schedule for Content Development and Social Media Promotion
Frequency and consistency are at the absolute core of a successful content-creation marketing venture.
In other words, a blog with 5 posts one week and none for the rest of the month is unlikely to gain a following, as social media trust is developed on the base that you will continue to provide good content in a timely fashion.
So, set a schedule for your content development and be very strict with it. Blogging once a week is a good place to start, and twice is a great place to grow.
From there, coordinate your social media activity based primarily around your content. Services like HootSuite can be a great way to schedule out your social media activity on multiple different social media websites in advance.
4. Stay in Touch With What's Popular
Staying connected with what is going on in your community of professionals is a great way to be an active participant in the field yourself. Developing your content with an idea what kinds of buzzwords will trigger interest for your online audience (and for search engines) will do some of the promotional work for you. You can stay connected by setting up your own RSS feed reader with a program like Feedly, that helps compile blogs you want to read in one area.
Staying connected with the trends also comes in the form of the ever-popular "#hashtag" (aka, a way to self-label your post in a category, and an instant way to discover other posts with the same hashtag). Knowing what hashtags are trending is a great way to gain some readership. Sites like Social Mention can help with this, or you can use TweetDeck's program (optimized for Twitter) which will suggest hashtags that are popular.
5. Blog. (And then blog some more.)
Here are some great stats from SteamFeed to consider:
70 percent of people would rather learn about a company through an article than advertising.
68 percent of internet users spend time reading content about brands that interest them.
80 percent of U.S. internet users interact with social media sites and blogs.
If you haven't gathered by now, blogging is the #1 way to consistently and effectively contribute fresh content to the scene. In fact, we have previously discussed that as the number of blogs you have written increase, so does your inbound website traffic.
Blogging is a solid way to give your company a voice, and to establish your company as a relevant, knowledgable, professional source of information. We have an extended article on how to become a blogger for those who are starting from the ground up.
6. Send out a newsletter
Newsletters are are great way to provide your clients with a digest of all of the content work you've been doing. Services like MailChimp are extremely user-friendly, and provide great tools for compiling your information in a professional, eye-catching way. Don't forget to integrate your social media channel links directly in the newsletter!
7. Remember: SEO, Content, Social Media, Blogging, Hastags and beyond are ALL Interconnected
Just like no person is an island, no part of your process is either. The beauty of online content creation is that it is easily re-distributed and connected to every other element of your process. SEO is directly connected to your activity on Social Media, just as your Social Media success stems from great content. Integrate every part of your process together when you can.
This is a lot. And it can be, often is, overwhelming. We can help. We do all of these things with our clients, for our clients, and we can do the same for you.
If you're having a tough time getting started or want assistance with some element of your own content creation process, send us an email or give us a call. We'll be glad to assist you!
Find Jason Finn on Google+.