In August 2014, Lexis Nexis and AMA teamed up with SEO.co CEO Jayson DeMers to present this Webinar for over 1,000 registrants across the marketing field. Watch the recorded Webinar right here, right now!
Speaker Names: Anthony (Interviewer) and Jayson (Respondent)
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Anthony: Good afternoon or good morning everyone. Thank you so much for joining us today. My name is Anthony Solace and on behalf of the American Marketing Association, I’d like to welcome you to today’s webcast sponsored by LexisNexis, entitled “How To Create Content Your Audience and the Search Engine Will Love.” We here at the AMA provide you with this webcast as one of the many special programs offered to the marketing community and we invite you to participate in this ongoing series of free web seminars to help you drive the greatest return on your marketing investments.
This informative webcast features some of the most expert minds in Marketing and you can see the fullest of the upcoming webcast if you go to ama.org/webcast. And just a few housekeeping items to cover today before we get started we are recording the full presentation and it will be made available to use very soon after so you can go back and revisit all these great information that you’re going to receive. Uhm, if you are able to join us on Twitter today we would love to have your participation at hashtag create better content. So feel free to send out some great tweets as you learn from our speaker today.
Otherwise you can go and revisit the conversation and engaged in it after the webcast. And if you have any questions as the presentation is going on, please use the chat feature that you can see to the left of your screen. Any technical questions you might have, you can enter it there as well and we’ll respond to those as soon as possible. And content related questions, we do encourage you to enter those as the presentation is going on and we’ll be addressing those at the end of the formal presentation.
So now this is my great pleasure to introduce our speaker for today. We’re being joined by Jayson DeMers who’s the founder and CEO of SEO.co. And Jayson is the author of the e-book, The Definitive Guide To Marketing Your Business Online and a writer for Forbes, Huffington Post, Entrepreneur and many more resources. And Jayson will be sharing a lot of really great information with you today so with that I’m gonna turn it over to him to start today’s presentation.
Jayson: Great. Well thanks a lot Anthony. Hey everybody! It’s a pleasure to be presenting to you today, how to create content that makes your audience and search engines love you. Let’s go ahead and get started. Our agenda today is gonna be, starting by discussing a few truths that not everyone realizes about content and content marketing. Then we’re gonna talk about how to figure out what your audience wants and needs and how to publish content that fits those needs. And finally we’re gonna end with a Q & A session.
So let’s begin by discussing some little known truths about content marketing. We all hear about how content is king but not content is created equal. Low quality content actually has a negative effect on branding. Most people think of content as being text, written words. But content actually comes in many forms. For example, a live speaker at a seminar is content. This webinar is content. Podcasts, videos, images and graphics are all content too.
Number three is that not everyone creates their own content so sometimes you can outsource your content creation to your audience or to your contractors. We’ll discuss that a little bit more.
And the fourth is that content marketing is a huge buzz lately, we all know that and that’s why we’re all here but content marketing has been around for as long as marketing has been around so it’s not a news.
So let’s start by discussing quality. So what is quality? First of all, quality is essential because if content is low quality, it won’t do you any good. In fact, it will likely have a negative effect on brand, traffic and conversion rates if you have low quality content. And this is actually the number one most common mistake that I see business owners make is they think that they’re doing a content strategy, but in reality they’re really doing more like a negative content strategy because their content sucks.
So if your content is not high quality, you shouldn’t be publishing it. So how do you know if your content is high quality? Well, does the piece support your brand values? Is the format appropriate? Does the format offer a doorway into your blog? Is the content targeted to the right audience? And does it provide value? And that last point is really the key point. Does the content value?
So, I actually wrote a much more in-depth article about this which was published at Forbes two days ago. You can see the link in your chat bar right now, so save that and visit it later but that covers uh really all of the points that I think are super important for high quality content. So refer to that when making a content to make sure that your content is really high quality. Okay, so the second truth about content marketing is that content marketing comes in many forms, not just text. So let’s cover a few best practices and a few ideas for content creation in multiple forms.
First of all, like I said, investing quality over quantity. Second, you’re gonna want to define your ideal persona and what that means is, who is your target audience? What are they like? Are they male? Are they female? What’s the age demographic? What’s their income? Think about these things when you’re producing content. Start with that before you publish content. You need to understand your ideal persona. Look at product trends in your niche or industry.
When you publish content, use high quality images. Images are actually very important for search engines which as you know are very super important in getting organic search traffic. Keep a list of the industry statistics and research. And if you can find that publicly available, great. But if you can create primary data or research from your own audience, that’s even better. Think about responding to a controversial article or video in your industry. Giving your own unique perspective, analysis or expertise or opinion. Ask your readers to submit a story. Reader or audience generated content is fantastic and many brands use their reader-generated content. Talk to key figures in your industry. Everybody loves to see quotes from industry leaders or figure heads. See if you can reach out to influencers of your industry and get their take on something and publish your unique perspective from those influencers.
Think about creating an infographic of what’s hot in your industry right now. And a little bit later we’ll get to how to figure what’s hot in your industry. Ask a question to people across your field and get many people in your field to respond to that one question and publish that, publish that compilation as an article.
Write a post inspired by a comment that was left on your blog. If the comment is controversial, that’s even better. Always keep a notepad to jot down content ideas when it comes to you. This is the big, very simple but valuable kind of tactic. Personally, I just like to use my iPhone; when I get an idea I write it down my idea in my iPhone. If you work on a desk and have a pen and paper, you know that’s fine too but when you have ideas, don’t let them slip away.
What I find is that the best ideas come to me when I’m not even trying to think about content ideas. And then those are the ones that really hit. Think about compiling a top 10 resource list for your niche. I’ve seen many companies that did this with huge success. Basically creating curated content and publishing it on your website is a fantastic way to take content that’s already been written but add more value into it.
Learn about user focused content strategies which I discussed a little bit earlier. Find relevant sub-topics that your visitors will want to read about and i’ll discuss here in just a few minutes how to find those relevant sub-topics. And then finally, relate a popular movie to your specific industry. You can do this with music too, basically any existing popular content that you think you could relate to your industry. You’ll get a lot more popularity with that content.
So, you have an idea of what kind of content to create but how do you actually create it? Let’s take a look at some of my favorite tools that you can use for content ideas and creation. So, ubersuggest, which is usually findable at ubersuggest.org is a keyword tool that will take one keyword and give you a bunch more ideas. And it’s based on Google’s auto-complete functionality. So when you type something into a search bar in google, and you, you know how it kind of recommends how you’ll finish your query.
What this tool does is it takes as many of those kinds of auto-complete as it can and it compiles them into one list for you so it’s fantastic for ticking one idea and getting a bunch more. Google offers a few great tools for content creation.
The keyword planner, google trends and google webmaster tools are all excellent sources of content ideas. So, keyword planner, I don’t have the URL handy for you, but if you go to Google and just type keyword planner, it will be the top result. The Google Keyword Planner is their official keyword tool and it’s generally used by adwords or pay per click professionals but you can get it for using ideas for getting content creation ideas too. So, what you do is you’re gonna type in a keyword and you’re gonna get 800 more that are related to it and these are based on real searches that people are typing in Google.
Google trends is another great tool which I highly recommend you check out. It’s gonna give you years of search finding history with any given keyword along with related keywords. So it’s good for checking the popularity trends, trending topics, make sure that you are finding a trending topic that will be popular with your audience.
So, in the screen shot example here, you can see that I searched for dog food. So Google gave me data on that since about 2005 and to now. So you can see that people are typing dog food slightly more in Google than they were in 2005. I don’t know the reasons for that. Maybe that people are buying more dogs. Maybe people are using the internet more to buy dog food. But either way, you can see that it’s climbing in popularity. If you look at the lower screen shot, you can see that Google Trends also suggests some related keywords that people are searching for and kind of how popular those searches are. So you can see that best dog food is a very popular keyword right now.
Blue dog food, which I’m not sure what that would be, maybe that’s a brand or something. And a lot of people are looking at dog food reviews. So, you can get a lot of ideas here on content. For instance if you’re a company that sells dog food, publishing an article that kind of files all of the best dog food reviews and selecting the best dog food could be something that your customers will find interesting. Granted it would be hard to be unbiased on that. Nonetheless, it would probably get a lot of search traffic.
You can see that people are searching for puppy food, so you know, an article that specifically related to what puppy food is best could be a popular topic. People are interested in natural dog food, you can kind of go in to what that is. And maybe an article that covers the dog food recall or recall that has happened. So anyway, these are some examples of ideas that you can get from google trends. Fantastic tool.
So the final google tool that I wanted to talk about was google webmaster tools. In fact, anybody with a website should have this set up. It’s the much more than just keywords or content ideas. But for content creation purposes, its search queries page gives you all the ideas of search queries for which you’re currently showing up in Google Search Results, how often they’re showing up, how often your ranking for that search query and what the click through rate is. So, how often what do people actually click on your results. So you can use it to get ideas of what google thinks you’re already pretty relevant for and improve those ranking pages. You can also use it to find ideas for what your audience is searching for on Google and create content prefectly solved for the problem or need.
So in this screen shot, you can see a real example from my own website, SEO.co. You can see that the keywords that people are searching for which the website actually appeared in a search result. You can see the number of impressions as the number of times that SEO.co appeared in a search result so that query gives you a number of people that actually clicked it. You can see the CTR which is the percentage of people that searched and clicked it. And you can see its current position that its currently ranking on google.
So, obviously the website is ranking for its own brand name, but for other queries, it tends to be somewhere in the top 10. So it’s very interesting data, very useful data, and it can help you come up with content ideas. If I was looking at this set right now, I can use these keywords and already find some great ideas for content to publish. The third keyword says iframe seo and the fourth says seo iframe. Clearly, people are searching how iframes affect seo. So that would make a great article, how do iframes affect SEO. That right there would be my title and that would be a very popular one. As a matter of fact, the next several list of keywords have to do with the same topic so clearly, something that my audience is very interested in. So, you can see that people are searching for things like toxic backlinks, SEO hosting, how to check indexed pages in google, Some of the things that people are typing in Google would actually make great titles in themselves. So, use this tool to find content ideas and get more data about your website.
So, these were the three google tools I wanted to point out, but let’s move on to some non-Google tools. Portent has a great title generation tool that helps you generate title ideas for articles and blog posts. So you can play along with that and you can get some title ideas for your next blog post. I don’t have the URL handy but if you just go to Google and type portent title generator or idea generator, I’m sure it will pop up number one.
So, of course, primary and original data analysis always makes for a quality valuable content. So try conducting a poll or other primary research that can give you the original data that you can publish along with analysis. Some examples of research that you can do include compiling a comprehensive list of indstry’s statistics and research. You can publish a top 10 research list for your niche. You can try to predict trends in your niche or industry.
And by the way, that is an extremely popular kind of what you can do for content. Last year, I published a series of articles on Forbes that recalled the top 7 trends that will happen or that will dominate 2014 and I published it at the end of 2013. So for instance, one of the articles was titled top 7 social media trends that will dominate 2014. Another article that went viral and it actually has over 600,000 views now. So if you can imagine that kind of traffic coming into your site and you know the kind of leads and revenue that it will generate, you can see the value of that type of content. The predictions are always very very popular.
Finally you can analyze the news of correlations and trends and then give your expert analysis or your take on it. So in the end, you wanna ask yourself one important question with your content: do you find value in what you’re publishing? If you don’t think there’s value in your content, don’t publish it. Like I mentioned at the beginning of the presentation, the most common mistakes I see that business owners make is publishing low quality content because they think it’s gonna help their search engine rankings and they really ignore how that content looks to a person, to a human. They just think about the search engines. So not only are they wrong about that content helping their search engine rankings but even if they were right, nobody would convert once they got to the website anyway if the content is low quality.
So it really comes down whether you think your content is valuable as the business owner or as the marketer, as the content marketer or whatever your role might be in the content marketing space, you need to really ask yourself that question. Do you think this content is valuable in quality? So, let’s say that you have created and published high quality content. What do you do next? Well, one of the things you should do is re-purpose it. So, you can easily re-purpose text based content by visualizing the information it conveys using an infographic. And there are a bunch of free infographic template sites that allows you to easily create infographics based on popular existing templates.
If you haven’t seen an infographic before, essentially it’s just an image that is attractively designed that conveys visual information. Usually, infographics are based on data and statistics so it’s easier to create them once you have, kind of metrics, or, or a quantitative data. However, I have seen infographics created based solely on text or qualitative data. And so it can be done and it can work very well. That’s something to keep in mind.
Another example of re-purposing is actually in an e-book that I’ll be publishing shortly at my company website, SEO.co which is titled The Definitive Guide To Social Media Marketing. It’s compiled of my best previously published articles on social media marketing which I previously published across publishers like entrepreneur.com, forbes, huffington post, and the like. I simply compiled them all into an e-book which puts them all in one place and provides great value for my audience and my readers. So I’ll be publishing that within the next week or so. But I wanted to point that out because it’s really a great example of re-purposing content. It’s already published articles that are available but they’re all scattered across the web so if you put them all into one place, you create new value, you create new content, and you can use that to leverage traffic, leads and sales.
So, remember, I’ll point this out again because this is the number one mistake I see business owners make so I can’t say it enough but in the end, the true test of quality is you. If you don’t think your content is awesome, don’t publish it.
So, that was my presentation. If there’s anything you can think of that I missed, that you found super helpful in your value of content strategy, I’d love to know it. Please submit a question and what we can do is go ahead and move on to the Q and A and we’ll get started with questions. I really appreciate it, you guys.
Anthony: Excellent stuff. Thanks so much Jayson I appreciate it and yup, we’re definitely moving in to Q & A now.
Want more information on content marketing? Head over to our comprehensive guide on content marketing here: The All-in-One Guide to Planning and Launching a Content Marketing Strategy.