Content marketing is an invaluable tool in reaching the ever-expanding online community. Enhancing your current strategies can make your outreach efforts more successful.

With most traditional marketing means (e.g. print media and trade shows) struggling to maintain relevance in the digital age, businesses can take advantage of content marketing to push brand awareness and generate leads. It paves the way to establish strong social connections, reinforce customer relations, boost sales, and ultimately, grow your business.

While other marketing techniques put emphasis on the sales of products or services (like distributing flyers on the streets or airing ads on TV), content marketing focuses on providing potential and existing customers with useful and relevant information. The goal is to answer questions and help your audience solve certain problems. Doing so establishes your company as the authority and expert in your niche market.

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Writing Quality Content

Effective and quality writing is easy to read and understand. It gets your message across without putting hurdles in front of your audience. Below are a few simple rules you can follow to create strong content visitors to your webpage will appreciate:

  • Be clear and concise

Your message is the focal point. Stick to what your readers want to know. Keep it simple and straight to the point, staying clear of flowery language or highfalutin words. Don’t use “deleterious” instead of the simpler term, “harmful” or “ameliorate” in the place of “improve.” Though they may sound more “intelligent,” such words can interfere with audience comprehension, and alienate some. Additionally, if you’re educating readers, avoid the use of obscure and highly technical terms only experts in the same field can understand.

Break ideas up into easily digestible parts and use bullets to draw readers’ attention to important details.

  • Use proper grammar, punctuation, and sentence structure

The wrong choice of preposition, an incorrectly placed comma, or an awkwardly phrased sentence can confuse readers. No matter how interesting or important the subject matter is, bad writing technique can take the attention of your audience away from your main points, costing you readership or causing a visitor to the page to “bounce.” Proofread your work (or hire an editor to improve upon the writing).

  • Avoid ambiguous superlatives

Excessive use of superlatives is really only suitable for “clickbait” material. Terms like “the best,” “high-quality,” “amazing,” and “unique” are some of the go-to buzz words on the Internet. However, they can leave content feeling cheap and insubstantial if not supported by material details.

Aim for specificity. Instead of saying “the best,” indicate the awards or accolades your company has received. Rather than “amazing” or “unique,” mention specific and distinguishing attributes of your products or services.

  • Pique interest with a compelling introduction

Grab the reader’s’ attention. Hint at the benefits of reading your article. Indicate in no more than two sentences what the article covers and its significance. Identify any problem/s your readers might be facing or any inquiries they may have. Do not repeat the title, but make sure you mention the most important points in the first few sentences.

  • Tell stories

Stories sell. The art of storytelling has existed since the dawn of mankind, allowing humans (past and present) to communicate, to instruct, to warn, and to entertain. Humans are programmed to connect with and relate to stories and their tellers, a phenomenon known as the neural-coupling effect. Storytelling adds persuasive power and makes your content more memorable.

Establishing Credibility

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The online marketing scene is growing and becoming increasingly competitive. The cutthroat digital scene — combined with the new algorithms and guidelines Google released — makes establishing credibility crucial. The new guidelines highlight the significance of prioritizing E-A-T (expertise, authority, and trust) principles to gain a solid placement in the search rankings.

Enhance your credibility by taking note of the following:

  • Use information from reputable sources

Doing your due diligence by scouring the Internet for information is only half the battle. Identify authority sites and rely on them for facts and updates. This includes content from known authorities like:

  • government agencies (.gov)
  • prominent online newspapers and magazines
  • reputable medical journals
  • university sites (.edu)
  • studies
  • books
  • Cite sources

Besides avoiding copyright issues, citing sources allows you to borrow from the authority of known experts. Cite and/or link to the original source of information instead of a report or article about it. Quote statements properly. Do both sparingly and only when absolutely necessary so as not to divert audience from your message.

  • Include data from research, studies, or surveys

Reinforce the details in your content by citing specific information from research, studies, and surveys. Including particular facts and figures trustworthy sources will support your message and solidify main points. Add a hyperlink to the name of a study or statistical data, for example, so readers can verify the information. Use this with caution, however; it is meant as a reinforcement and not as the primary message.

  • Interview field experts

It’s simple. We are hardwired to trust leaders. Experts have established themselves as authorities in their field. They are specialists who know all the ins and outs of their chosen niche. Getting their thoughts or opinions and having them contribute on specific subject matters will add substance, depth, and perspective to content. It can initiate buzz and usher in opportunities for conversations with your audience.

Reaching out to experts and interviewing them can be challenging, but is a worthy effort. Take the time to find the right expert for the chosen subject, contact them (via formal business letter, email, or phone), schedule the interview, and be prepared with relevant and interesting questions.

  • Fact check

The sheer amount of data available online has caused many to become wary of misleading content. A single inaccurate piece of information can negatively affect your status as an authority in your field. Your audience might lose confidence in your company, doubt every piece of data you’ve shared, and search for more accurate sources — likely your competitors’ websites.

Use fact-checking sites like Snopes.com and FactCheck.org to maintain your credibility so your audience continues to rely on you for information, updates, and services.

  • Create fresh content and update the old

Google determines freshness using the Quality Deserves Freshness (QDF) algorithm to give users the most up-to-date results (which include current events and trending topics). Don’t fall into a rut by rehashing old and exhausted subject matters. Use Google Trends to help you identify hot topics related to your industry to help you create new content or to update old ones.

The bottom line is to keep your audience engaged, build credibility, and establish your brand as an authority in your industry. Amplifying your content marketing game can help you boost lead generation and sales, making way for the growth and expansion of your services. Whether you choose to hire in-house content managers or outsource your campaign to first-rate SEO services in Markham, Toronto, or other areas in Ontario, the benefits of proper content marketing make it well worth the time investment.