Paid ads do really make things happen even in the digital market. But a majority of internet users just find them distracting especially when these are played in the midst of a video content they’re watching. It is one of the main reasons many computer users use ad blockers. They want to prevent ads from getting in at what they do.
Ad blocking has really gained popularity these days. It is manifested by the 10% increase of people using this content filtering application in a span of six years. This implies that whatever is your budget for using paid ads, your target audience may not be able to see them for the simple reason that they can be blocked.
In this sense, it would be prudent for business website owners to implement content marketing solutions that can effectively go through to their targeted audience.
Meanwhile, another form of technology, the voice-enabled search is taking shape lately, and it became more popular with the proliferation of smart phones. More than four million voice assistants are being used in the digital world to date. It’s ability to provide automatic answers to users’ queries is certainly a factor that can lessen the appeal of written content.
It is quite tempting to say that written content could lose its appeal to internet users – unless these are written by someone who is an authority on the subject.
As a content marketer, you don’t want to be part of statistics in the future. For this reason, you must strive to keep your content appealing even with the advent of new search technologies.
How would you do it?
Even with the presence of new computer search applications, your written content would still be able to catch the interest of internet users – if you write your content like a real master of your topic. Additionally, you should learn and master certain content marketing skills to make your articles engaging.
You don’t actually need to be super talented to learn content marketing. You only need to identify and understand specific skills and practice them consistently until you have mastered all of them. You may also hire a competent content marketing agency to do the work while you’re still at the learning stage.
Here are 17 effective content marketing skills you need to master to win the attention of your target audience and achieve greater brand success:
Audience Data Gathering
Even if you’re sure that your content is super compelling, you should know who you want to share your content with. Otherwise you won’t be able promote your brand to the right people.
Knowing your audience isn’t enough. You should also learn what they want to know. From here, you’ll be able to produce content they’ll love. Here are five things you need to do to learn more about your target audience:
- Find out who’s paying your website a visit through Google Analytics. This application can give you important information about your site visitors including names, gender and age.
- Visit Quora or Reddit websites to know what people want to know about your niche. Analyze their sentiments and discover what they want. This will help you to understand your audience deeper and allow you to create content they’ll value.
- Use software like Buzzsumo to learn how your readers respond to your posts. Do an in-dept analysis of your top performing posts to find out the qualities that made them appealing to your readers.
- Interact with your audience by responding to their queries in the comment section of your blog. Analyze your most engaged posts to discover the factors that made your content appealing to your audience.
- Speak to your audience like you are talking to a friend. Know them well to be able to create a more personalized response to their messages.
Expertise of the Topic / Topic Experts Interviewing Skills
Anyone can write, but not everyone can catch the attention of people we plan to write our content for. You should be an expert on the subject matter you are writing about to win the interest of an audience.
Talking about expertise, does it mean that you need to be a doctor to write articles about health?
While being an expert at your topic is a great help, it doesn’t mean that you should be a holder of a university degree on a particular topic to be able to write something about it. You can actually produce authority content about a certain subject by mastering a very useful skill – interviewing topic experts.
Interviewing experts may be the shortest route towards composing a great content. But to be able to produce content your audience would love, you need to observe specific interview guidelines in order to get interesting answers. Always be guided by the principle that the value of information you receive depends upon the quality of questions you ask.
Here are a few guidelines that you need to observe when interviewing topic experts. These can help you to get seamless and informative answers:
- Be prepared. Good preparation and planning is the best thing you can do to succeed in any endeavor you want to pursue. When conducting an interview, you should know what to ask from the expert in order to get responses that make sense. This means doing a research about the topic and preparing a list of questions that are intended for real experts.
- Ask open-ended questions. Stimulate your topic expert’s excitement button by asking questions that will keep them talking for long periods.
- Arm yourself with a strategic outline. This can help to keep you within the topic during the interview. It’s also a sure way for you to ask about niche-specific information your audience would certainly love to know.
- Record the interview. This helps you to keep up with the pace of your conversation. It can also allow you to go back to make sure that you are taking every important point your topic expert has shared during the interview.
- Ask for clarification. If you feel that there’s something you don’t quite understand about the topic, don’t hesitate to ask. It’s a way for you to understand the subject better and deeper. It also allows you present it to your audience in a better, more understandable way.
Always remember that when conducting an interview, show your resource person your genuine passion for the topic. This can stimulate him/her to share more valuable information about the subject.
When you write random content, its like you’re firing a gun in the dark. You don’t really know what you’re aiming at. Its really a waste of time. When writing content, be sure to do it with a specific goal.
Another thing you should keep in mind when writing content is make sure that each piece of content you write is associated with a specific goal. While most forms of content are geared towards marketing products or services, there are some which are intended to accomplish other objectives.
But regardless of your posts’ individual goals, you must be able to maintain a particular aspect common to all: Quality and authority that wins the trust of your audience.
Fancy for Uniqueness
Competition is real in the virtual market. Every marketer is doing his best to drive visitors to their website. But if you can create content your audience can’t find anywhere else on the web, your work will have the best chance of attracting your target audience.
But with hundreds of articles on a given topic, how can you come up with a unique content?
- Spy on your competitors. To be able to determine what to write, you should know what your competitors are doing effectively and determine what you can inject or add into your own content to make them better.
- Present your content in a unique way. Facts can’t be changed or twisted. Because of this, you and your competitors may have similar stories to tell. Make your story different by packaging it in a different manner, including some extra information that’s unique to your brand.
- Be consistent with your style. Many people read not just because of the information they can get from an article, but because of the way the author presents his ideas in written form. Remember, whatever is your manner of presenting your content, they should always carry your own personal style.
- Being unique in presenting content is a good thing. It gives your audience a feeling that you know more. But you don’t need to go too far with it or end up turning your audience off.
Excellent Keyword Research
Keywords play a big role in keeping your content highly visible online. They work to keep your content relevant with information people are searching online.
Do you know the right keywords for your content?
- Long-tail keywords. Long-tail keywords are more specific to the searchers’ needs. They have a higher tendency to offer information certain searchers want to know. As such, they have a higher possibility to drive traffic or prompt readers to act.
- Low competition keywords. Keywords with minimal competition are beneficial especially to smaller websites or online brands. As much as possible, go for keywords that carry a score lower than 50. For as long as these keywords are relevant to your website and content, your website will have a fair chance of getting exposed at the top of search engine results pages. Using tools like KWFinder and SEMrush can also help you to determine the right keywords for your content.
A Passionate Voice
If there’s something that’s impossible to fake, that would be passion. In the world of content marketing, passion can give you success but its absence can also make you fall.
Would you like to know why?
There’s no substitute for passion. Readers will have a way to know you don’t really care about what you’re saying. And when they sense it, they’ll simply go away.
When writing content for your website, you should do it with passion. It is something that creates inspiration. It convinces your readers to develop interest in your story and know you better. After a while, they’ll start to align their beliefs with yours and give you their trust. That’s all because they see passion in the things you do.
Make your work leave a mark in the mind of your target audience. Make passion a major aspect of your content creation. Write only about topics that are highly important to you and your audience.
Superb Editing Skills
As a content marketer, you must be an excellent editor. Always remember that grammar and typos aren’t the only things you need to check when writing content. Write with your readers in mind and understand how they consume content. This allows you to format your content to make them more informative, readable and scannable.
The Ability to Empathize
If you are able to understand your readers and feel what they feel, then you are an excellent content marketer. These are the faculties that can allow you to get to the heart of what makes your readers tick.
Empathy allows you to connect to your audience in a personal way. Its effects will create ripples that can translate into increased conversions, improved user experience, and raised motivation on your part to make your website a wholesome place for your audience to visit.
How can you show empathy?
Empathy is the ability to understand the feelings of others. You can only empathize with your audience if you are able to understand their desires and know what they want. Once you have this ability, show empathy to your audience through a well-defined persona then go directly to their heart by way of well-crafted content that provide answers to their questions.
Again, you need to know your audience well to be able to empathize with them. Know what they want to know by monitoring their questions and comments and give them your answers by crafting articles that are intended to solve their problems.
Superior Research Skills
As a content marketer, it is your primary responsibility to find ways to satisfy your audience’s quest for answers to their questions. As you know, you will have no other way to fulfill this need but to provide them with thorough, well-researched and carefully planned content.
Good Understanding of SEO and Inbound Marketing
Knowledge in SEO and inbound marketing is vital to the visibility and ranking of content in search engines. But how can you amplify your online visibility?
Here are some solutions you can consider:
- Establish relationships with popular industry influencers. They can help to amplify your content’s visibility and improve your opportunities to expand your reach.
- Write crisp targeted meta descriptions and meta tags
- Understand the importance of headings, subheadings and unique URLs
- Produce quality content that’s primarily intended for people and not for search engines
Social Media Expertise
Content marketing doesn’t revolve solely on killer content creation. It is a combination of many aspects including audience identification and content distribution.
As a content marketer, you should be able to find avenues for distributing your content to maximize their reach. One of the best ways to make this happen is to establish a healthy social media presence and by calling up as many followers as you can.
Once this is accomplished –
- Connect to your social media fans and contacts by way of well-timed posts that are designed to provide valuable information
- Promote your content organically and via paid local social media ads
- Keep yourself updated with changes in social media algorithms. They can have a significant effect on your visibility
- Monitor the comments of your followers and respond to them in a timely manner
- Conduct social surveys to learn what the majority of your customers want.
- Learn social listening to know the goings on in your social media circle. It enables you to formulate long-term solutions based on customers’ comments and feedback. It can also help you to discover new ideas and find ways to improve customer experience.
Strategic Content Planning
A consistent connection with the target market is an important aspect of successful content marketing. Consistent content marketing involves updating your website with fresh content on a regular basis. Make this possible with lesser pressure on your part with the help of a content calendar.
A content calendar is a written schedule of exact dates and times you want to publish upcoming content. It can prevent you from posting redundant content and help you to keep your site updated with your latest information.
If your website is relatively new, you won’t have much problems coming up with new topics for your content calendar.
But if your website has existed for quite some time, it’s highly possible that you will run out of topics to write about. This can keep you scrambling for new topics, but if you are really well-versed with your niche, you can simply get one or two of your older content, repackage them and inject new ideas for your audience to learn. Be creative.
Ability to Optimize for Voice Search and Artificial Intelligence
The capability to respond to voice search is a major breakthrough in information technology, and it is especially popular with smartphone users. According to a projection from ComScore, in 2020, 50% of all searches will be done through voice search. That said, content that are optimized for voice search get better chances to be picked by Google to answer searcher queries.
There are different ways to optimize content for voice search. However, these two are the most popular methods you can consider:
- Use whole questions in your content. One way you can optimize content for voice search is by putting whole questions in it to make it responsive to voice searches. This is affirmed by a report from Google which says that 41% of people imagine that they are talking to a person when they speak to their voice assistants.
- Structure your content in a way that makes them ready to be featured in snippets. Voice search is an advanced feature that eliminates a user’s needs to enter a website to get his questions answered. Google will take care of this task through its voice assistant. The amazing thing about this feature is the answer can be taken from your website. Optimize your content more by dividing it into H2s and H3s with your keywords embedded in them.
Ability to Use Links Effectively
Links play an important role in your site’s content.
- Links to high authority sites on the same niche help Google understand what your website is all about
- Links to other pages in your website lets Google know which of your site’s pages are important
- Links of content that offer great value are often tempting to influencers.
To determine the quality of a link, analyze it with Alexa’s free site analysis tool. A site’s rank that is lower than 100,000 is a fair indication that its link is a good candidate for your content.
Ability to Measure Content Success
The skill to associate metrics to content is essential for every serious content marketer. In fact, many website administrators use it as a part of their content marketing solutions. It can help you to determine how your content fared in the virtual world. Here are three things you can check to measure the success of your content:
- Email click-through rate. If the links on your email series are clicked on by recipients, it’s an indication of something worthwhile. Check the emails and take note of things that make this content different from the rest.
- Bounce rate. If people leave your site without clicking through to the rest of your pages, it will result in bounce rate. If this happens more than 70% of the time, it’s an indication that your content is not engaging enough to convince visitors to stay. In short, it’s time to improve your content.
- Scroll depth. If people leave a page, scroll down to the bottom after reading your introduction, or stop reading at a certain point in your page, you should consider making improvements to your content.
Excellent Google Analytics Prowess
Google Analytics is a critical tool any serious content marketer must learn. It allows you to gain insights at what’s happening in your website and enable you to leverage its power to analyze the data it provides you with.
Good Google Analytics skills enable any SEO, content marketing agency or digital marketing staff to delve deep into the performance of various metrics of your web pages including page views, conversions, bounce rate, and social referrals. It is also able to let you know which pages of your website are getting reader attention and which are ignored.
If you aren’t a master of this immensely powerful tool yet, you should strive to learn it because it is extremely useful. There are lots of places to learn Google Analytics for free. You should take advantage of this opportunity.
Content marketing is a powerful vessel that can take your brand to high places in search engine results. But you’ve got to do it right. Otherwise it will just be a waste of your time, money and effort.
Content marketing is not about flooding the web with random blog posts or web pages. Rather, it’s about making sure you’re giving your audience what they want. It’s about talking to them like a real friend, and being unique in the vastness of the virtual universe.
Content marketing is about keeping up with the latest trends in technology, not to leave your audience in mid-air but to serve them the best you can.
In Colorado, we offer effective content marketing solutions to businesses who aspire to excel in the local market. If your business is one of these, call us at (303) 466-3055.