Shawn Joshi is an online marketing professional at Vovia, specializing in SEO. Shawn loves basketball and is often told he sounds like Isaac Hayes... "Oh yeah, baby".

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Not-So-Clumsy Content Creation: Creating Value, Not Noise

valueIf you’ve been watching the Vovia blog lately, you’ve probably noticed that we’re talking a lot about content marketing as a way to not only build links but to drive conversions and improve your reach online. That said, it can be hard to define what makes content “valuable” – just saying that it should answer pain points of your audience can be too vague as well.

Let’s discuss what’s needed to create content that offers true value to your visitors.

Know What Your Audience Wants

There are many ways to uncover what kind of content your audience is looking for. However, there is one that is the most effective:

Ask Them! 

Surveying your website visitors, past clients, and prospects is a great way for them to tell you exactly what kind of information they’re looking for. This way you know, without a doubt, what topics to create your content around.

If you’re considering a content idea, one of the best ways to determine whether or not the piece will be a success is to pitch it to the audience you ultimately want to share it and find out whether or not it’s something they really want.

Analyze The Competition

Take a look at websites and blogs in your industry and see which posts are getting the most comments and social shares. A post with a high amount of comments and shares is an indication that the subject is something your audience is passionate about!

Don’t just focus on the main industry blogs – dig a little deeper into the lesser known blogs as well. This list will serve as a source of inspiration when coming up with the topic for your new piece of content.

Watch The News

Make sure you’re keeping your finger on the pulse of current events in your industry. Monitor current events by setting up Google Alerts that ping you whenever a particular topic is discussed in your industry to stay abreast of everything that’s going on. People respond to timely posts; especially when you can add value to the conversation.

Tap Into Conversations

Another great way to gauge the interest of your audience is to listen in on their conversations:

  • Visit forums and message boards related to your industry and view the most active forum threads. This is a great way to seek out those hidden gems and controversial topics which really light a fire in your audience.
  • Look for public discussions on places like Twitter. People often vet frustrations or share positive experiences via social media – you’d be surprised how many are already talking about your niche.
  • Analyze the keyword data from your Google Analytics account, looking for queries that begin with “question words” – “who, what, where, when, why?” – These are the inquiries that brought people to your site.
  • Glean from your industry experience. What are the questions clients are always asking? What are their frustrations with your industry, product or service?

You’ll need someone with a keen eye for quality content when deciphering if a topic is worthwhile. Having an experienced SEO on your side is vital for this aspect.

Choosing Your Content Medium

Content comes in many forms. There are your classic blog posts, articles, videos, infographics, comics, and more. But which format is best for your audience? Would they rather watch a video than read an article? It’s best to understand that some topics are better presented in certain content mediums.

For example, if the topic is process-oriented, it’s a good idea to use a video format or a short post that presents an ordered list. These topics can often require visual assistance, so videos and pictures are both great assets to leverage – especially if the competition hasn’t done so.

On the other hand, if your topic includes a lot of statistics or information that is lengthy and difficult to sift through, an infographic can make this content more digestible for audiences than a wordy post.

There are also financial aspects to take into consideration as well. For example, creating a quality infographic has considerable cost when compared to a simple blog post or article (which will cost nothing but time if you write it yourself) – but this can be justified if the end result is better for the audience you’re targeting.

Be Deliberate; Be Tactful!

Your content marketing efforts will be a bust if you don’t focus on creating value for your audience. Discovering what your audience is looking for need not be a taxing problem if you know where to start looking! Be deliberate and tactful and, above all, plan a strategy and execute with confidence having done the research. Content marketing doesn’t need to be intimidating, but it ought to be well thought out!