Your marketing needs in-depth, branded content
By Gery L. Deer, CEO
Back in the day, one of the most common methods of search engine optimization (SEO) was to simply repeat keywords and phrases in up to 5-percent of the content of an article. Today, search engines simply ignore unnaturally occurring, repeated material. Modern algorithms have been modified to be more effective in how they target consumers, which means you need relevant, usable and, above all, well-written branded content.
Branded Content can be utilized within many different media, from general web copy and blogs to feature articles and mass-distributed newsletters. The purpose is to promote the product, service or company while educating and entertaining the audience.
In many respects, well-crafted branded content can give your audience a more direct look at the expertise, even the culture, of your business. It helps to build confidence while creating credible exposure. Content can be developed from a variety of sources including news and information related to your industry, answers to common customer inquiries, or even spotlight special features of a product by helping the audience understand the problem it solves for them.
Before you begin, research your existing customer base to find out what people want to know and create your initial material with that information. Take note of commonly asked questions, product and service issues, new breakthroughs or trends in your industry, and so on. And, it can take many forms and across all media – it’s the perfect omnichannel marketing tool – from written content and public relations releases to podcasts and videos. You’re not limited to blogging.
How often to release branded content is often debated among SEO experts, much like everything else related to the subject. Of course, if you ask 10 SEO “experts” the same question you’ll probably get 10 different answers, so don’t believe everything you read about the subject. Here’s our take on it.
It can be difficult to create regular content while ensuring consistency and relevance. At least one weekly content release is generally sufficient, followed by shorter, related posts daily on social media. Which begs the question, how do you ensure good content? It is in your best interest to hire a professional writer or at least an editor, particularly someone with SEO and marketing experience.
Believe it or not, everyone can’t be a good writer. Correct punctuation, good grammar, and proper language usage are all important to the consumer, even if they don’t realize it – and don’t let anyone convince you differently. It might not seem so, but all it takes is one misplaced comma to destroy the meaning of a sentence and your point will be lost. Trust us when we tell you, clean, clear, grammatically correct writing will make you stand out from today’s text-driven shorthand. Install the free version of “Grammarly” on your browser. It’s a grammatical and spelling checker that, while not foolproof, can really help prevent major errors.
Being thorough in your research and development of your content is vital as well. Become a journalist! Learn to write in the third person (i.e.: he, not I; they not we). Remember the basic questions and make sure you answer all of them within your article: Who? What? Where? When? Why? How? And, if you quote an expert individual or another website, be sure to cite that source with links to their page. Cross-linking will benefit your website in the long run.
Recommendations on article length will vary. Articles of less than about 500 words are probably a waste of time. If you’ve done your due diligence, it would be nearly impossible to offer in-depth content in fewer than 600-1200 words without padding or fluff. Begin by writing a sentence that establishes the main idea of the article. Everything that comes after must support that first statement using well-researched background material, examples and conclusions. Keywords are still important but, if your work is thorough, they will appear naturally within your content and be far more effective.
Once you start posting new content, you’ll want to enhance your exposure and search ranking on social media. Make sure you provide the means for readers to “LIKE” and share your content on all social media outlets including, LinkedIn, Google Plus and Facebook. Pay close attention to the traffic your site is drawing. Also, where you post is important. Write pieces that go, not just on your website, but also on LinkedIn and other online resources.
Use your web host’s tracking utilities to see what content is most popular and from where the hits are coming. If you don’t know how to make use of it, contact your web developer and have them run regular reports for you. Also, keep a record of your link distribution methods and analyze your procedures compared to the tracking results. Repeat those practices that result in higher traffic and abandon the ones that show fewer results.
Finally, the quality and consistency of blog (and website) content cannot be overstated and helps build confidence in your brand. Setting your blog apart from millions of others requires good planning and an attention to detail. Everything is scrutinized by readers and by your competitors so make sure your content is well planned and useful to your audience. Follow these basic steps and be patient because it takes time to develop a following. But once you do, your traffic will skyrocket and so will your sales.
If you need assistance with a Branded Content Strategy, GLD Enterprises Commercial Writing can help! Call (937) 902-4857, or email firstname.lastname@example.org