I can practically hear the resounding ‘yeah, right’ from everyone who works in the article marketing industry. After all, content marketing have spent years trying to unravel the dark art of making content, engaging with readers, creating high-converting pages, or even going viral.
To hear that there is just one simple rule that we’ve been ignorant to all this time would lead to widespread ‘marketers’ rage – cue heads banging on desks and laptops being thrown out of windows.
Although it might be frustrating to hear and although you might not want to believe it, there is just one simple thing you need to do to create great, successful and, yes, viral content.
By adhering to this rule, I have gone from attracting tens of people to my blog posts, to attracting hundreds of thousands and even millions of viewers to a single post. And when you discover how and why this tip works, you will never hit ‘publish’ on a mediocre blog post ever again.
The Rule: Post something only if you think it’s the greatest thing you’ve ever written.
You’re a goldfish. The internet is a goldfish bowl. And there is a billion of other goldfish living in the bowl with you.
How many blog posts, articles and pieces of content do you think currently exist on the internet?
Certainly a lot. There are more pieces of content than anyone could imaginably count. That means only the smallest percentage gets viral attention. And if you would like your content to be within that small percentage, needless to say, it needs to be pretty special.
Do not hit publish on a blog or social media post unless you are confident that it is the best thing you have written or created. Don’t write for search engines; don’t write for traffic, for conversions, for data capture or sales. Don’t write for immediate gratification. Write your content, keeping in mind the perfection of the long-term game.
To produce a successful piece of content, only hit ‘publish’ if you can genuinely say to yourself ‘hey, this a pretty darn good read.’
There are two main reasons you should only ever publish content that’s ‘remarkable’.
1. Mediocre content will negatively affect your SEO
It is very tempting as a marketer to aim to post as often as possible on your blog or social media accounts. You want to show visitors that you are active and engaged online and, of course, the more content you produce, the more traffic avenues you have for your website. And we all want traffic.
However, it is starting to become clear that creating a tight and frequent posting schedule is not a sensible content marketing strategy because as quantity of posting increases, quality often decreases and this can seriously impact your SEO campaign.
This is because Google’s algorithm is moving further towards User Experience by the day. Google is recognizing and rewarding websites that not only attract visitors but engage them with good content, hold them on the site for long amount of time, persuade them to move onto other web pages and share the content on other websites or social media.
The only way to create this user journey is by producing content of a very high standard; that is, making the exact content that remarkably meets your users’ needs. One extremely well written post is more powerful in terms of SEO than ten mediocre posts.
2. Mediocre content will negatively affect your social media reach
Similarly, posting mediocre content for the sake of it on social media, especially Facebook, will negatively affect your reach and engagement.
If you run a Facebook business page, you might have noticed that your posts have only reached a very small percentage of your fan base.
This is because, much like Google’s algorithm, Facebook only wants to serve posts to users if they are relevant and interesting. If you post overly promotional sales type posts that receive little to no engagement, this will tell Facebook that your posts are irrelevant and they will decrease your reach, forcing you to advertise in order to get your business in front of the existing fans and the potential new ones.
To overcome this hurdle, your content and social media posts need to be engaging and in tune with what your audience finds funny or interesting or thought provoking. If you are very in tune with your audience, you will instinctively know what kinds of posts, videos, images, quotes or memes will resonate with them.
If not, you will have to undertake some research. Get to know your audience and pay attention to the kinds of posts they share and try to replicate the styles. Research your competitors; see what content works well for them on social media and see if there’s anything you can learn from their output.
As a marketer or a small business owner whose goal is to increase brand awareness or sell a service and product, it can be incredibly tempting to post very direct promotional content on social media in order to see results.
However, marketing through social media is a long game. You need to build a relationship with your users before asking them to buy or sign up. Do this by posting content they want and like.
If you are producing content that does not get engagement on regular basis, then stop what you are doing and find another strategy – you can’t make it work, you need to change course and adapt.
Resist the temptation to post mediocre content that’s just ‘ok’ or ‘kind of good’. If you don’t feel excited about writing it, then no one will feel excited about reading it. Don’t create content for seo purposes; create it only with your users’ interest in mind. User Experience is the driving force behind all successful digital marketing strategies, and your content must serve this purpose to stand out in the very crowded digital space.
This post was written by Lana Richardson, a content and social media marketing specialist and currently the blog editor at IrishParcels.ie.