Right now everyone seems to be focusing on the quality of content. I get that. Quality content is good for your readers, and good for increasingly picky search engines.
In particular, quality content builds reputation and trust.
However, we still need to come back to the question of purpose.
Let’s look at this at the page level and at the strategic level.
What is the purpose of that individual page?
Yes, you want to wow and impress your readers. You want to entertain, surprise or educate them. No cut and paste. No boring stuff. Each page of content you publish needs to add to your reputation.
But…what do you want people to do AFTER reading that high-quality page? Do they nod, smile and leave? If that happens, you just failed. Your wonderful page of content had no purpose.
Yes, I’m being a tad harsh. A quality page with no specific purpose may still increase levels of trust, or have some other fairly intangible benefit.
But why not make it work a little harder? A great piece of editorial content can still work to pre-sell one of your products or services. Or link to one of your products or services. Or prepare the ground for an upcoming launch or promotion.
To return to being harsh for a moment, if you spent years creating wonderful content, and attracted a regular readership of 100,000 people…but none of them ever spend a penny on any of your products or services…what was the point?
Or, to put it another way, what’s the point of creating a wonderful page of content that attracts 10,000 visitors in a week if none of those visitors buy anything, sign up for anything or even return to your site?
Nice content. No purpose.
Instilling purpose in your content at a strategic level
If you have a content calendar it should run alongside your marketing calendar, which should run alongside your business growth calendar. This doesn’t mean that your content should become promotional in any way. It simply means that your content is planned, written and published in a way that supports your overall marketing and business plans.
If you are launching something new in September, you can fill your August calendar with content that prepares your readers for that launch. Get them interested. Get them into a “gotta-have-that” state of mind – before they even know what “that” is.
In every business, regardless of its size, all marketing needs to point in the same direction. And yes, content is marketing.
Sounds obvious, right?
All this my appear self-evident. And in a way, it is. But I would venture that the majority of companies and solopreneurs online create content without it being part of a larger plan and calendar.
Very often, content is created simply because SEO experts, social media experts and content creation experts can’t shut up about the value of quality content.
Quality content is good. But it’s useless if it doesn’t move your readers one step closer to sending you some money.
Given the choice between quality content that doesn’t translate into revenue, and rubbish content that has people clicking through to my product, service and sign-up pages, I’ll go for the rubbish content every day.
Fortunately, well-planned quality content can also directly support revenue growth. So you can have the best of both worlds.
About the author: Nick Usborne is an online writer, copywriter, author and coach. Read more…
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