Mill St. Blog
Content Marketing in 2014 Will Be Quality Over Quantity
If you are into fitness, you probably hear trainers and other fitness buffs hail the mighty king of expressions – quality over quantity. They’ll tell you that it’s better if you complete five “proper” squats instead of fifteen incorrect ones. They’ll also tell you that it’s better to finish an intense, ten minute cardio session as opposed to 45 minutes of drudgery on the treadmill. They’ll even advise you on your diet. Remember how surprised you were when you learned that carbs could be simple and complex? Yes, even with diet, there is the issue of quantity (portion size) versus quality (nutrient density).
With all the fitness and nutrition talk aside, how healthy is your online marketing strategy? Do you apply the right amount of leverage with your SEO and content strategy, or do you treat it like a series of uncontrolled movements? Whatever the condition of your online strategy in 2013, remember that 2014 and beyond will prove that quality is the determining factor of content marketing success. If you still take a high-rep approach to your online marketing, it’s time to switch your routine so that your content can do some heavy lifting for your brand.
At the Gym
It’s almost 2014, and now that we’ve been exposed to so much, it’s understandable why people treat cliches like a contagious rash. We’ve become a society who likes to call anything cliche only a week after its inception. However, for all you gym goers out there, there’s no denying that some stereotypes exist, many of which who adopt flawed workout routines and behaviours. Likewise, when it comes to the SEO and online content arena, there are many individuals and businesses who rely on ineffective and defeating practices in order to make progress. It doesn’t take long before these folks hit a frustrating plateau.
Mr. & Mrs. Inconsistent – At the gym, this is your friend or acquaintance who shows up twice one week, once over the next week, and then disappears for a month before coming back. In other words, this is your inconsistent gym goer who most likely complains that their results are lackluster (we wonder why). In the realm of SEO writing and content strategy, these are the people who use online marketing methods sporadically. Although the focus of this article is quality over quantity, too little or inconsistent work is just as detrimental as an overload. These business owners will likely wind up frustrated and probably even quit.
The Chatterboxes – At any time, at any gym, there is bound to be those social butterflies who feel compelled to annoy others with small talk and commentary. Have you ever felt the frustration of having to listen to someone while you’re trying to focus on a workout? Well just imagine the frustration of Google algorithms when they come across stacks of spam content that really has nothing to say. Fortunately, the Google codes have become quite adept at finding these pages and putting them out of commission. Now only if we could do the same for gyms…
Grunters – There are some people who want others to be aware that they are strongmen and strongwomen. So they purposely lift more than they can handle, and this of course gives them reason to grunt loud enough to make it seem like they are having bowel troubles. However, we know that the attention they receive is either annoyed cut-eyes or chuckles. Likewise, those businesses who feel the need to pump out a ridiculous amount of content end up on the bad side Google. Their content usually contains little, if any, substance and it becomes clear that their motives are merely for attention.
Juiceheads - Closely related to the grunters are the meatheads – the “chemically”-enhanced men and women who defy genetics and look more like cartoon superheroes. It’s shameful that these individuals are allowed to walk around the gym, since beginners and young trainees aspire to look like them naturally. Likewise, there are those who abuse the use of keywords and links in attempt to gain traffic. Not only does the unnatural use of these techniques look cheap and desperate, but it’s unhealthy for your business’ reputation and rankings.
Drop Your Ego to Succeed at SEO
You’ve most likely heard the classic adage, “Leave your ego at the door.” This mentality is important for those who want to succeed in the content writing field. Just like the desire to get in shape, it takes patience, perseverance, and passion if you want your content marketing to succeed. If you develop those qualities, then you will naturally execute your marketing attempts efficiently.
2014 Resolution: Get Your Content Marketing in Good Shape
Accepting that your content creation and strategy needs a revamp is the first step towards better online marketing. Of course, you may wonder how to get there. Back to our gym example, you can look at your content development as a well-rounded fitness and nutrition plan. Many gym goers will stick solely to weights or cardio machines. Others will mix things up but fail to feed their bodies with adequate nutrition. A balanced and holistic approach is the most effective way to succeed at content marketing, and it is important that you always strive for change.
Six Content Areas to Consider:
1. Realistic Goals – One of the biggest fitness mistakes is setting yourself up for failure. So many people create unrealistic goals for themselves, and it’s one of the main reasons people quit after just a few months or weeks of training. Likewise, you need to ensure that you set realistic goals for your content strategy, since miracles rarely happen. After all, you can’t expect to go from a lemonade stand to Nestle on a $500 budget.
2. Form/Technique – Lift a weight incorrectly, and you’ll make no progress or sustain an injury. Likewise, it is important that your content is written or produced to achieve an intended purpose. That will mean that you adhere to the conventions of the medium, offer value to your audience, and present your brand in a compelling way.
3. Frequency/Volume – Go to the gym too often, and you’ll overtrain. Go to the gym too infrequently, and you’ll regress. The same goes for your content. You will have to learn to strike a balance with your content writing, so that you can keep your audience informed and entertained without bombarding search engines with unnecessary content.
4. Rest/Repetition – If you don’t rest, your progress will hit a wall. However, repetition is the key to seeing consistent results. In similar fashion to frequency, you will want to ensure that you maintain a balance when it comes to your publishing intervals. In other words, there will be times when you go silent for a bit, and other times when you’ll need to emphasize certain things. Of course, repeat wisely since you don’t want to be guilty of duplicate content!
5. Diversity -
For some reason, many gym goers feel that they are bound to one section of the gym. The ladies feel that the treadmill and ellipticals are their resting place, while the gents glue themselves to the bench press. However, any smart fitness buff knows that a mixture of exercise will yield faster and better results. Likewise, content marketing requires that you employ a variety of content types in order to make a connection with your audience. So aside from your blogs and social media, don’t forget your videos, podcasts, ebooks, and infographics!
6. Fuel - One of the most overlooked aspects of the fitness game is nutrition. It’s unfortunate, because without adequate nutrition, your body will underperform at the gym. Your content creation is no different. You can only speak to your audience if you feed your marketing campaigns with material that they care about. When writing or producing material for online mediums, consider the needs of your audience. Look for interesting news, trends, complaints, desires, and events. These are your inspiration sources and you can build a true relationship with your audience if you speak their language and relate to the things they care about.
The Fitness Test
One of the most daunting aspects of fitness are physical assessments. No one likes to be told that they’re out of shape. Yet still, that alone can be the motivation a person needs to get fit. In a similar fashion, you should assess the fitness of your content strategy, because 2014 is poised to put your online marketing to the test. Here are some questions to ask yourself:
1. Is Your Social Media Strategy Diverse? – The days of having just a Facebook and Twitter page are coming to an end. The most successful businesses now incorporate an eclectic mix of the mainstream social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn) , niche channels (Pinterest, Google+), and youth-oriented channels (Tumblr, Instagram).
2. Are You Thinking Visual.ly? – Our culture has become increasingly visual, and that means that online marketing needs to follow suit. The use of photos, videos, illustrations, and infographics have become paramount. Even scientists agree that visual media will capture attention much faster than audio or text.
3. Do You Streamline Your Messages? – Leonardo da Vinci said that “simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” How true that is when it comes to marketing. If you look at brands such as Apple and Google, you’ll notice that they favour not only minimalist design, but also minimalist messaging. They know that simplicity commands much more attention than a collage of clutter.
4. Are You Friendly to the Mobile Screen? – It’s a common sight to see people browsing the web on their smartphones and tablets. However, there are so many websites that still seem to malfunction on these devices! If you want to succeed in the 2014 content craze, you will need to make sure that your mobile presence is one that makes visitors happy!
Looking Good on Content Beach
Perhaps your plan this winter is to lose some extra pounds or bulk up for next summer. Of course, it can be done without a need to become one of those annoying stereotypes we wish didn’t exist. But don’t forget about business. Although it may seem demanding, the content craze has presented tons of opportunities for businesses of all kinds to experience growth in unprecedented ways. The key to achieving success with content marketing relies on the quality of your efforts, rather than the quantity. Don’t ever think that this is some rule created by Google as a form of digital tyranny. Everyone, including yourself, wants to be informed, educated, and entertained, and quality content makes these things possible. Now is the time to focus your strategic and creative mind so that your brand can be fit and confident moving forward.
Are you looking to improve your content marketing strategy? Give us a call at 1.800.657.8307 or send us an email so we can help you get started!