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August 18, 2015

Content is King, Quality is Queen

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Adrian Gonzales  /  Marketing Aug 18, 2015

Without quality, content is nothing.

Marketers are ferociously rolling out waves of content to engage with their target audience, build SEO value, and garnish new leads. There’s good reason for this – websites utilizing content marketing have a 6% higher conversion rate and typically save $14 per new customer acquired with inbound marketing.

However, in the race to production, the quality of content can suffer.

Can’t see the forest for the content

In an effort to drive design, efficiency and productivity by creating content quickly, many companies are losing purpose. The purpose of creating meaningful content is to generate and nurture leads and sales. 90% of B2B content is to nurture prospects and influence purchases.

It is easy for content managers to get wrapped up in simply building SEO value. Not to mention the ongoing uphill Sisyphus-like battle involved in getting coworkers to create content and turn it in on time. (Editor’s Note: this post was late…like, really late.) It is easy to lose the purpose of the content you are generating.

Visitors come to you hungry for knowledge that will allow them to stay ahead of the competition and stand out. Does your content feed this need for true value?

Go from quantity to quality

The first company to promote and distribute content of value will rise to the top of thought leadership. Here are my top tips for quality content and good user experience.

Know Your Audience

Understand your buyer personas.

The age old saying is still true: Right message, right person, right time. Build your buyer personas and write content accordingly to help add value and move them down the sales funnel.

Tailor your content for your audience. Is it engaging? Is it compelling? Is it useful?

Have a Voice

Invest in talent that will bring in leads. A common route is investing in a content marketing company to primarily produce your content. Companies like Brafton and Page One provide excellent content creation with a strong focus on growing SEO.

Lead generation will depend greatly on the writers’ ability to speak earnestly to your audience. It is recommended that you have a brand editor, or someone full-time on staff to verify the quality of content being created and make sure it truly builds value for your prospects.

Some companies hire an on-staff writer to generate technical content and create a consistent brand voice. Hiring an excellent writer, whether it be staff or freelance, is a wise investment.

Larger companies, such as IBM and GE, invest in hiring a brand editor to ensure a cohesive voice.

Create Trust

Creating fresh content not only establishes expertise, but leads to trust from your customers and from search engines. In a recent survey, 80% of buyers said they purchased because they trusted the company.

Don’t forget the Quality Assurance! Few things are most distracting or lessen credibility as quickly as a typo, a double space or broken link. Have a dedicated source do the QA for formatting, spelling, grammar, and flow for all content you create.

Forget “Ready, Fire, Aim”

You won’t accidentally make great content. The only way to build the high-relevance, high-value content we’ve been talking about is to have a plan from the beginning.

Only 44% of marketers have a documented content strategy. Understand where you want to lead the user next on your website. In B2B, it typically take 7-13 touch points to convert a visitor to a lead.

Content First

Whether you’re building a landing page, an email, or even an entirely new website, avoid the temptation to leave the content for the end. Design and develop around your content, not the other way around.

The most beautiful and engaging website design is rendered useless if the content doesn’t provide value to the reader.

Test and Re-Test

Experiment with different types of content to discover what engages best with your audience and different stages within the sales cycle.

Try out blog posts, videos, case studies, webinars, microsites. The top 3 B2B content formats searched for during purchase research are whitepapers, case studies, and webinars. Infographics are also leading the way.

A final word: measurement

Analytics are your friend.

The only way you know what is truly meaningful to your prospects is by tracking the engagement of visitors on your website. Analytics gives you a more meaningful picture of how visitors are spending time on your website and what types of content and format resonates best with your audience.

Remember, the purpose of content on your site is to drive traffic, but ultimately generate business. Keep that focus in mind when building your content, and you’ll find your quality standing head and shoulders above the rest.