In order for a company’s content marketing platform to be effective, its content must include five key elements. These elements are so crucial and interlinked that if even one is missing, the whole content marketing strategy may suffer. But before considering these elements, you must be sure that your content is of high quality, educational, and not overtly promotional and that it leaves readers feeling they have learned something by taking the time to read the information.
The five key marketing content elements are the following:
Findable: No content marketing program is effective if it is not findable. Making content findable starts with the format. PDFs are out. Use traditional HTML formats, which help make your content more findable, wherever possible. Keywords, headings (also known as H1 and H2 headings), internal links to locations within your website, as well as links to other sites, help improve findability.
Readable: We have already said that the content must be of high quality, but that is not the same as “readable.” Ways to achieve online readability include keeping the content short (around 500 words works best), keeping paragraphs short, having spacing between paragraphs, adding graphs where appropriate, and using “bullets” to make a point. Bullets draw visitors in. Many times visitors will read the bullets before they read the article…and if the bullets interest them, they will go on to read what the content is all about.
Understandable: Once a publisher of a leading trade publication told me his readers are “not Harvard graduates,” and because of that, he did not want articles written for Harvard grads. What he was saying was, “Make the information easy to read and easy to understand.” Interestingly, studies have found that even highly educated readers – accustomed to reading scientific or complicated material –prefer content that is easy to read and understand.
Shareable: At the end of each blog on our site are links allowing visitors to share that content on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. While I would not depend on “shareability” as a way to get your information to go viral, always make sure visitors have the option to share it if they want.
Actionable: You’ve provided your visitors with some great content…now what do you want them to do? This is where your content needs to give visitors a “call to action.” What I typically recommend is ending the posting with a small wrap-up of the content, and then making it actionable by saying, for example, “Please contact us to help you make your facility greener and more sustainable. Our experts are here to help.” Requesting a phone number is fine, but at this stage of the marketing funnel, it is often best to provide hyperlinks that lead visitors to a landing page. On the landing page they can leave their names and e-mail addresses, as well as brief notes as to what their concerns are.
Apply these five elements to your high-quality, educational content for an effective content marketing strategy. They are the first steps in turning words into sales