Publishing great content has become necessary to attract and engage clients and customers. But what is great content? For many companies, the common prescriptions for how to improve their game may not be all that relevant.
Your content needs to be creative…timely…interactive!
Creative, timely, interactive content of course won’t hurt. But when your budget is limited, your most effective strategy may be to be consistent and systematic.
A great disconnect
Consistently creating and maintaining topical content on top of the regular corporate content requires dedicated resources and planning. But that’s not enough.
Many companies produce high-quality publications, but where they fail is at effectively connecting corporate content and thought leadership content. Often, articles, papers, and blog posts live in a completely separate section of the site. That’s not only detrimental to your search rankings, it also diminishes the effectiveness of all your hard work.
Assess how well the two types of content are integrated by asking a few questions:
- When your potential clients arrive on a product or service page, is your most engaging related content readily available or is it buried somewhere?
- Are your high-production-value videos hard to find?
- Is it obvious that you have published extensively on a related topic important to your target audience?
- Do your service pages include a list of related links but not the most relevant and up-to-date publications?
Taxonomy and tagging
Tagging content and creating a well-developed taxonomy will help you integrate your topical content with your solutions content. But don’t stop there. Taxonomy and tagging don’t solve the entire problem.
Once you define what topics you want to publish about and how they relate to your products and services, another issue may become apparent: Your thought leadership content is spread unevenly across products and services.
A lack of consistency is not an issue if it is a result of deliberate editorial planning or if content creation is prioritized by business goals. But if it is an artifact of the random vagaries of news cycles, the demands of stakeholders, or the enthusiasm of individual contributors, you may not be spending your editorial budget efficiently.
Audit your content production
One way to evaluate the consistency of your content production is to map your topical content to all of your services and products. Do you have a bunch of articles related to a product that contributes marginally to the bottom line of your company while your flagship product barely has any related content?
Demonstrate exceptional expertise relevant to clients’ unique business needs—not just for products and services that are easy to write about, but for all them.
In addition to measuring the quantity of your output, also measure the quality by reviewing your analytics:
- Does your topical content send traffic to your product and service pages?
- Does your content result in inquiries and sales leads?
- What are your most popular product and service pages? Is there enough content to engage potential clients further?
Creating topical content is fun, but stay out of the random content trap. It will help your business reach its goals, and make the business case for all that great content you love to produce.