As far as search engine optimization goes, quality content will always be king. As far as your clients and potential clients, quality content (well-delivered, mind you) will always be king. What’s changed, though, is the demand for higher quality content as search engines continuously work to improve how they rank the results of user queries. Gone are the days where simply inundating the web with keyword-stuffed useless information could get you listed high in search results. Today, you have to understand your readers to know which terms they’re looking for and how to create content that uses those terms to your advantage.
There are five elements that are included in the content development schema. The success of any marketing campaign is dependent upon your understanding of these elements, and how you use them. These elements, used by journalists, marketers, and other content developers to deliver information in the most effective manner, are the ‘who, why, what, when, where, and how’ of every story (and of the story’s readers). When you’re developing marketing content for articles, blogs, press releases, and even images and videos, use these five elements to analyze if your audience is getting all of the information you intend for them to receive. But, these same elements are used by marketers to determine who their audience is and how best to reach them.
Who’s your audience? Odds are, there’s a specific group that uses the services you provide. You need to know your audience demographics to develop content. For example, the content you’d create for an audience interested in intellectual property would be different than content created for those interested in drunk driving laws. Get to know who your audience is and you’ll be more effective in creating usable and interesting information.
Once you figure out who your audience is, start finding them online. Discussion forums, blogs, and social networks are excellent starting points (think LinkedIn and Facebook groups and specialized blogs). Find relevant conversations and follow key participants and their followers.
Once you know who and where they are, you need to listen to what they’re saying. Are they discussing the latest news, issues, court opinions or laws? Listen in on the conversations of your audience and track the most pertinent ones.
Use this information to develop the foundation for your editorial calendar. Answer their questions, give opinions, explain the law and how it pertains to their interests, needs, and wants. Whether your audience is made up of peers or potential clients, you need to join the conversation
Maintain continuity. No matter how often you plan on posting to your blog, make sure it’s regularly. Your audience may begin to look forward to or even depend on the information you write about. Don’t disappoint them.
How you deliver the topics from your editorial calendar will depend on the topics, but in general, you should create a mix of videos, blog posts, articles, press releases, info-graphs and even micro-sites dedicated to the topic.
The content you create will help establish you as an authority and will help you build trust with your audience. At no point should you consider your content as a one-way conversation. Subscribe to the feeds that publish your articles and turn-on comment notifications for your blog posts and stay engaged in any conversations that comes from your content.
Regularly review the analytics for your content to see where and how your ideas have the most impact. While getting increasing views and shares may improve brand awareness, steady but increasing conversions is always the goal.
Teresa Shaw is an SEO consultant with 10 years of experience helping attorneys and law firms across the country increase public awareness of their services.