And one of the satisfying answers to these questions was "Epic content is one way to get more traffic". And when I was coming up with the conclusion, I narrowed it down to seven different principles.
Seven principles that I believe you need to pay attention to when you create content to ensure you get the biggest bang for your buck.
So, content principle number one is ensuring that the content is valuable. And when I say valuable, it has to be valuable to the consumer. So your perfect customer that, as they scroll through Facebook, they scroll through Twitter, they're on the internet potentially consuming content, how can you make the content that you create value to them?
Now, I can give you a little clue. It has to be one of two things. It has to either be entertaining or informative. So you either have to teach them something or share something, solve a problem, or you have to make them feel good. Make them laugh, make them smile, make them share, or if you're great at this sort of stuff, you can do infotainment.
So you can make them laugh whilst also teaching them something. So, the content that you have to create has to be valuable. It has to be good. It has to get people to want to consume it. If it's not good enough, then unfortunately it just won't get the light of day. People just will not notice it.
And I want to add that is good doesn't mean viral. Good doesn't mean thousands or thousands of views or thousands of shares. Good can simply mean it helps to solve a problem that your customer faces, which brings them farther into your funnel. For example, how much does a fiberglass pool cost? That article or that video will never go viral on Facebook. It will never go viral on Instagram, but that's okay. Because if someone is searching Google for how much does a fiberglass pool cost, and you give them the answer to that question, you're solving a problem and the chances of them then wanting to work with you is going to be much higher than before.
Content principle number two is speaking your customer's language and not your industry's language. This is probably one of the biggest problems, the biggest mistake that I see businesses making when they create content. And that created content, blogs, articles, videos using the language that their industry uses as opposed to what are their consumers searching for, what are they speaking about?
So for example, somebody that has got a sore back is probably going into Google and type something like "Why is my back sore?"
Whereas a chiropractor, I've seen this many times, sometimes will create some sort of really long-winded title around this specific problem. That person has use language like "Why is your scapula's thorite hurting, or tweaking your back plasma? And it's like that person will never be searching for that. They have a sore back. You might know that is why they have the sore back, but it's down to you to go down to their level and then educate them up.
So, speak your customer's language and not yours.
Content principle number three is similar to number two, and it's that we need to speak to our customers and not to our peers. When we are creating content, we cannot create to impress our peers, to look good amongst our peers, we need to be creating stuff that is for our customers.
Now, this might mean that you have to not focus on going viral, or getting crazy engagement because what we are focusing on is are we helping our customers make a better buying decision?
Are we helping to move our customers from not knowing who we are to buying from us?
Sometimes you're going to have to create content that's maybe not trendy, that does not look good amongst your peers but helps your customers.
So let's focus on doing that and let's not focus on impressing the peers. Because this happens a lot often. It's very, very common, especially in the marketing world where we create content for our peers to try and get engagement, to try and feel good, to boost our ego. When it's not helping our customers in any shape or form.
Content principle number four is done is better than perfect. I have been guilty of this in the past, in trying to create the perfect content or trying to create the perfect setup, trying to get the perfect content ideas, the perfect tool, the perfect everything, which then just means you get paralysis and you don't create anything.
You could spend a whole year trying to create the perfect setup, the perfect everything, and then after that year you get on creating content and you are not very good on it, which means you just wasted a whole year whereas if you just started at the beginning of the year, even though you did not have any of the perfect setups, you would have built your skills, and the quality of your content would be so much better than waiting for the year, waiting for the perfect setup.
So, my advice here is to embrace the messy. When I first started creating content, my first ever article was written in a park on a phone, a terrible mobile screen, and it was in a park because I was so scared of what people might think so I got an escape from my friends and family and wrote my first article. I was seeking that perfection. I was worried about what people will think about me, worrying about what people will give reaction to my creation, worrying about what people thought about what I am trying to deliver. Just worrying so much. And it got me away from being able to create content.
But I created it, and I got better and better and better over time. So you have to embrace the messy and just create something, even if it's not perfect, understanding that you are going to get better and better and better over time and if you just create consistently, if you look back in a year after, you will go wow, I have been on such a good journey.
But if you do not create and you just wait for the perfect moment, the perfect moment will never come and you have just wasted a whole year or however long it's been by not getting yourself out there.
Content principle number five is to always include a call to action. Whenever we are creating content, we must be using that content to drive real business results. We are not just creating it to be fluffy. We are not just creating it to be nice. We are creating it for business results. Whether that is making people aware of who we are, getting people to consider their options, consider our services, or whether it's content that's designed to get people to buy, it does not matter. We have to include a call to action.
So, maybe we are writing a blog post, we might want to have the call to action there in the sidebar, call to action throughout. If we are creating content we maybe want to have a call to actions through it and at the end of it we always need to be trying to push people to the next stage of our funnel, whether that is downloading something for free, attending a seminar, buying our product, whatever it is, the content has to be used for business purposes, and not just some fluffy thing that we are doing because someone said we had to do it.
Content principle number six is to make that content as long as it needs to be.
One of the biggest questions is how long should the content be?
How many words does my article need to be?
How long should my video be?
How long should my ad be?
And the answer to that question is, well there is no answer. But what I do suggest is you create something and just make it as big or as little as it needs to be. If it's a blog then keep it as short or as long as it needs to be for you to get that full message across. If it's a video, whether that's 90 seconds, five minutes, 20 minutes, don't care. However long it needs to be. It should convey the whole matter.
Now, they say when you're writing articles for Google purposes and search purposes that you want that to be 1600 words or more. The video content, some people say you want to make it shorter. Just make it as short as it needs to be for you to get that point across.
And content principle number seven, the final one is to make your content evergreen. Every time you create a piece of content, a video, an article, a podcast, and it's published online, that is becoming an asset to you and an asset to your business. Because people are going to consume that, not just from the day that you publish it, not just the week that you publish it, but for years to come if you make it evergreen.
Now, making it evergreen is essentially how we can create something that people might still want to consume in a couple of years.
So, how much does something cost?
What are the problems with outsourcing this?
Why do I have back pain?
These are problems that people are always going to have. They are always going to search for, they are always going to want to find an answer to, so we want to create content that's like that so we can build this asset.
Because if we continue to write blogs & articles, if we continue to create video content, we are going to build our followers, build our audience, build our subscriber base, build the people listening to us. And if we build that over the years, whenever we launch a product, whenever we have something on sale, we are going to have people coming to us. Building an audience is the most important thing you can do in a business. One of the most valuable things you can do in a business, especially from a marketing perspective.