The world of purchasing and selling is rapidly changing and evolving. In the past, people would go into their local establishment to buy what they needed. They were limited to what store managers could buy locally. As corporations took over the buying and selling of consumer goods, more companies imported goods for consumers to buy. Consumers looked to salespeople for advice on what to buy, especially if the product was new.
Consumers no longer have to listen to a salesperson who may be trying to sell them something they didn’t want in the first place. They can do their own research and make their own decisions about what products would be best for themselves and their families. No one wants to be told what to buy. Instead, people are looking for information about products and services.
What does this mean if you are trying to market to buyers? It means that you need to get information on products and services out to your potential buyers. You can do that through a process called content development. If you’re not sure what the definition of content development is, or how the content development process works, we have tips for developing good content that gets you more clicks and more buys.
Content Development Definition
Content development is the tool that salesforces can use to connect with buyers and give them information about products and services. Content development helps buyers figure out which product would work best for them. Content development also allows people who publish content to control the information out in the marketplace, which may give you an advantage over your competition.
When a company has a good content development strategy, they have employed a sound content development process. That process takes content development from an idea to the company website. There is a process you can use when you are developing content for a website. In order to produce the best content possible you need to brainstorm what your content needs to say, write a draft of your content, optimize your content so that it is searchable (SEO), get your content onto the site, and then promote your content so that your customers can see it. Not all of your web content is written. In fact, content can include postings on a company blog, illustrations and infographics, as well as instructional videos.
If you follow the content development process, elearning content development strategies isn’t so difficult. Here’s some information on the step by step process of content development from content development pros.
Step One: You Need Information
A lot of companies miss this step when they are thinking about website content development. If you are going to write about a product or service, you need as much information as possible. Start collecting information from as many sources as possible. If you are not sure where to begin to collect data, ask yourself some questions. What is your target demographic for your content? Who is your competition and what content do they have out on the product for you to look at? What are your goals for your product? What ideas or goals do you have for your website in general? What should your brand say? Do you have marketing goals for your product? While these aren’t all of the questions you should be asking, they are a good start.
Now that you have questions, where should you look for answers? One of the best content development tools out there is good ole’ Google. If you want to look at on-site data, Google is a good place to start. However, you may also want to look into other companies for specific information. Microsoft has content development tools that include analytics. Other companies also focus on specific information such as competitor marketing and product information. Specific companies can give you information on keyword analysis, domain authority, and backlinks.
Once you have all of that information, what do you do with it?
Step Two: You Need to Take Some Time to Analyze Your Information
It’s not enough to gather information on your products. You need to turn that information into tools you can use to drive customers to your website. When you are looking at the information that you’ve gathered, what should you look for? First, you may want to start with a look at your competition. Which pages on their website seem to have the most traffic? What does the content development on that page look like? Are their pages well-designed? How could you improve them for your own products? It’s not enough to look at the pages of your competition. You need to measure them. How many words do their content pieces have? How many domains can link to the page? The more domains you can link, the better.
Good content development companies also look for keywords or topics they can rank for information on their new product. These keyword searches can help people map out future blog posts to plan on their product. This would be a great time to use a spreadsheet program to rank the words, and list those topics that should be tackled first.
Step Three: Time to Make a Strategy
When you are working to promote a new product or service, you need a plan. Web content development calls for constant rotation of information. For that reason, you need to lay out how you are going to build out your marketing strategy. Optimal content development calls for articles of differing lengths during a year. You may want to write a short article as an introduction to your product, perhaps with an informational video. Over the course of a year, you’ll want to plan different length articles, such as a couple of medium-length articles per month, and then longer pieces every few months. Rotation of content helps keep consumer interest up for your product and can drive traffic to your site.
In addition to planning your article calendar, you also need to plan for word content. This is when you need to look for keywords you may want to include in your piece. When you are looking for keywords, you’ll want to have high volume keywords, but you also want to find keywords that can increase the number of times people search your page, and the keywords that help your profile with backlinking. The more keywords you have, the more domain authority you may have. So what is domain authority? Domain authority refers to how relevant your page is to a specific industry or product. Domain authority is vital to product placement.
You also need to consider how many times your website is searched. You need to increase your views to get the most bang for your buck. If you are a small business, you need to aim for 500 as your search volume. That represents 500 searches for your site. Ideally, a 500-per-month search volume is great for small businesses. Larger companies should have at least 2000 or more as a monthly search volume for their goal.
Step Four: Time to Write a Rough Draft
Now that you have done your preliminary research, and you have planned out when you want to have your content hit the website, it’s time to write a draft. We can’t emphasize enough how important writing is for your content development process. When you are beginning the writing process, you need to keep two things in mind.
First, your content needs to be well-written. Think about this: it is easier for a customer to walk away from your product now than it has ever been. That’s because customers have the opportunity to move away from your page whenever they want. In the past, you could take advantage of your customers looking for information and asking questions on the site. However, now customers can find information for themselves at their fingertips, and they don’t have to rely on you. This means, your content needs to be really interesting. You want your content to be the best thing out there when someone does a Google search on your new product. No one is going to read poorly written and developed content.
Second, you need to make sure that your content is long enough. Research shows that the longer your web content is, the better it works to inform the reader. If you write longer content, you appear higher in searches for your business. This means you get more hits on your content, and you get more backlinks to your content.
One more thing. Many people with content development experience will tell you that you need to cram as many keywords into your content as possible. We disagree. Your content has to be entertaining and readable. You want your potential customers to find your product content to be enjoyable and entertaining as well as informative. When you are writing your draft, we advise you to write first, make sure your content is top-shelf, then focus on the next step in the content development process.
Step Five: You Need to Optimize Your Content
Once you have an entertaining and informative article, your next step is to make it as attractive as possible for your customers before you publish it to your site. Content development pros will let you know this is the time you need to think about search engine optimization.
What is search engine optimization? Search engines work by a series of complicated algorithms to move content around and make it easy to search. Search engines use the words that you type into the search bar to develop results for you. Those words, again based on the algorithms the search engine uses, can move your page higher up on any search engine results, which is what you want. The higher up the page is on the search engine, the more chances your page has to be clicked, which equals product sales. For that reason, it pays to do your research.
Look for programs that will help you optimize your content. There are many different programs available for search engine optimization, so you can make sure you are covering all of the information you know that customers will be searching for. While you are looking for those key search words, you also need to think about tags.
Tags? What Are Tags?
When you think of tags, your first thought might be tags on clothing. Web tags are similar to your clothing tags, because they help you figure out which piece of clothing is right for you. Web tags help your customers find data that are important to them. You want your traffic to your page to increase, and the first place it starts is with a title tag. Title tags are the way people search for your product to begin with. You may also use a title tag to headline your social media posts. Content development services aim for as much of your article title to show up in the page results. That’s a great place to start thinking about the title for your content article.
In addition to title tags, you also want to think about meta descriptions. Meta descriptions usually appear just below the title tag. It expands the description of your title tag and allow customers to get an idea of what your page is really about. While most people who are writing content are focused on the title tag, you can’t ignore the meta description. Your meta description needs to be informative to drive traffic to your site. The better your title tags and meta descriptions are, the more customers will click on your site.
Once you have gotten your article ready, it is time to publish. We shouldn’t have to say this, but we will anyway. Before you publish your article to your website, one of the best content development tools is a good editor. You need to make sure that your article is as perfect as you can make it. No customer is going to want to read through an article that is poorly laid out or poorly written. Make sure your content is edited thoroughly for punctuation and spelling. Make sure your layout is attractive, and that the text is broken up with pictures and infographics. You want the content to look immediately accessible and attractive.
Step Six: Promote Your Page
Don’t wait to promote your page for the moment your content hits the site. Start promoting your new product on social media. If you don’t have social media accounts, it is time to start. You need to make sure that you cover the social media giants with promotions, such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat. We can’t stress this enough: you need to promote your content across all social media platforms before you post the content. This works to build up excitement and anticipation for your product.
There are other ways to get out a promotion for your content as well. Have you considered republishing platforms? Republishing platforms work to move your content around to several different websites, which should multiply the hits to your page. Republishing platforms take a lot of different forms. There are blog posts that republish your information, and websites that work to aggregate information on content. These platforms are cost effective for many businesses. If you do choose to use a business to promote your new content, be careful. You do not want to pay penalties for backlinks or other tricks that could drive traffic to your site. Google penalties may sound light at first glance. However, when you get a Google penalty, your website is placed further down on the search list for results. This can be devastating for any business, because business traffic relies on Google searches in order to get traffic onto its sites. Be sure that you review how penalties are administered by Google, so you can avoid them.
While you are thinking of ways to promote your new content, have you thought about some old fashioned ways to promote your content? You may want to think about emailing your client list, or you could use an email company to put together a colorful, marketable email that can target specific clients for your new product or service.
Step Seven: It’s Time to Review
You may think that once your content is published, your work is over. However, the content development process is constantly evolving. This means that your content is in a constant retweak and review process. In fact, we would argue that your content is in the review process as soon as it is published.
Your content development manager needs to begin the review process in nearly the same way the review process began for your article. You’ll need to check the traffic to your article, and where your article appears on search engines. Check the amount of customer clicks, links and traffic increases or decreases on your website.
What if your content isn’t driving customers to your page? If your new content for product promotion isn’t working, this is the time to re-evaluate your content, as well as the way it is placed on your page, and how attractive it is to customers. Want some help with re-evaluating your content? Here are some tips.
Know your audience. If your content isn’t having the desired effect, you need to ask yourself if your target audience was the right target for this article. Review your article and make sure the keywords for your product will drive your audience to your page. You also need to consider why someone would want to read your content. If your content is entertaining, but it doesn’t provide the facts customers want, you’re not getting the bang for your article buck. Descriptions of your target audience need to consider whether they are reading for business or for a leisure activity. Is the article entertaining enough to share on social media? Where do you think your audience will read the article? Do you need to condense your information into chunks, or do you need more text, not less? The better you are able to figure out your article’s audience, the more effective your article will be.
While you are looking at your article, you may want to check your title tags and your meta descriptions as well. Make sure those title tags and meta descriptions are working together to get your customers interested in your topic and your new product.
Some Final Thoughts
Content development takes practice. It is easier to write content once you have been writing for a while, but everyone has room for improvement. There are some strategies for making accessible content, which means that readers will be able to read your content and understand it enough to go on to the product page.
Make sure your content is structured well. Keep your paragraphs fairly short. Most researchers say that customers begin to lose interest when paragraphs are longer than 200 words. Help break up the text for your viewers through headings, illustrations, and infographics. You may also want to think about using bullets to break up text as well. Customers love bullets, because it helps them chunk information. You may want to bullet point your key points, so that customers can ingest those points before they click.
One final tip. If you provide video or audio for your site, you need to make a transcript for people to read along if they want to. There are a growing number of people who are hard of hearing, and they may need a transcript to follow along. Also, many people want a transcript to refer back to, especially if your product is new technology. Many Americans speak English as a second language, and need written transcripts to make sure they understand the content. If you provide transcripts, you are providing a customer service that your customers will really appreciate.
Content development is a time-consuming process. However, the more work you put into article development, the less work you will need to do to revise or reconstruct the article. With the content development tools provided, you’re ready to begin your process. Good luck and happy writing.