— April 14, 2019
Have you ever read an article and balked at the poor grammar it included? Or maybe your situation was a little different – maybe the blog post you read from your favorite company was written coherently and even with perfect grammar, but it still just didn’t sit well with you. It might have had a voice that didn’t mesh with your understanding of that brand’s “personality”, or it was just so bland and colorless that you stopped reading in less than thirty seconds. What you experienced in any of these situations was likely a company that did not understand the correlation that engaging, authoritative content has to its reputation and its digital marketing strategy.
As a marketer, it is easy to get wrapped up in the technical side of digital marketing – the analytics, the website development, the many digital tools that you have to navigate and use on a daily basis. For many marketing agencies, businesses and even content marketers, it can seem like the quality of content should take a back seat to the operational side of marketing. However, if you really want to make a marketing strategy and a business succeed, this will not and can not be the case.
The truth of the matter is that you can have a beautiful website with stunning, high-tech features, a social media strategy that is groundbreaking and fresh and a flawless SEO plan, and you still will not be winning all the customers you can if your content is lacking. Exciting content draws eyes. Exciting content enhances brand reputation. Exciting content ranks well. There really is never an excuse not to include great content as part of your marketing strategy – not because keywords are needed, not because your budget doesn’t include a content writer and certainly not because you don’t think anyone has the time to put out good content. No one is fooled by shoddy content, especially not potential customers who are skeptical from day one.
The good news is that even those with little content knowledge or time can begin improving brand content. To start, review what’s on your brand’s or your client’s website and try to look at it from a customer or client perspective. Is the content impressive? On the opposite end, does it position your client or brand as outdated or uneducated? Once you answer this question, take notes and then spend some time on competitor analysis. What are other successful brands in your industry writing? What tone and vocabulary do they use? Take detailed, organized notes as your complete your research, and your next step – building an actionable content strategy – will not seem so hard. Once you have a basic content strategy in place, start replacing or editing your content – starting from scratch where any gaps exist – and make sure that you or someone else with a good eye for grammar reads over everything before publishing. Once your new content is live, start tracking analytics across your website, social accounts and other digital platforms and see if the changes are bringing in and retaining more eyes – if the changes don’t seem to be working, keep tweaking your content until you see the results you want.
Creating great content isn’t necessarily easy, and it does take both creativity and skill to get it right. But the time commitment and knowledge levels needed to start improving your content is not as intimidating as you may think – and nothing should stop you from putting out the best online content possible as soon as you can.
This article originally appeared on LinkedIn Pulse.