Guest Post: Hot Content and the Kung-Fu Panda – Part Two

Neil Stoneham of Voxtree has kindly agreed to allow me to re-post his blog Hot Content and the King-Fu Panda – Part Two on Freelance Copywriter’s Blog.

In the last post, we saw how Google employed a bit of kung-fu Panda to send badly written content right to the bottom of the pile…where it belongs. We also looked at why web content is changing and the importance of having good, strong copy that is read and shared.

Now, I’d like to share some ideas that help draw visits to your site and attract potential ‘backlinks’ (links to your site from other users).

Apparently, few people these days buy a product or service directly as a result of a Google search. Think about it – when did you last do that?

If someone comes across your website directly from a keyword search, you might well grab their interest – especially if you’ve made a good job of your site – but they are unlikely to buy your product or service straight off the bat.

Typically, people will look for other things like recommendations from sites that rate you – or criticisms from those that don’t  – so it’s important to get a name for yourself and have others singing your praises.  Here are a few ways to create added value content that does just that…

Add something useful

A good proportion of search engine activity comes from people seeking answers to queries. If you offer a service, why not produce a series of articles that answer some of the your most frequently asked questions?

I recently wrote an article for an experienced quantity surveyor who specialises as an expert witness. Based on his notes, I wrote about how to avoid stress while managing a building project. For anyone embarking on such a project, there is some pretty solid advice in there and so the article achieves three things:

1)   It draws traffic to the site from people who are not looking specifically for the service but may have need of it in the near future.
2)   It builds up his reputation as an authority on the subject, thus enhancing the essential ‘trust’ factor.
3)   Others in the trade will want to link to the article. This increases his backlinks, his audience reach and his search ranking.

Create something unusual

Marketeers these days have to be pretty creative and original if they want their brand to stand out. And so we get all sorts of weird and whacky things in an attempt to generate that all-important message.

Viral videos are all the rage now, so you could go down that route if you’re adventurous. Alternatively, try for some content with a humorous take on your product or service – lesser known uses for your product might be a good start.

People share things that are funny. But a word of warning: comedy writers often talk about how difficult humour is to get right. That’s why there are numerous casualties from the viral craze – companies that have lost out because they ended up offending too many people and completely sending out the wrong message!

Make it personal

Address your customer directly in a way that shows how your product or service can enhance their lives. If you engage your customer in an emotional way, you can increase the likeability – and therefore salability – of your product. Tell stories about your product with a happy ending. Show how it can help your customer become more attractive, safer, proud. You could even target different parts of your demographic by addressing their individual cravings in separate articles.

Advertise your content

Whatever the form of your content – be it video, article or blog – you’ll need to get the word out there. Social media is the easiest, cheapest and most fun way of advertising what you’ve created. Tweet about it on Twitter, link to it on Facebook, blab about it on your blog; there are so many different ways to grab the attention of your audience.

Remember that if it’s good and relevant to someone other than yourself, chances are it will get shared.

But people won’t share badly written content, unless their purpose is to laugh at you. Good quality content stands more chance of being passed on, so make sure it passes the test and you’re away!

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