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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

6 ways to add valuable content to your website

In order to market a website, you need to do more than simply sell a product.  That might have worked years ago, but these days it is imperative that you keep your target audience engaged by creating quality content.  Your audience must believe that you are the expert on all things related to your product.  If they are interested in your content, you will gain more followers online, which will boost sales.  Additionally, Google will see that you have more followers and place you higher in its search rankings.

In his book “Accelerate!  Move Your Business Forward Through The Convergence of Search, Social & Content Marketing,” Arnie Kuenn offers ideas to create quality web content.  Here are six of them:

  1. Blogging.  Kuenn recommends that businesses place their blog on their website instead of putting it on a separate platform.  Websites that include a blog get double the amount of inbound links as sites that do not.  Additionally, blogs can be an excellent source for user feedback.  
  2. Community Forums.  These are conversation sites where users discuss the forum topic with each other.  By adding a community forum, you can manage what is said.  A forum offers user-generated content, feedback and increased traffic to a website. 
  3. Curation.  You can display your expertise by collecting web content that relates to your brand.  For example, you can post summaries and links on your website to others’ articles and add your opinion to them.  Your audience will know that you are updated on current trends in your industry.   
  4. Contests.  Online contests are fun and they will certainly influence traffic and user participation.   Your target audience will compete with each other to win a prize.  Visitors can judge the contests.  This way, contestants will urge their friends and network connections to vote on your website.  Read this article by Wendy Kenney for contest ideas.
  5. Podcasts are audio or video files ­that can be downloaded or subscribed to.  All of the content on your website that is audio-based should be podcasted.  Podcasts are a great promotional tool and can be shared by users.  To find out more about the marketing value of podcasts, I also recommend checking out Six Reasons Why Podcasts Make Good Business Sense by marketer John Leavy. 
  6. Videos.  Though it might be difficult to create a viral video, it is possible.  However, if your video does not go viral, it can still be valuable.  Creating a YouTube channel, for example, and posting relevant videos will help users find you easier.
There are many ways to create quality content online.  More examples used by Kuenn that are not listed above are infographics, interviews, webinars, white papers, and widgets/badges.  Once you form your content marketing strategy, you must continue to create and post quality content.