Content is such a marketeer jargon. Content used to mean things in a container like a jar. But for the lack of a better word – and unfortunately so – it is currently the umbrella term used to describe any form of written, verbal, visual and audio material that carries meaning, emotions, information in the vehicle of any form of digital or physical channel of communications.
Similarly, the slogan “Content is King” – equally jarring to anyone’s intellect – refers to the primordial importance of superior, quality information, with the huge emphasis on the word “quality”.
This means that your quality content needs to be carefully crafted and produced, so that you are sure that every piece of information you produce resonates with your selected target audience. It also means that there is absolutely no point in creating a channel or even identifying the channels where your audience is, when you are not able to produce not just content, but quality content, to share and engage with your community.
The key to influence and reach is regular quality content, no more, no less.
But there are three important ways how quality content works in generating traffic and increasing your engagement rates, especially for your owned media such as your website.
Content creates search results
Simply having quality content generates an increase of reach. The fact that you have a video, or an article, or even an image of a dog when you are selling dog food, is a piece of content that people can search for or stumble upon.
The logical conclusion is the more content you have, the more likely people stumble upon you online. But as Google and other search engines are eliminating low quality content to combat this practise, the more important that your content is not considered spam in case you get penalised for the multitude of sub-standard information out there that you produce.
Content is shareable
Social media used to just be considered as an engine that brings traffic to your website. Now, depending on which social channel, social media can now also be a platform to house longer content. However you want to consider social media, digital content spreads, because they are shareable.
The term ‘reach’ refers precisely to the distance your content travels – to the maximum number of people possible.
But reach does not necessarily equate influence. You may have a thousand persons seen your content, but only a hundred have interacted with it (opened, viewed, liked etc); But your influence is high when your engagement rate is high proportionate to your reach: so if you reach a thousand users and all of them interacted with your content, then you can safely say your influence was at a hundred percent.
Again, this points to the need for quality content.
Content creates backlinks
The idea of a backlink is an old one, as old as search engines themselves. Which is aeons in internet terms.
This goes back to the time when search ranking was solely based on the popularity of your content. The more visits, the more linking to your site, the more popular your content is. But soon, this has led to the production of link farms, that were spam sites listing links or trapping users by transporting them to the linked sites, in order to up their ranking.
The practice soon stopped because the search engines found out that this is grossly unfair, and they changed the criteria for ranking according to the number of backlinks.
But – and this is a big but – the idea of backlinks is still valid.
Search now focuses on the quality of the backlink.
If you get linked by a non-spam, well-known news outlet (hence, earned media), then your traffic goes up and mostly likely your owned media (your website etc) goes up in ranking.
Another point relates to the shareable content via social media. Quality social channels that link back to your content, also increases your rank status.
When you have quality content, and linked back by a high number of quality channels, you will definitely improve your search status and also your reach and influence.
Eureka Moments are not so much moments of sudden realisation or enlightenment like Archimedes. They are moments while I am in my commute when I get to reflect on things that someone mentioned to me, things that I am confronted with, things that I or others have sought a solution for. They are more ‘oh I get it’ rather than ‘I have discovered it’.