A Crash Course in Content Creation

by Tiffany Parnell, Senior Copywriter - 10/09/15

Youve settled on a content marketing strategy, identified your organizations story, and assembled a team of experts who can lend credibility to your marketing messages. Now, its time to tackle the next step—actually creating the content.

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From determining the right length for your posts to developing a consistent, sustainable schedule, here’s what you need to know before you hit “Publish.”

Length Isnt Fixed

Marketers crafting digital content aren’t limited to the word-count restrictions associated with print publications. Whether you post a 100-word or a 3,000-word article is really up to you and depends on several factors, including the piece’s overall objective and the needs and wants of your audience. For many marketers, this newfound freedom can be daunting. Keep your eye on the big-picture goal: providing readers relevant, useful content, while ensuring said content is engaging and easily sharable across digital platforms.

On some days, this may mean simply grabbing readers’ attention with a statistic or short tidbit of copy followed by a strong call to action. For example, you may want to outline in 200 words or less a food recall affecting your area or touch on a new study on heart disease that offers relevant information to your target audience. If your goal is to boost SEO, however, these short-form posts should be interspersed with long-form content because longer posts allow you to incorporate more SEO-friendly keywords and garner more backlinks.

How long is too long? According to data from Medium, audiences spend the most time with posts that take seven minutes to read, which puts the word count sweet spot at roughly 1,575 words.

Be Consistent

You may not be able to post every day, and that’s OK. But you should develop a sustainable schedule. Consistently posting on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, for example, lets readers know when they can look forward to new content and helps build your reputation as a reliable source of health and wellness information. Try to blog at least once a week. A steady stream of fresh content helps improve SEO rankings.

When It Comes to Frequency, Think 5+ 

The number of leads content generates is tied to posting frequency. According to new benchmarks from HubSpot, leads begin to grow exponentially when organizations post at least five pieces of content each month, with companies that publish more than 16 monthly posts generating 4.5 times more leads than those that post four or fewer pieces.

Evergreen Content Is Key

While you want to keep readers up-to-date (and give them what they want!) with occasional newsworthy or seasonal items, such as how to prevent holiday-related weight gain, the majority of your content should be evergreen. Evergreen topics provide actionable, continually relevant information—think tips to prevent heart disease or how to perform a breast self-exam. These posts rarely go out of style and can improve your SEO rankings. As you fall into a routine and begin publishing content, try these tips to update and refresh your evergreen pieces, which gives old posts new life.

One word of caution about evergreen content: You often have to dig deeper to find unique story angles. The extra effort, however, is worth it.

Want more tips? Read on for Part Two.

Read Part Two

 

Topics: Content Strategy

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