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#ContentWritingChat, 2019 content trends

#ContentWritingChat Recap: 2019 Content Trends with Julia McCoy

For the first #ContentWritingChat of 2019, it only makes sense that we would take time to reflect on the content trends for the year ahead.

After all, we want to make sure you’re creating your best content this year. That includes blog posts, videos, and even podcasts! These tips will help you truly stand out online.

So, are you ready to dive in and produce amazing, brand-building content that your audience will absolutely love? Then let’s check out the recap!

#ContentWritingChat Recap: 2019 Content Trends with Julia McCoy

Our guest host for this month’s chat was Julia McCoy. She’s a blogger and author, and of course… The CEO here at Express Writers! Julia is the queen when it comes to online content creation, which means she had some great advice to share for the year ahead.

Q1: What are the top trends you have your eye on for this year when it comes to the content marketing world?

To kick off the chat, we asked everyone to share the trends they’re most excited to incorporate into their content strategies for 2019. Here’s what a few of our chat participants had to say:

For Julia, she’s focused on three key things when it comes to Express Writers and her personal brand this year. She’s committed to creating high-quality content (as always), putting readers first, and knowing her why.

Jason is wondering if 2019 will be a great year for email marketing in terms of ROI. He’s also going to be paying close attention to the cost of social media advertising, as well as the platforms that are going to be popular.

Warwick is putting his efforts into both video and podcasting. Both are great opportunities for brands to expand into, especially if their audience is interested in these content formats.

Voice search, micro influencers, video, and chatbots are all hot trends to watch!

Tamara also agrees that video and micro influencers will be two of the big trends this year. She’s also watching out for artificial intelligence and virtual reality.

Interactive content could be a great way to get creative in 2019!

Thanks to some inspiration from Seth Godin, Bill is focused on intent and empathy. Very important for all brands!

Q2: 47% of buyers view 3-5 blogs or other pieces of content before starting the buying process. How can we create strong, valuable blogs in 2019?

Since blog posts play such a huge role in your business and making sales, it’s important that every piece of content is high-quality. How can we make that happen though? Follow these tips:

To ensure your blog posts are a success this year, there are a few key things Julia thinks we should all keep in mind. You need to know your keywords for each post, create comprehensive content to lower your bounce rate and increase traffic, and be focused on your reader.

For anyone who needs help with SEO, she has the perfect course to guide you! The Expert SEO Content Writer Course has all the tips every online creator needs.

If you want your content to be discovered, it’s all about effectively optimizing your content. Spend some time studying the best SEO practices and put them to use.

As Sarah mentioned, knowing your audience is crucial to your success. In order for your blog posts to be a hit, you have to create the content your audience is searching for and deliver tremendous value.

Maria agrees, as she said consumer-focused content will always reign supreme.

Take the time to answer the questions your audience is asking. In time, you’ll become the go-to resource in your niche and you’ll establish trust with your target readers.

Make sure you answer any and all potential questions your customers might have. You need to use your content to break down any obstacles that might be standing in the way of them making a purchase.

And of course, you need to ensure your website is providing a great experience for visitors. If not, they’ll be rushing to exit your website and they’ll never give your content a chance.

Q3: If you’re thinking about adding a new content format to your brand’s online presence this year, which one will you go for and why?

Is 2019 the year you add video to your content strategy? Or maybe you want to give podcasting a go? These are the content formats some of our chat participants will be focusing on:

If you’re torn between video or podcasting, Julia thinks video is the way to go. Just make sure you get strategic about what you’re posting and focus on serving your audience.

Tim agrees that it’s all about video. He said it’s great for vlogs, telling stories, sharing testimonials, etc. You can really get creative here!

For Warwick, 2019 is all about podcasting!

Tamara is also interested in podcasts because of their convenience. They’re so easy to consume, especially because you can listen while doing other tasks.

Lexi recently directed her focus onto podcasting, but she’s also going to be doing webinars this year. Both are great opportunities to connect with your audience. Plus, cross-posting your content will help you get the most traction.

Getting creative with visuals can be a great way to go this year as well. You can experiment with video, GIFs, graphic design, photography, and infographics.

One final piece of advice for you… To choose which content formats are right for your brand, consider your audience. Get to know them and what they want. How do they want to receive and consume content? Once you figure that out, you can start testing to see what works and what doesn’t.

Maria agrees! If you aren’t sure what your audience wants, ASK THEM. It’s that simple.

Q4: What are a few Google-focused SEO trends in 2019?

Getting back to the topic of SEO, these are the trends you’ll want to focus on when creating content this year:

Julia published a post on our blog all about the SEO trends to watch for 2019. Definitely check that out if you want to learn more! But a few of those trends included: being mobile-ready for mobile-first indexing, featured snippets rankings going up in value, and creating high-quality content.

Lexie agrees that having a mobile-friendly website is crucial. Considering we often access content on our phones or on tablets, we need to make sure our websites are providing a great experience for visitors.

And to convince you even more… Having a mobile-friendly set is necessary for SEO and brand success.

You’ll want to consider apps, featured snippets, structured data markup, and technical SEO.

Besides being mobile-friendly, other trends to keep an eye on include voice, page speed, feature snippets, data protection, etc. All of these are great suggestions from Gaby!

Q5: When it comes to social media, which platforms are worthy of your attention in 2019? And how can you ensure that you stand out?

With so many social media platforms, it can often feel overwhelming trying to keep up with everything. So, where should you direct your attention? And how do establish your presence and build an audience that cares? Just follow these tips:

First, you need to consider which platforms your audience is actively using. You need to be where they are, otherwise you’re wasting your time. Julia also said that trends should direct your platform habits and your audience should direct your platform placements.

Sarah agrees that it’s all about knowing your audience. For the ThinkSEM team, they love Twitter for sharing content, but Facebook is their go-to for ads.

Twitter is definitely a strong platform, but what people are missing out on is video. That’s one sure-fire way to stand out there!

For Warwick, he’s focused on LinkedIn and wants to try using YouTube Live.

Gene is focused on using Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook for building relationships. He likes Twitter for chats, Instagram for DMing, and Facebook for groups.

Because it’s a powerful search engine of its own, Pinterest is worth your attention!

Q6: What strategies can all brands use in 2019 to better understand and connect with their audience?

Getting to know your audience and building a relationship with them is crucial to your success. But how do you do that? These strategies are really going to help you out!

Julia’s advice is to get strategic with your content and marketing habits. You need to have a strategy and knowledge of how your audience is and what they want.

Don’t be afraid to ask your audience questions. Whatever you want to know about them, just ask and they’ll deliver the answers.

Make sure you’re engaging with your audience regularly. You want to address their concerns, answer questions, and acknowledge what they have to say. It makes them feel appreciated.

If you aren’t listening to your audience, you’re doing it wrong!

Listen to your potential customers and current customers to determine what they want. As Annette said, they aren’t data point on a graph… They’re real people and deserve to be treated as such.

Jason’s focus? Empathy!

Get clear on your niche and work on personalizing your content to your audience. It’ll really speak to them that way.

You also need to create an experience for users, appeal to them with the right message, and solve their pain points.

Q7: It’s important to expand your knowledge, so what would you love to learn about this year?

Since we want to make sure we’re being of service to you, we asked everyone to share the topics they’re most interested in learning about this year. You just might see some of these become #ContentWritingChat topics!

Sarah would like to improve her skills on the technical side of SEO.

Chatbots, copywriting, and FB/IG/Google ads are all great topics to study!

Gene thinks it would be great to learn more about psychology, the brain, and neuroscience. These can all play a role in leadership and marketing, which is Gene’s field.

Annette is right there with Gene in having a passion for the psychological side of things.

Shelly wants to learn more about product design.

Q8: And finally, what are your content-related goals for this year? Share them now and we’ll hold you accountable!

These are the goals our amazing #ContentWritingChat community is working on this year:

Julia is busy working on her third book, preparing for some big changes for Express Writers, and plans to write for more major publications.

Tamara is aiming to be more consistent with her content this year, plus she wants to do more collaborations.

Caitlin says she wants to create long, thorough pieces of content this year. As she mentioned, these can be broken down into smaller snippets for sharing on various platforms.

And for Tony, his goal is to write one blog post per month, create one video per month, and he wants to launch a video series where he interviews entrepreneurs.

Want to join us for the next one? #ContentWritingChat happens on Twitter on the first Tuesday of every month at 10 AM Central! Follow @ExpWriters and @writingchat to stay updated.

SEO content creation

SEO Content Creation: Your Actionable Guide to Writing For the Rankings

Today and in the future, our audiences are changing the way they consume information and discovering new ways of accessing answers to the questions that drive them.

(Bob Dylan was right — the times, they are a-changing!)

bob dylan

And their evolving questions are the ones you — or your company — want to provide an answer to.

So, how do you let people know you’ve got the answers they seek?

Through recognizing the importance of SEO in content creation and negotiating the ever-changing landscape of the content economy.

Here’s the thing…

SEO has always led the way in driving traffic to websites.

Yet, like other online phenomena, SEO content creation is evolving to meet the needs of a new generation of online consumers.

SEO content creation is evolving to meet the needs of a new generation of online consumers. Learn how to create future-proof SEO content in this guide from @JuliaEMcCoy Click To Tweet

This change is, in part, pushed by trending technology like Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home and a literal explosion of tablet and mobile device usage.

So, how is the modern online user changing the landscape of SEO?

Let’s jump right in with the two most impactful trends in the industry, and then we’ll go into a super actionable, nitty-gritty guide on how to create SEO content this year in a way that boosts your traffic and end profits. Ready?

SEO content creation guide

The Top 2 Trends in SEO Content Creation Today 

1. Voice Search

Now that people no longer have to key in search terms at a computer, the way they are searching is changing.

For example, if I want to know what’s playing at my local movie theater and I’m on my phone, I might key in “Movies Cinemark,” because I know Google will use the closest theater to me named “Cinemark.”

However, if I’m using Alexa, Amazon’s assistant, I’d ask using more natural language, like I’m talking to a person, “Alexa, what movies are playing at the Cinemark in Austin, TX?”

quote for SEO Content Creation

This is voice search, and it’s one of the leading trends in content marketing this year.

To optimize SEO writing in the past, we used to take out all the “filler” words from a search query.

So,

“Where can I find the best coffee beans in Texas”

Became:

“best coffee beans Texas”

Targeted, yes.

Easy to fit into a smooth-flowing piece of SEO content? Definitely not.

Fortunately, the new, natural-language search terms are making SEO copywriting easier and more compelling — a winning combination.

But, it’s more than search itself that is changing.

People are also changing the way they consume content.

2. Video Content

According to Wyzowl, video marketing has surged, with 81% of companies using it to market their audience.

And there are many reasons to include video in your online content creation campaign, including:

  • Allowing customers to form an emotional — and trust-building — bond with you and your product through voice cues, facial expressions, and dynamic content.
  • Providing content versatility through a range of possible video content — quick demos, longer courses, hands-on tutorials, and more.
  • Encouraging engagement with touch-of-a-button sharing and embedding engagement options.
  • Keeping up with current technology — such as tablets and mobile devices — and the changing ways people are devouring content.

This isn’t the first time that marketers pivoted when video brought consumers a more engaging form of content.

The Buggles wrote “Video Killed the Radio Star” back in 1979 in response to MTV’s popularity with the music-consuming crowd who was turning from songs on the radio to videos of songs on television.

We all know how that turned out.

Despite all the fear, there was no apocalypse, no sudden loss of musical talent. The savvy merely repositioned themselves and moved on.

So, if you’re a creating SEO content for your website — get ready to pivot.

Video content is growing as mobile usage takes the lead over desktop for the first time in 2017.

desktop-v-mobile

And what better example of a website using video content to drive SEO than SEOmoz?

What started out as a simple whiteboard video became so popular that they were renamed Whiteboard Fridays and offered on a regular basis.

Here’s a great example of how they produce engaging SEO content from their list of topics of advanced SEO techniques — Using the Flowchart Method for Diagnosing Ranking Drops.

This screen capture, below, shows you just how fresh and personable this low-tech the video is while appealing to high-tech on-the-go users.

Moz-whiteboard-fridays

Neil Patel notes that one Whiteboard Friday video drew 402 links and more than one thousand social shares.

Of those links and shares, over 37 different domains participated in spreading love for the SEOmoz blog — proof that good video content encourages engagement.

3 Keyword Research Strategies That Deliver

Let’s be careful not to get ahead of ourselves.

Building great, truly compelling content is only possible after proper keyword research. As Backlinko so aptly puts it:

“Without keywords, there’s no SEO.”

Content is not something you should attempt willy-nilly. You need a strong plan of action in place before you spend time — and money — on SEO content creation.

quote quote for SEO Content Creation

That plan of action is keyword research.

The good news is, there are lots of brand-new strategies out there to help make your SEO content strategy even more on-target. All you have to do is engage them.

Let’s start with the basics.

1. Focus on Niche Topics

If you want to know how to write SEO content that points directly to your audience’s pain points, their natural curiosity, their need for spot-on information, you’ve got to put in the research.

Your first order of the day should be to determine your niche topic — your product or service’s unique standing in your industry and the things related to your product that your customers are interested in.

Understanding how to turn your customers’ interests into content will help you narrow keywords with laser-focused efficiency.

This, in turn, will contribute to the creation of compelling SEO content that tugs are your customers’ heartstrings — and wallets.

So, let’s say I’m running a business that sells coffee, because, you know — who doesn’t dream of an unending supply of java?

You can probably come up with some niche topics right off the bat. How about:

  • Coffee mugs
  • Coffee roasting guide
  • How to grind coffee at home
  • Best coffee beans for roasting
  • Espresso machine basics

There are probably over a million choices of niches, so concentrate on those that are important to your audience.

And there’s no better way to do that than to pin down exactly who your audience is, in the form of a persona.

How to Find Niche Topics

Learn how to find hot niche topics for better results with your SEO and online content, using @BuzzSumo's updated Content Analyzer tool (via @JuliaEMcCoy) Click To Tweet

Susan Moeller, Business Development Manager at BuzzSumo, gave me a few inside tips on how to run a content analysis that will help you discover how much traction a topic is getting inside BuzzSumo.

When we ran a few “coffee” topic ideas into the BuzzSumo Analyzer, it was a clear choice – How To Grind Coffee is a hot topic!

coffee-mugs__buzzsumoHere’s how to get to this section of BuzzSumo:

After you’re logged in, click on the Content Research tab at the top, and then on top of the search bar, switch the tab from “Search” to “Analysis.”

Under Analysis, you’ll find the new content analyzer tool.  When BuzzSumo added the comparison tool, they changed up the configuration a bit. (See the product announcement here.)

buzzsumo content analyzer

I love BuzzSumo and use it on a regular basis for content insights. The Analysis feature is a great way to get your hands on some trending niche topics.

2. Focus on Your Audience Persona

A persona is a representation of your target audience’s likes, dislikes, pain points, and more all rolled into one “Everyperson” whose opinions you can use to help focus your content.

Creating a persona is a necessary part of developing content for your website that really packs a punch.

Joe Pulizzi, founder of the Content Marketing Institute, underscores the need for laser-focused personas in order to create actionable, effective marketing when he says:

“If your content marketing is for everybody, it’s for nobody.”

So how do you create a persona?

You go through a series of questions that delve ever deeper into your fictional Everyperson’s goals, responsibilities, lifestyle, and more to uncover what really makes them tick.

You can find online persona creators that will walk you through the basics, but don’t stop there.

You need to interview some of your prime audience members in-the-flesh and incorporate their feedback into your targeted Everyperson.

Just like Pinocchio became a real boy through Gepetto’s love and attention, your persona will become more real — and more useful — the deeper you can go with your research.

Here’s a screenshot of a persona example featured on Alexa.com.

I chose this one because coffee is the lifeblood of most successful geniuses.

quote quote for SEO Content Creation

If you don’t believe me, check out this article in Entrepreneur.

Click To Tweet

alexa-persona

Look at the detail in this mini-biography. You’ve got her habits, her fears, what motivates her, and what can help her achieve what she wants in life.

That’s information that gives you a perfect way to produce SEO content that’s laser-focused to suit her needs and attract her — and others like her — to your website.

3. Find Long Tail Keywords

Creating content around long-tail keywords is the shortest way to a big payout. @JuliaEMcCoy Click To Tweet

quote quote for SEO Content Creation

Let me explain with the following analogy:

Do you wait until there’s a huge jackpot before buying a lottery ticket?

It’s not the smartest move since with everyone opting in, there’s even less chance that you’ll be going to Disney after the winning numbers are chosen.

Yet, many marketers treat writing SEO content in much the same way. They reach for those top three search terms that bag 60% of the organic traffic.

You know – the ones everyone is targeting.

But what they’re missing is this — the remaining 40% of traffic is prime real estate for savvy content creators.

The trick is to use long-tail keywords to divert that traffic to your site.

For beginners, you can start with the Google Keyword Planner. (I don’t recommend this tool for advanced SEO content marketers because if you can afford a tool, you’ll get better results – Google can actually skew their results and hide truth about search volume on keywords, to influence you on on buying Ad spots.)

I typed in “content creation” to get this list:

Content-Creation-Keyword-1

I took a high-ranking term from this list (social media content creation) and re-entered it.

That gave me these:

Social-Media-Content-Creation-2

Now, I have a more in-depth group of long tail keywords from which to choose.

And the more specific you can get with what your persona wants and needs, the more traffic you’ll drive to your site.

This screenshot from Trafficmasters.net says it all:

longtail-keyword-graph

Look at that keyword grow — from “shoes” to “men’s shoes” to the one that holds the key to customer interaction — “red Nike mens running shoes.”

quote quote for SEO Content Creation

So, don’t waste your marketing dollar on keywords that everyone is using. Expand your reach with in-depth, long-tail keywords. @JuliaEMcCoy Click To Tweet

Long Tail Keywords Just Got Longer: The Debut of the Long Tail Keyword Phrase

If you’ve been creating effective SEO content, you already know about long-tail keywords.

But did you know that in 2018, just like the Grinch’s heart, these keywords grew two sizes? Enter the world of long-tail keyword phrases, brought to you by the changing face of search.

Powered by devices such as Alexa, Google Home, and smartphone assistants, voice search is becoming increasingly familiar.

In fact, ComScore indicated that voice will account for 50% of searches by the year 2020, so optimizing your keywords for this phenomenon now is critical.

So, what’s the difference between search input through a console and voice search?

Simple. Voice search adds back in what fast, to-the-point typing leaves out.

For example, if I want to learn about optimizing my content, I might type

“effective content creation”

on my keyboard if I’m at my computer.

But, if I’m talking to Siri, Alexa, or another virtual assistant, I’d speak as I would to another person, saying, perhaps,

“Alexa, how can I optimize my online content?”

or

“Alexa, what kind of content creation is effective for coffee sales?”

Cool, right? Now, how can you take advantage of this trend?

One executable tip is to meet your customers where they live — online and in person.

Simple ways to get in touch with the pulse of your customer’s queries include:

  • Conversations – face-to-face or through email
  • Forums – check out Reddit, comment threads, and other chat spaces relevant to your product or service
  • Social media ­– LinkedIn, hashtags, product pages on Facebook, your competitor’s social media
  • FAQs ­– frequently asked questions pages on competitor’s websites or sites related to your audience or industry.

For most of these, just type in the group and add your keyword. For example, forum + coffee gives me these results:

Forum-results

I can click on to any of those sites to find out what’s got my customers talking right now.

Now, if I want to delve into social media chatter, my search might look like:

#coffee

This gives me:

coffee

Not only can these results help super-focus your keywords, but they can supply ideas that may not have come up in a standard search.

For example, see that hashtag on the second result above? #ethicallysourced? Those words represent a perfect idea for a page built around the niche topic of ethically-sourced coffee.

You could also expand this into a long-tail phrase such as:

where to find ethically sourced coffees

Basically, anywhere you can get a feel for the way people are asking questions about your product or service is the golden ticket to long-tail keyword phrases that convert.

Leverage New Search Trends to Build Powerful SEO Content

Remember those natural-language search terms we talked about earlier?

Here’s your chance to incorporate them into your keyword strategy to build powerful, on-target content.

Don’t let this new way of doing things throw a wrench in your SEO strategy — have some fun with it! There are some pretty neat tools out there to help you generate ideas.

For example, click over to Answer the Public for some awesome visual (or data-oriented, if you’re so inclined) cues for long-tail keywords that will set your SEO writing on fire.

Check out this screenshot of the “answers” I got when I typed in the phrase “content creation.”

For those of you who prefer simple data, the same information is available like this:

ask-questions-data

And Answer the Public’s riffs on your content go deep.

Here’s a screenshot of yet another way they generate responses, the “Comparisons” chart.

The even give suggestions by alphabet, one list for each letter. That’s 26 lists of ideas to get your content idea mill churning!

Now, if Ask didn’t generate what you need, you can move over to Soovle, another sweet content idea generator that lists top autocomplete terms for major online platforms — Google, YouTube, Amazon, Wikipedia, and Answers.com.

Here’s Soovle’s contribution to our “content creation” idea list.

Soovle

While Soovle’s lists aren’t as extensive as Ask the Public’s, they are more focused.

Because Soovle’s response pulls directly from the most-searched terms closest to your input word or phrase, it can help you narrow down the key phrases that may be most likely to draw attention.

So, now that you’ve found your niche, your persona, and done your keyword research, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and start SEO copywriting your little heart out!

Creating Strong Search-Optimized Content: 3 Killer SEO Copywriting Tips

SEO content creation is not just about optimization — it’s about writing, too. So, let’s start there, with the writing.

You may have a fantastic SEO content strategy ready to roll, but you’re not quite sure how to arrange your topic so that it makes sense and is readable.

Don’t reinvent the wheel.

Here’s a quick trick that I learned from nonfiction authors I know who check out bestsellers in their genre and use the table of contents to help them organize their own thoughts on a subject.

Great SEO copywriting examples are everywhere — if you know where to look. Backlinko recommends, and I concur, that you check out Udemy for inspiration.

You’d type in whatever your audience interests were, but I continued to riff on coffee for my example. When I typed “Java” into the search bar, it gave me the following results:

udemy-java

Look at that top class — over 50,000 people thought this was the mother lode of knowledge, and they shelled out money to prove it.

Now, click on that top course and scroll to “Curriculum.” There it is — what my author friends would call the “Table of Contents.”

Let’s look.

java-curriculum

This snippet gives you the perfect outline for an article, blog post, or content series that you already know resonates with your audience.

Plagiarism is a no-no, as I’m sure you understand, but you can use this strategy to fire your creativity in a way you know will resonate with your persona.

1. Use Latent Semantic Indexing in Your SEO Writing

If you want to rank higher, you’ll need to give search engines a little boost. That’s where latent semantic indexing (LSI) comes into play.

Also known as semantic keywords, LSI helps Google and other search engines understand what your content is really all about. You’ll need to sprinkle these throughout your article to be effective.

But how do you find them?

There are two ways I like. One is through Google itself. Simply type in your keyword (I used “ethically sourced coffee”) and you’ll get a series of snippets for results.

Here’s mine:

LSI-ethically-sourced

Notice those bolded words in the snippet — ethical sourcing and coffee sourcing? Those are your LSI words. You can comb through all your snippets until you get a nice handful to add to your content.

The second way is to use a free online tool, like lsigraph.com. I typed in my search term, and got this:

While some of the results generated here can be off-topic, you can see there’s a rich variety of material to be used as an SEO content strategy template.

2. Get Social with It

It’s not just enough to learn how to write SEO-friendly content — you have to share it, too. Every article should have a call-to-action (CTA).

Why?

Because you’re always selling something — your website.

Each article should, at the very least, have a CTA that encourages readers to share — through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social media sites where your target audience hangs out.

Brian Dean of Backlinko did this with one of his posts, which got 2900 tweets by adding a Click-to-Tweet button as a CTA at the end of the post.

It’s free at Click-to-Tweet.com. Just sign in with your Twitter account, post your message and generate a clickable link for the end of your content, like so:

And many readers will share without even reading the article.

Why? One reason is that sharing takes less time than reading and it still garners interaction from friends and the online community.

But what attracts those readers to share an article they haven’t read? The headline.

3. Create SEO Headlines that Increase Engagement

The headline is the most critical part of your SEO copywriting template. It’s the thing that draws the reader even when they don’t read the article.

As influencer Jayson DeMers says in an article for Forbes:

“The body copy of your content is still important, but these days, 

headlines are the true kings of content.”

SEOMoz breaks this down nicely into five actionable steps:

  • Determine your audience and your goals.
  • Optimize your headline for the channel that’s most demanding.
  • Write a simple, no-frills headline.
  • Now write one that’s optimized for clickability.
  • Now combine Steps 3 and 4 and include appropriate keywords.

Now, I’m going to throw in a little extra for all of you looking for a hard-and-fast SEO copywriting template — a couple of great little headline analyzers to help you nail that shareable title.

First, the Advanced Marketing Institute’s Headline Analyzer. Select your category — I’m still all about the beans, so I’ll choose Food & Dining.

Now, input your proposed headline, like so:

And get your results.

The best headlines have intellectual, empathetic, and spiritual elements, but that, of course, varies according to your audience.

The next tool is Coschedule’s Headline Analyzer. Input your headline and click “Analyze Now.”

And get your results.

Looks like my headline could use a bit of work, and Coschedule’s told me exactly where I can improve. Here’s one that fared better, even without the emotional twist.

But watch what happens when we add a dollop of emotion — kablam!

Now that’s a clickable headline that can drive traffic to your site and garner shares and engagement — just what you’re looking for when creating unique SEO content.

6 Tips for Writing Down the Line: How Authentic Content Wins Readers

Finally, one of the most tried-and-true SEO content writing tips is to write with passion and with the aim to share something valuable with your reader.

Authenticity and relatability are important, and valuable content drives traffic.

Adweek notes that more than 80% of consumers research before they buy, and your site can offer the information they need.

Or, you can offer a platform for engagement, which draws social sharing readers to you.

Suttida Yang, CEO of Fastmarkit, distills the formula into easy, bite-sized pieces.

1. Create a content calendar.

An SEO content strategy always involves a calendar to help your team coordinate toward a singular content goal. A calendar gives guidance for deadlines and helps with advance planning of strategic releases of pivotal content.

2. Know your audience and segment them into reachable groups.

We already talked about the importance of knowing your audience. If you have more than one persona that typically buys your product or services, then you’ll need to divide your content production efforts among each persona.

3. Make sure your content is evergreen — meaning always useful.

Once you’ve got solid cornerstone content going on, break it up into different pages for each segment of your audience. This can be separate landing pages or by categories in your header or blog.

4. Spread your content around by diversifying.

Use Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and other platforms to share with your audience. The more diverse your content, the more likely it will be seen — and shared.

5. Consistency is key.

Make a style guide and ensure that your team sticks with it. Have one “voice” across all content — whether that’s witty, fun, professional, serious, intellectual, or whatever resonates with your audience.

6. Check and analyze your data.

This will allow you to see what content is working — and what’s not. If something’s not engaging your audience, pivot and try something else.

And finally, because it bears repeating — be authentic with your audience. Give them value and transparency in your content and you’ll win not just readers — but fans.

The SEO Content Creation Roundup

You can’t live in Austin, Texas without throwing the word “roundup” in an article every now and then. It’s authentic — and it just fits.

If you’re looking for a quick recap of all the bright, actionable ideas inside this article, you’ve come to the right place.

We’ve explored the basics of SEO copywriting and content creation:

  • Developing a niche target
  • Creating a persona
  • Getting a keyword strategy that performs

Building on that, we looked at great new ways of creating SEO keywords that can grab some of that organic traffic for your website:

  • Long-tail keywords
  • Keyword Phrases
  • Semantic (LSI) keywords
  • Getting keywords from online forums where your audience chats

We’ve looked at new trends in search that are driving changes in SEO content:

  • Voice search
  • Semantic keywords

There’s no denying the importance of content in SEO. We’ve discovered new ways of producing content that wins audiences and encourages sharing:

  • Video content
  • Click-to-Tweet and social media sharing links

And we’ve outlined a few of the most important — and critical — elements of an SEO content creation strategy that should help you drive traffic more effectively once you implement them.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading the down-low on this year’s most interesting changes in the SEO content creation environment — I know I’ve enjoyed pulling them all together for you.

More importantly, I want you to take what you’ve learned and use it.

SEO copywriting tips aren’t meant to just be shared and forgotten.

They’re meant to take your website — and your SEO content — to a whole, new shareable level.

Need great content? Our team can help. Over 16,500 content projects completed to date, with a 99% client happiness rate. View our pricing here.

content marketing trends

11 Content Marketing Trends to Keep An Eye On

Listen.

Do you hear that?

That’s the sound of the first quarter of 2017 whizzing past you, rapidly disappearing into the rearview mirror.

Crazy, right?!

Once time is gone, you can’t get it back.

So: are you on track with your goals? Are you working on your content strategy? Do you have a content strategy?

The first three months of the year are over and we’re into the thick of 2017. If you’ve gone off course with your content, or you’re wondering where to go and what to do next, this list of content marketing trends will help to inspire you and get you into the groove of where content is headed.

Here, then, in no particular order, are 11 of the hottest content marketing trends you need to pay attention to this year. Let’s go…

content marketing

11 Content Marketing Trends Set to Explode

1. Specificity Rules

If there is one immutable law of markets, it is that they change. Markets move, they drift and shift, they fragment, and they wither and die.

And this happens faster today than ever before.

To keep up with the whims of the market and to stay relevant (a topic we will explore in a moment) to your target audience, you have to be flexible. More than that, you have to get specific.

In fact, the experts agree that we’re all going have to get way more niche with our content marketing if we expect to be successful in 2017.

Businesses, especially those that sell mass market products, are already starting to focus their product and service offerings to cater to various segments of an increasingly fragmented marketplace. But this has still yet to translate into their content marketing.

And yet there’s huge opportunity here.

No matter what business you are in, there is without a doubt a specific need, want or solution you are addressing too broadly with your content.

Imagine the impact of creating content so perfectly matched to your audience’s wants and needs that your business looks like the only option for solving their particular problems.

Things like “The Single Soccer Mom’s Guide to Healthy Kid-Friendly Snacks” or “The Social Media Manual for Gourmet Vegan Restaurants.” OK, those examples are really niche, but you get what I mean.

Before you create your next blog post, video, or consumer guide, look at the audience you are serving. How can you tailor what you are already doing to perfectly match the segments of the market you’re already serving with intensely specific solutions?

2. Relevancy is on the Rise

Relevancy is closely tied to specificity. The more specific the solution is to my problem or the answer is to my question, the more relevant, right?

Leaving aside for the moment that fact that Google loves relevant content, if you can demonstrate relevancy to your market, you win. And on a few levels, all at the same time.

Here’s what I mean:

Publishing relevant content shows not only that you have something to say that is ideally matched to help your target audience, but also that you are the company or person best positioned to be delivering that information.

Relevancy is all about capturing attention. Making your content as relevant as possible gives you the authority to hold that attention. And as we move further along into 2017, it is the battle for attention that you want to win.

However, there are some issues with making your content more relevant.

Firstly, creating relevant content can be challenging, especially if you have a regular publishing schedule to stick to. Being relevant implies being somewhat up to date all the time, which isn’t always possible when you are creating engaging content, especially when you are trying to create evergreen content assets.

Secondly, it is more difficult to create relevant content that is also evergreen. You may be forced to update your pillar content every year, or even twice a year depending on your industry.

This is where having a clear content strategy becomes indispensable. Creating more “bite-sized” content which is narrowly focused, up-to-date and relevant is an ideal way to supplement your more in-depth authority pieces and pillar content.

3. Content Hubs Are the Future of Content Marketing

It goes without saying that to make your content marketing successful these days you need a strategy. But as content marketing matures and evolves, it is moving more and more in the direction of a few major players dominating a niche.

Think about Adobe’s CMO.com in the B2B space. Or Moz Blog for SEO. Or Hubspot for inbound marketing. These branded content hubs have become highly influential authority sites in their particular niches. And if you’re trying to break into one of these in 2017, good luck, because these big guys have the market locked up.

There are many benefits of a content hub, but one of the most powerful is having all of your most influential, focused content in one place, which contributes to higher online visibility.

You also become attractive to other authors and influencers in your niche, and your content becomes varied and multilayered, which adds variety and credibility to your site. In fact, 63% of online users view blogs with multiple contributors to be more credible.

In some cases – although this very much depends on your positioning in your market – you can even control and shape the conversation going on in your niche, having the smaller sites link to you and reference your work as a trusted source of information.

Another big benefit is that Google loves sites with lots of pages to index, so if you’re going after sustained traffic, building a content hub is definitely the way to go in the long term.

There is, however, one significant barrier to success when creating a content hub, and that is, of course, actually being influential.

Simply having lots of content on your site is not enough. For that you need a solid content promotion strategy, which gets us on to our next trend.

4. Less is More, but Quality First

There is more content being published now than ever before, around 2 million posts every day.

To be honest, most of these are vanilla that don’t add much value to any kind of conversation.

It has become common advice that to stand out from all this noise all you have to do is publish better, longer, more in-depth content pieces.

In fact, in 2015 Rand Fishkin, the wizard of Moz, spoke about needing to create “10X content” to stay at the top of search engine rankings, citing that the only the top 10% of content wins, collecting all the social shares and links.

But this presents us with a problem too.

Creating high quality content is expensive, and the challenge of proving positive ROI to get executive buy-in is real.

So what’s the solution?

First off, there’s no getting away from producing high quality content. It’s the price to play these days, and it’s a very good thing.

But more than a content production strategy, marketers need a well-thought out content promotion strategy. If you’re going to spend the money to create quality content, you want to get as much mileage out of it as possible.

This not only means repurposing and republishing, but also engaging in other communities and seeking out up and coming influencers to promote your work.

It’s time to get creative, because the competition’s only going to get tougher.

5. Social Media is Going Live

One of the most intriguing trends over the past two years is the advent of new innovations in social media platforms.

Social media giants have been merging with agile up-and-comers, like Facebook acquiring WhatsApp and old-guard tech companies getting into the social media game, like Microsoft buying LinkedIn.

This transfer of the buying power of millions of new users is unprecedented and represents an entirely innovative method of cost-efficient customer acquisition.

Almost all major social media platforms have also begun to integrate live streaming video and the “Stories” content format. Instagram and Snapchat Stories, as well as Facebook Messenger Day are redefining how consumers interact with and share social content, promoting visual communication and “jumpstart” chat threads.

Facebook in particular, which launched Messenger Day in early March 2017, is pushing its way into the popular Stories format, as the increasing number of mobile users drives the potential of monetizing this new form of social media.

The potential for using Stories apps like Messenger Day for marketing has already been picked up by some early adopters, but its effectiveness has yet to be proven out.

Where it may prove effective is in the realm of influencer marketing, where influencers could promote products, services and events through this new dynamic social channel.

The development of this trend is definitely one to watch throughout 2017.

6. The Year of Video Marketing

Content marketing influencers have put this trend high on lists of predictions for the future of the industry for the past two years. And it seems that 2017 is truly the year of video.

In fact, according to HubSpot:

  • Watching videos accounts for one third of all online activity.
  • Video is driving engagement and sales, as 90% of customers report that product videos helped them make a buying decision.
  • Mobile video consumption is growing by 100% every year, according to YouTube.
  • 87% of online marketers have already integrated video content into their content marketing strategies.

What’s more, earlier this year it was predicted that by 2019, video marketing will dominate 80% of all internet traffic.

Embedding video on website landing pages already increases SEO, because Google owns YouTube, and social platforms like Facebook are optimizing feeds for video to increase overall viewing experience.

If you haven’t yet, 2017 is the year to increase your video marketing budget and start getting visual.

7. The Slow Death of Advertising is Speeding Up 

While traditional advertising will probably never disappear completely, branded content, social proof and the effect of influencer marketing is giving advertising a run for its money.

In fact, 72% of marketers currently think that branded content is more effective than magazine ads (source: Custom Content Council), and according to Google Trends, consumer interest in print advertising has declined rapidly since 2014.

Traditional advertising is historically a form of mass communication, and as I discussed before, what consumers are looking for these days is a source of information they can trust to make buying decisions, and crave ways to engage in some kind of conversation about the problems they’re facing.

Not only are consumers more demanding in how they want to be communicated to, this trend also refers back to the points about relevancy and specificity. If you don’t have those two things as the core of your strategy today, your content marketing is going the way of the dodo.

8. Content Marketing Integration with Sales 

While sales and marketing departments are still very much completely independent functions in many businesses, content marketing is helping to bridge the gap.

In fact, almost 50% of marketers are looking more closely at the sales process, or what has become known as the customer journey, and have been learning to align their content strategy to map each stage of this crucial process.

Giving customers a “high touch” experience at every step of the buyer’s journey, through the use of social media, newsletters, articles and webinars, is what is really driving engagement, retention, and ultimately sales.

9. Data and Original Research

This trend is related to the idea of publishing less, but better quality content.

Original research also has high authority value as it gives you a genuine way to stand out from the crowd. Instead of publishing “me too” posts about data 50 other bloggers in your niche have already covered, you position yourself as the source of meaningful and valuable insight into your market.

Conducting customer surveys, influencer outreach, reader polls, etc. gives you a wealth of up-to-date, valuable information you can turn into all kinds of content assets, which will then also attract backlinks from other marketers in your niche. HubSpot is an excellent example of this.

10. No Time for Bad Design

As the internet in general becomes more saturated by visuals, and as websites in particular become optimized for conversions (including mobile viewing), consumers are becoming more accustomed to a user-friendly experience when visiting a site.

Bad design equals poor user experience. And, in fact, delivering the best user experience on all browsers to promote better engagement is on the shortlist of modern SEO best practices.

So, if your website or content is driving people away because of bad design, you need to fix it – quick.

With the wealth of affordable professional web development services, as well as low-cost options like WordPress themes, there is no excuse for poor website design anymore.

The same goes for your content.

More and more users are being trained to expect good design and a pleasant experience when consuming content.

So, if you are committed to creating high quality content, the way it is packaged and delivered needs to be high quality too if you want to stay competitive.

11. Being an Authority and Influencer is More Important Than Ever

I’ve touched on this trend a few times throughout this post, but I left it for last because it is arguably the most impactful trend for the future of content marketing.

I’ve already mentioned making high quality content a priority, building towards having a content hub, the importance of original research, having cool new social media toys to play with, getting busy with video, but the deciding factor which trumps all of these is how much influence you have in your market.

A group of industry experts was interviewed recently and they revealed two crucial shifts that are happening in the world of content marketing right now.

The first is that content marketing is going to be a lot harder to do successfully from now on. The second is that it is authorities and influencers who will grab the majority of attention in any niche.

What this means for you and me is that not only do we have to up our game across the board, but content promotion and influencer outreach is going to become a far more critical component of our content marketing strategies than it has ever been before.

Conclusion

Those are the major trends I’ve been looking at over the past few months. Is there anything I left out which you feel is the next big thing for the future of content marketing?

What parts of your strategy can you adjust or add to that will make your marketing more relevant in 2017?

Let me know in the comments!