It’s that time of year again. Time to analyze your marketing strategies and prepare for the content marketing strategies that will be effective in 2016.
With Google updating its algorithms on a regular basis, you need to keep an eye out for what’s working and what’s not.
And, if you use strategies that Google now deems ‘bad,’ you’re ranking (whether Google will use your blog post as the results of a search query) will be affected.
It’s critical to stay in Google’s good graces. To do this, you need to know what they want and what they frown upon.
The following are seven top strategies to focus on in 2016:
1. Keep it original and super-valuable.
The Panda algorithm deals with original and valuable content. Creating original and super-valuable content is still in play, even more so.
According to a Forbes.com article, “competition will skyrocket” in 2016. Due to “algorithms, new formats, and new technologies,” it’s becoming easier and much more affordable for companies to produce their own content. This will create an influx of content into an already saturated market. (1) Thus the need for original, super-valuable content.
Tip: Limit your use of permission-based reprints (duplicate content) on your website. Instead use content curation to use the content from other websites.
Remember, valuable content that is ORIGINAL and that drives SHARING is at the top of the marketing strategies to use in 2016.
2. Make your content substantial.
Along with creating original and powerful content, it will need to be SUBSTANTIAL and in-depth. This means writing and publishing longer blog posts.
The reason? Google’s Knowledge Graph
Google introduced Knowledge Graph in 2012, but it will become more prevalent in 2016.
According to Wikipedia, Knowledge Graph provides a searcher with an immediate and short “structured and detailed” answer to his query. (2)
It also provides a list of relevant links to websites, but the answer Google provides is geared to remove the need for the searcher to click on (navigate to) other sites. OUCH!
To make things worse for the content marketer, in 2014, Google initiated the Knowledge Vault. This ‘vault’ is used to provide the answers to search queries. The information in the vault is derived from the Knowledge Graph pool and its own data collected by “machine learning algorithms.” This ‘combined pool’ database has billions of facts at its disposal, ready to dispense answers to queries in the blink of an eye.
But, wait, it gets even worse.
Microsoft Bing also has one, Satori Knowledge Base. And, then there are the Android digital assistants Siri (Apple) and its competitor Cortana (Microsoft). They’ll be providing the same type of instant answers as Knowledge Graph, furthering eliminating the need for the searcher to navigate to a website. DOUBLE OUCH!
Short blog posts won’t get any action. Google will already have it covered.
So, your content will need to be substantial.
3. Visuals are a must.
We’ve definitely been gravitating toward a more visual marketing arena. Most people prefer graphics and video over text. This means you need to make visuals a large part of your content marketing.
Always include quality and copyright-t free images in your posts and on your website. Make sure all your images work for you:
A. Optimize every image. How to do this:
• Give each image a keyword effective title. This includes the title you save the image under in your computer.
• Include ALT text.
• Include a keyword effective description.
Image optimization is possible in WordPress, but not Blogger.
B. Make the image motivational.
Studies have found that having ‘people’ in the image, being happy or motivated, encourages conversion. Make the image correspond to the post.
C. Be sure each image is clickable to another webpage or post.
Bring the visitor to your sales page, your opt-in page, another of your blog posts, or a CTA (call-to-action) page. Your visitor expects the images to be clickable – don’t disappoint her.
Along with images, videos, Slideshares, infographics (technically an image), and animation need to be incorporated into your strategy.
If you don’t want to create videos, create a PowerPoint presentation and turn it into a Slideshare. Then get it up on YouTube.
Or, create an animated video and get it on YouTube. Don’t know how? Hire someone.
Check out The Article Writing Doctor Animation Service.
If you’re not aware of it, Google owns YouTube. This means they favor content on that channel.
4. Keep your content and website focused.
Getting back to a couple of old staples, you must have a focused platform.
What does this mean?
Well, if your site is about pets, don’t have a page or write content on fashion tips or government politics.
If you write primarily about inbound marketing, don’t include children’s writing or health content in the mix.
Google doesn’t want to get confused or have its searchers get confused. It wants a clear cut image of who you are and what you’re offering.
Keep things focused.
5. Keep track of your links.
In regard to Google’s Penguin algorithm, who and what you’re linking to is super-important.
Check your internal and external links periodically.
Along with broken links, you need to check for spam links. You don’t want to link to an unscrupulous website.
WordPress has a number of Plugins to help find broken links. Blogger doesn’t offer this type of tool, so give yourself lots of time to go through all your posts and pages periodically.
6. Write more content.
Along with original content, Google loves frequency. Blog as often as you can. But, keep in mind that consistency is more important than frequency.
– So, if you blog once a day, keep it up for consistency.
– If you blog three-times a week – stay consistent.
– Blog only once a week? Be consistent.
Google takes note of your consistency.
7. Social media is a powerhouse.
At this point, it’d be surprising if you weren’t already taking advantage of the social media channels, such as Twitter, Facebook, GooglePlus, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and so on.
This is another marketing strategy you want to use frequently.
Along with this, social channels like LinkedIn (Pulse) and sites like Self-Growth allow you to publish articles on their platform. They have huge readerships; this allows for greater visibility.
And, did you know that Facebook has initiated buy buttons on “dedicated shops on Pages where users can browse for and purchase items.” (3) This means a user can find a product and actually purchase it right within Facebook.
And, Twitter is hot on Facebook’s tail. They’re in the process of initiating Buy buttons on tweets. (4) Pretty soon, most, if not all, social channels will provide the ability to buy directly from their sites. You can buy from users and other users can buy from you. It will though cost to use these tools.
Again, social media marketing is a powerhouse.
Summing it up
While there are other strategies that will be prominent in 2016, these seven are some of the basics. Be sure you’re incorporating them into your content marketing strategy.