Amidst all the shiny trend-spotting newness at this year’s Seattle Interactive Conference last week, one not-so-secret secret to success kept coming up in session after session: The best way to get people look at your site is to create compelling content.
We all know, that’s easier said than done, especially if your marketing team is small or non-existent. And while some people are naturals, others need a little bit of help to get the content production going. So here are some tried-and-tested tips from experienced digital marketing pros.
1. Use Quora to find the right topic
Quora is a popular question-and-answer online forum and as such a good way to start your idea search. “I often go to Quora and pick the questions in my field that don’t get a good answer and try to answer them in a separate piece,” said Michael King (@iPullRank), Director of Inbound Marketing at iAcquire. So let’s say you have a golf store or write a golf blog and struggle to come up with relevant content. Hop over to Quora, check the questions people ask about golf and pick one that didn’t get a lot of good answers. With the right expertise you can be the one to provide this knowledge and voila – you just created a relevant piece of content with a good chance to drive some traffic to your site.
2. Go offline and surprise people
You know what customers like even more than a shout-out on social media? Free stuff delivered to their door or workplace! If you run a bakery and somebody is longing for a croissant in their Twitter-feed, send the lucky person a croissant. If you don’t run a bakery but still need some good social media content, go ahead and buy that croissant and get it delivered. Make sure they post a photo or video (which they almost always will do) and promote it across platforms.
3. Free filtered Yelp reviews
This is one for local business owners and one of many great suggestion from David Mihm (@davidmihm), Director of Local Search Strategy at Moz. If you are trying to market a local business, Yelp is both a vital tool and the bane of your existence. One thing that can be particularly irritating is Yelp’s habit of filtering reviews. Yelp says this is a service to highlight the most relevant reviews but it also means many other (positive) testimonials are hidden behind a captcha-protected barrier rarely breached by potential customers. So go ahead, free those locked-away reviews, ask the authors for permission, and put them on your own website for everybody to be seen.
4. The humble FAQ
Admittedly, posting answers to frequently asked questions on your website is not exactly cutting edge. But it is surprising how many businesses rather rely on a bland service description than on actual questions from customers. So go ahead ask your waiting personnel, sales people, community managers or whoever else is in touch with your customers and answer the most common question in a fun and engaging way.
5. Harvest the open source data
Finally, a strategy for the ambitious, data-savvy marketer. If you have the skills (or get them with some experimenting) you can use publicly available data from socrata.com, data.gov, or Pro Publica to create an illustration or infographic. There are even free tools available to create fancy geographic overlays. Ok, this will take some work, but the rewards in terms of traffic can be huge.