Content Marketing Blog

Content lessons from Kanye West

Kanye West, one of the most successful rap artists of the past decade, celebrates his 34th birthday today (June 8th). Aside from enjoying his music and his taste in sunglasses, you can also learn a thing or two about content strategy from old Mr West.

Since 2004, West has won multiple awards including a record 14 Grammies and all five of his albums have gone platinum. If you’re looking to get your content marketing strategy in shape, here’s what you can learn from him…

Unique, keyword-heavy content

There is no shortage of painting-by-numbers rappers who with the right producer can manage a hit record or two. Despite the massive egos, you’d often find it difficult to tell these guys apart just from listening to their music.

Kanye West, like other enduring artists of the genre like Jay-Z and Snoop Dogg, has a unique style of delivery that instantly puts his mark on not only his own music but anything he contributes to. But while his delivery is unique, West still understands the need to hit certain buttons – to include the keywords and phrases that his audience expects on a rap record.

You’ll want to take a similar approach with your content strategy. Anything you write needs to be unique so that search engines will index and rank it and visitors will find it useful and valuable. Your content should be written in an appropriate style with your target audience in mind, but you can’t ignore your keywords and some basic on-page SEO.

Where to compete

An important part of your content strategy is deciding where and how to compete. Targeting high value keywords dominated by powerful competitors with authoritative domains will require a great deal of time and money before you see any success.

However good your content – and your site / product / service – may be, you’ll always benefit from weaker competition. Kanye West is undoubtedly a very talented artist. His delivery, his lyrics and the production skills he honed at Jay-Z’s Roc-A-Fella Records during his rap apprenticeship have earned him deserved commercial success and critical acclaim.

West also benefited from a real lack of genuine competition in his niche. He was head and shoulders above the also-ran rappers of the mid 2000s, due to his talent certainly, but also due to a lack of it elsewhere.

If you can do the same with your content strategy – find untapped search volume or terms dominated by weak results – you won’t win a Grammy, but you can boost your traffic, retention and conversion.

Dynamic and static content

Kanye West’s final lesson for content strategists is to invest in both static and dynamic content. To date, West has put out five albums. These are his flags in the earth, his rap legacy. They will be bought and downloaded for years to come.

But during his career, West has helped to promote his albums and his personal brand with various activities (some more controversial than others), including social media. West is one of the world’s most popular Twitter users, with close to 3.5 million followers. That puts him in the global top 40, just below Snoop Dogg, according to Twitaholic.

Useful and relevant static landing pages are your platinum-selling albums. These are the pages on your site that continue to win traffic and convert visitors months and even years after you created them. To complement these pages, you also need some dynamic content – something that can pull people in from search and social media and push them through to the right pages deeper within your site.

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