How valuable is high-value content to your business?
When news can be reduced to a 140 character tweet and engagement is down across a wide spread of digital content, according to a survey by Moz and BuzzSumo, marketers must ask themselves: is it worth spending the time and money it takes to produce unique, high-value content?
After examining the links of over 1 million articles, however, BuzzSumo and Moz found that it wasn’t necessarily that users are ignoring what’s out there, it’s that many organisations simply aren’t producing the right content or doing enough to amplify what they publish.
The evolution of content consumption
The grim outlook for advertisers is that the vast majority of digital content is by and large ignored – receiving very few shares and links. Of 100,000 randomly selected pieces. BuzzSumo and Moz found that more than half had fewer than two Facebook interactions and more than 75 percent had no external links.
This, of course, is discouraging for advertisers. Marketers might point the finger at consumption trends – in the last two years, we’ve seen a 57 percent increase in content consumption on Facebook and a 25 percent increase on Twitter, according to HubSpot. Further, one-third of users now use their smartphone to access the internet more than any other device.
It may seem then, that readers don’t have the time or interest for high-value, long-form content, yet the opposite is actually true. While a lot of information can be gleaned easily from a Google Answer box at the top of user’s’ search results, high-value, downloadable content still remains a very effective way to move your users through the funnel.
— Andy Crestodina (@crestodina) June 8, 2017
Benefits of high-value content
Producing high-value, downloadable content is more labour intensive, but posts will undoubtedly be more effective at achieving your content marketing goals than a standard piece that could easily be reproduced by your competitors. We break down some of the benefits of certain high-value content:
- Whitepapers: When users download a whitepaper, they’re likely looking for the answer to a specific question. Whitepapers are your organisation’s chance to show off your expertise and give the background on a product or service you offer. They’re also well suited to problem-solution pieces, where you clearly break down a solution to an issue your customers may be having.
- Ebooks: Like whitepapers, ebooks are typically a downloadable product that allows you to educate your customers about what you know and what you do. Generally a soft sell, ebooks can go a long way in building your brand awareness and developing trust in your organisation.
- Case studies: The ultimate in brand trust, case studies prove exactly what your organisation is capable of through meaningful, well-articulated testimonials and stories of your work.
- Research reports: Similarly, publishing your own research will also show your brand as an industry leader and bolster social trust in your business.
General tips for amplifying your high-value content
Not all high-value content is created equally, however, and to get the best return on your content marketing efforts, publishing the right stuff is key.
In general, there are a few takeaway tips for those looking to optimise their high-value content.
- When you can, write more. A staggering 85 percent of content published is shorter than 1,000 words, according to Moz and BuzzSumo, when it’s actually long-form content (longer than 1,000 words) that tends to receive more shares and links.
- Mix it up. Simply put, people like to look at pretty things, so taking the time to add photos, videos and social media embeds will encourage more engagement with your posts.
- Think about your audience. While a whitepaper might be incredibly effective if you’re introducing a new, technical product or service, it probably won’t be as relevant if you’re selling handbags. Keep your audience in mind and produce the kind of content they’ll appreciate most.
- There’s still a place for ‘snackable’ content in high-value pieces. The volume of short, digestible content has increased in order to satisfy smartphone users and those who spend limited time per page. Although not all elements of snackable content are suitable for high-value pieces, all content can be boosted by things like lists, videos and any other feature that allows users to glean information more easily.