Creating content is hands down one of the most popular and successful digital marketing tactics out there. Every day, countless pieces of content are getting published on the web. Because of the high level of competition and constantly increasing number of results, it’s very difficult to rank content on Google. The problem that many marketers are facing is that the web (and competition) are never going to stop growing.
In the olden days of SEO, it might have been easy to rank for a blog post that was randomly thrown together. Today is a different story. More thought and research is needed to create content than ever before.
But how do you know if you have a good idea for a piece of content?
Whether you want to create a blog post, video, or infographic, you need to consider a few factors before moving forward to the creation stage. Today I’m going to list 4 questions that you should ask yourself when creating content for a brand. If you answer each of these questions honestly, you’ll know if your content idea will flourish or fail:
What is the purpose of this piece of content?
This may seem like an obvious question, but you have no idea how many people I’ve asked who can’t give me a straight answer. It’s easy to get excited about a creative idea that you came up with. But if there is no purpose to a piece of content, there is no point. Think about how your content will benefit your business or brand. What do you want your audience to do after they’ve seen your content? What do you want your audience to believe, think, and feel?
Here are some examples of reasons why you might publish a piece of content:
- To increase awareness of your brand
- To educate your target audience about your products
- To drive conversions and sales
- To increase organic traffic to your website, YouTube channel, social channels, etc.
2. How will my idea answer a need, concern, or problem?
After identifying your content’s purpose, you need to make sure that your idea answers people’s needs. Quality, high-ranking content answers a specific question, problem, concern, or need. If you have an idea for a piece of content, think about why people will want to read or view it. Step inside your target audience’s shoes and think about what they are looking for in your content. Is your audience looking for a straightforward answer? Are they looking to be entertained by learning about a subject they are interested in? Or are they needing in-depth resources and research? Will a video, written blog article, app, or infographic work best as a way to address your audience?
The more you think about what your audience will want to see, the easier it will be to create a quality piece of content that gets good traffic and results. If you can’t think of a reason why people would want to look at your content, your idea may need refining or you may need to come up with a different idea altogether. As you create your content, keep in mind that the quickest way to rank in Google is to publish what searchers want to see in the way they want to see it.
3. What is the competition like?
Competitors don’t only come in the form of physical businesses. They also come in the form of blog posts, videos, social media accounts, etc. With each content idea you brainstorm, you need to look at what other people have already created. Find the top performing content that your newly created content would have to compete against in order to rank for a top position in the search results. For example, if you want to make a video about traveling in India, you need to search for the top videos about India travel on YouTube and Google.
As you analyze and look at the competition, you should ask yourself the following:
- Are there a high number of pages, posts, videos, etc. that I would need to compete against to get a top spot?
- Are the top ranking pieces of content from well-established companies, bloggers, or content creators with a large following?
- Will it be difficult to create a piece of content that’s better than what has already been published?
If you answer “yes” to any of these questions, be aware that it will be harder for your content to rank in the top results. This doesn’t mean that it will be impossible to rank high. However, you will have to dedicate a lot of time, work, and research to getting your content to rank. Remember that the lower the competition is and the more original your content idea is, the easier it will be for you to get results.
4. How can I create something better than my competitors?
Creating content that’s similar to what’s already been published is not enough. The final question you have to ask yourself when looking at content ideas is how to create something better than what already exists. The content you create needs to be more engaging, interesting, and entertaining than the rest of your competitors’. Think about what you can do to set your content apart from others. What will make people want to view your content instead of other people’s? Identify what you can do so your content stands out from the crowd. Otherwise, it’s going to get lost in the endless page results of Google.
Consider these suggestions on how you can make your content stand out:
- Add more resources, facts, and information to your content
- Answer a question that the competitors weren’t able to get to
- Visually make your content look better (it’s okay to hire a graphic designer if you need to).
- Expand your content so it is longer and more detailed than competitors.
- Consider including different types of media in your content: videos, images, text, music, games, quizzes, downloadable PDFs, etc.
In order to publish good content, you first need good ideas. Remember to ask yourselves these four questions when coming up with ideas so you can establish a strong content strategy. By answering these questions your content will not only be more engaging and interesting, but will also naturally rank better in Google Search Results.
Have other suggestions for how to come up with better content ideas? Comment below!