If, as a company, you are doing some research to create a good web marketing strategy, you will have understood that you cannot go without a blog: the beating heart of digital communication. Indeed, such a platform is established with the aim of giving your brand visibility and attracting qualified traffic to be converted into customers. All this can be obtained only by publishing quality content that interests your audience.
Assuming that the success of a blog depends on its ability to meet the interests of those it aims to reach, using Artificial Intelligence to understand the digital context that the user is moving in could prove to be particularly fruitful. Indeed, there are solutions that, thanks to their integrated AI engines, allow for content performances to be measured in real time. As a result, from the use of content, the topics and formats that “work” best can be identified, including which would be better to invest in to truly grab the attention of your readers.
But why is it so important to understand who we have in front of us? What role does the consumer play in the definition of our editorial strategies? Here at CI.net, we asked Riccardo Esposito from My Social Web, an anthropologist who has turned his hand to web writing and the world of blogging, and the author of the well-known “Fare blogging. Il mio metodo per scrivere contenuti vincenti”.
Q: Why does content play a fundamental role in determining how attractive a company is?
A: Content is always fundamental for companies for different reasons. First of all, to win over the trust of a potential customer. I trust those who work hard to satisfy my needs and not just to promote a product or service. Users do not purchase like robots; they have needs. And those who publish quality content create a useful service.
Quality content means credibility. But also, inbound marketing and the ability to get found at the precise moment when people are looking for you and your potential product or service. Consider a well-looked-after and well-organized blog: articles are positioned, and potential customers come to you. Then, you feed social media channels with what you have published and, perhaps, the newsletter. A company needs all of this, otherwise it becomes self-referential and sterile. Without growth prospects.
Q: What do you think the characteristics of a winning piece of content are?
A: The characteristics of a winning piece of content are those that allow you to intercept a request. It isn’t enough to follow a fixed set of rules; there aren’t any. A news story can be brief and schematic but fulfill the need of arriving at its destination as soon as possible. A tutorial may be full of further information, images and videos because it has to explain how you reach the verdict down to the last detail. Often, a question can be answered with a blog article, using just text and nothing more. But, in many cases, visual support is also needed.
Those who manage to pinpoint all this can create quality content. Woe betide those who think they have definitive instructions to achieve their aim: they do not exist. You can face the target and give them what they want.
Never lose sight of the importance of the audience. Just like when you’re communicating. Those who do not know how to do this job arrogantly repeat, “They didn’t understand me”. It doesn’t work like this; they are not the ones who have to understand you. You are the one who must make every intersection clear to create a noteworthy result. This goes for blogging and for any content marketing activity.
Q: In the “Blogging” book, you refer to an editorial planning technique that starts out by listening to the person it aims to reach. Please could you explain it to us briefly?
A: As I explained in the previous paragraph, studying the target can make a difference to the creative process for content. Now, the question is as follows: in this case, how can I find useful information? By analyzing the needs of who I want and need to reach. To do so, I have to work on two levels: analysis of Google searches, and online forums, comments and discussions. On the one hand, I am trying to understand what people want from the search engine. On the other hand, I am heading towards conversations that are developing based on the realities that draw comparison. In this way, I can create content that is aligned with real needs.
The real problem for those who create online content is the lack of different points of view. Content is published in the belief that it offers the best possible result because those who made it like it. Wrong, it doesn’t work like this: you are not at the center of this process. This is the first step for every good editorial plan, just as I have written in this guide published on My Social Web.