The Complex Dance
Anna has been in the content game for over 13 years so she brings distinct expertise. Despite shifting and altering (for the best) over the last decade-plus, content remains a vital part of strategy as it is still the primary way brands communicate. There is a continued debate on whether content or design comes first but for Anna, it is a partnership as they work together. Now, SEO, Social, and UX have been added to the puzzle and created the need for more coordination. Content is a piece of the puzzle that spreads out over the entire ecosystem. "Content touches every single person and it's everybody's job."
Cracking the Code - Best Practices
When it comes to website content, there's a lot of dispute regarding best practices.
Can you repost a single piece of content across multiple channels?
In terms of reposting written content, across various mediums and outlets, Anna notes that it's a great move to alleviate the bandwidth strains on smaller teams. However, repurposing a piece by altering it dependent on the audience and scale; for instance, tweaking the size of a post can lean on the advantages of each channel. Much of the time, brands can have separate audiences on each outlet so it is crucial to align the post with those customers. Don't simply duplicate but hit the same keywords.
Do you need to create new content all the time?
In short, no. The SEO practice of 'feeding the beast', where Google's algorithm favored new content, is outdated. For Anna and the team at Convince & Convert, the best posting cadence is when you have something to say that resonates with your audience. Don't create for the sake of creating.
Do you need to keep the most important information 'above the fold'?
People are scrollers, not readers. Most users will scroll and read the bold headlines then the first sentence. Various patterns have emerged over time using eye-tracking, 'F shape', 'Z shape', or 'Layer cake'; however, most users typically miss the right side of the page so the best practice is don't put crucial points on that side.
A Balancing Act
Try to balance both the informational and entertainment elements as for the majority of brands, customers are seeking an answer to their questions. Nobody wants to read boring content but writers have to balance delivering knowledge and the cute fluff. Nowadays, we have to also consider accessibility as poor user experience can turn a potential client away from a brand forever. It takes multiple interactions (via blog, social, email, AND SEO) to convert someone. Nobody is coming through a linear customer path so marketers must forgo fighting for credit.
Having a clear purpose that aligns with your audience is absolutely vital. This was only an overview of our conversation with Anna. Be sure to listen to the whole episode.
See you next week!
Anna Hrach is a content strategist at Convince & Convert. Her mission is to help marketers understand how content impacts all aspects of both a company and its customers.