It’s in the Bag: Trick-or-Treating Your Content Approach
Anyone who’s ever stuck their head in a pillowcase of hard-won Halloween candy and breathed in knows exactly what success smells like. A glorious melange of chocolate and sugar and peanut butter and more sugar, it represented hours of trudging door-to-door for handfuls of edible treasure. While you might not be able to relive your youthful candy-hoarding days, you can rediscover that sweet smell of success in your content planning. Let’s upend that proverbial pillowcase on the living room floor. What have you gotten from your hard work and what kind of treats you need to add?
Full Size Candy Bars
These are it. These are the hauls so good that you contemplated trying a different costume to go hit up that house again. In the content world, these are your high-performing pieces. Wordstream’s CEO Larry Kim would call these content pieces your “unicorns.” Of the content you currently have out there, these are the assets that are getting the most hits, the most shares, the best interactions with your audiences. Just as they held enormous trade value in childhood’s actual candy haul, these pieces offer the best mileage and opportunities for you to increase your brand profile and reach.
Fun Size Candy Bars
These are everything you love about full size candy bars in smaller chunks, they were easier to “move” in trades with friends and siblings, too. Content-wise, consider these the small blog posts or parts in a series of posts that connect or reference your full size candy bar pieces. Just as important as their larger counterparts, they help coax readers that might not want to chow down on a larger piece of content. These spark the appetite for something bigger, and you definitely want a generous handful of these in your content plan.
Ring Pops and Single Candies
Individually wrapped, these spotlight candies always put trick-or-treaters to an agonizing end-of-night choice: keep and savor their uniqueness, or use them for trading value. Thankfully, this category represents the “bite sized” content you post on social media – Facebook posts, Tweets, Instagram photos – and you don’t have to choose. While you’ll need a good mix of topical “fresh” posts and scheduled evergreen posts that support your brand identity, they are collectively priceless when it comes to capturing the attention of your target audience.
It’s true: these were not a candy that chocolate-seeking grade schoolers idolized. However, the mere appearance of this tri-colored, waxy treat in stores signaled that Halloween was just around the corner, and that was cause for celebration. While it’s tempting to focus your blogs and posts solely on your own brand and business, think of external links like candy corn – they signal that great content is right around the corner. With few exceptions, your content pieces should make it a point to occasionally reference sources of information, industry sites, relevant news articles, and so on. This helps build legitimacy and authority, and demonstrates to your readers and search engines that your main concern is educating your visitors, not hard-selling your product with every sentence.
Mary Janes and Licorice
While not a popular choice for young costumed palates, these pieces served an important role: bribing parents to leave the rest of your stash untouched. Not every piece of content is going to be a resounding win, but with Google giving increasingly weighted consideration to consistency and frequent updates, a steady stream of content can only help your case. Of course you want to try to hit a home run with every piece you post, but there’s a lot to be said for simply continuing the conversation with established fans.
Those Weird Black-and-Orange Wrapped Taffy Pieces, Toothbrushes, Black Plastic Spider Rings and Pennies
Bo-ring. These are outdated content strategies like keyword stuffing, copied content and non-optimized blog posts, and they’re doing the same thing as their candy bag counterparts: weighing you down and taking up space that should be full of primo sugar high material. Treat them the way you used to treat unwanted pillowcase stowaways: dump them out and concentrate on the good stuff. [Tweet This]
When you’re taking an inventory of your content planning candy bag, what are you piling up? Do you have a mouthwatering stash of full size snickers, or a handful of squished taffy pieces and a bruised apple? If it’s the latter, start racking up some trade-worthy chocolate by working on your editorial calendar and brainstorming topics with your writers. If you work hard and commit to a dedicated schedule of quality content, the end result will be a “treat” for your site metrics that you’ll be savoring long after October 31st.
Delany M is a well-rounded freelancer with an emphasis in product descriptions, landing pages and articles. With over a decade of experience to her credit, she has enjoyed writing for national chain retailers, small e-commerce boutiques and a wide range of service providers.
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