What is Content Creation in Digital Marketing: 17 Ways to Make Better Content to Get Your Website Found

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Your website is stocked with blogs you love. Your promotional marketing campaigns on your social media platforms tout your fantastic products every day. You even bombard your email list once a week, like clockwork, encouraging people to buy.

You’ve already spent hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars on digital marketing, yet you’re still not seeing results. With all the effort you put in, you should be on top of the digital marketing heap.

But all you’re getting, at best, is an occasional Facebook like or comment from a random stranger or former high school classmate. And it’s not even someone you liked.

Statistics about content creation in marketing and having a plan

Here’s the thing about digital marketing:

  • It doesn’t matter how much you spend or how hard you push
  • What matters is your content has what it needs to succeed

What’s that?

This article, based on a WriterAccess Academy webinar, is going to fill you in. The truth is, the formula for successful digital marketing content may be more within reach than you think.

Content Creation within the WriterAccess Academy Platform

Follow the tips in this article from expert marketers and you’ll see for yourself, even if your previous marketing efforts only attracted random strangers and former high school classmates. 

This time it will be different because:

  • You’re starting strong with the basics
  • You’re building strong content with specific goals in mind, namely to increase traffic, engagement and conversion rates 
  • You’re capitalizing on proven techniques from content marketing mavens

Your first step is to start with the basics and that means a basic understanding of what great content is.

1. Understand What Great Content Is

Before you can buckle down to write great content, you need to understand what great content is. Two content marketing masters, CopyHackers’ Joanna Wiebe and Orbit Media Studio’s Andy Crestodina, each sum it up along the same lines.

“Great content is content that performs.”

Joanna Wiebe | Copyhackers
Joanna Wiebe instructor with WriterAccess Academy on Content Creation in Marketing

“Great content is content that has a strategic plan to reach its goal, whatever that goal may be.”

Andy Crestodina | Orbit Media
Andy Crestodina instructor with WriterAccess Academy on Content Creation in Marketing

Your content goal may be to build awareness, trigger people to enter their email addresses or move people through the web page. Great content will always achieve that goal.

Bad content will not. In fact, bad content may not even have a goal to begin with. Bad content may also be lacking the three magical ingredients that make inbound marketing work.

2. Include These Three Magical Ingredients

Whether readers are prospects, new customers, or longtime customers and fans, your target audience is going to decide in milliseconds if your content is worth reading or not. 

Three elements can help tilt the scales in your direction, as noted by WriterAccess and CMC Founder Byron White.

“Great content has snap, crackle, and pop.”

Byron White | WriterAccess
Byron White instructor with WriterAccess Academy on Content Creation in Marketing
  • Snap: Content “snaps” when a headline or image stops the reader in their tracks and inspires them to read on.
  • Crackle: Content “crackles” when it creates the elements that engage and connect with the reader. These may be a great story, emotional triggers, or rewards for participating.  
  • Pop: Great content “pops” when it inspires readers to take action, at any stage in the customer’s journey. Pop is tied closely to purpose. 

“To stand out you need to be original and to be original, you need to add your own story. Have the courage to contribute a unique, personal perspective.”

Mark Schaefer | author of “Cumulative Advantage”

When working with the traditional inbound linear funnel, content:

  • At the top of the funnel draws readers in
  • At the middle of the funnel keeps them engaged
  • At the end of the funnel leads to an increase in referrals and conversion rates

3. Use the 7 Money Words for Success

When it comes to sitting down for the content creation process, word choice plays a powerful role. Choosing words that don’t resonate with your audience can totally tank your piece. 

Choosing words proven to draw them in can boost your metrics and overall bottom line.

Joanna Wiebe knows this well, well enough to have discovered seven high-ROI words and phrases her company uses all the time. They are: 

Joanna Wiebe's 7 Money Words for Copywriting Creation

Money Word 1: Should

The word “should” is not meant to be used to induce guilt (e.g. “You should do more for your employees”). But it can be a big money-maker if you use it to replace “could” in your copy.

Which phrase is more compelling?

  • If you put in the work, you could reap the benefits.
  • If you put in the work, you should reap the benefits.

“Could” reflects an aspiration. This could happen to you, for sure. But “should” reflects something that ought to happen if the world delivers any justice at all.”

Joanna Wiebe | Copyhackers
Joanna Wiebe instructor with WriterAccess Academy on Content Creation in Marketing

“Aspiration is good. But an unrealized destiny, regret, and the restoration of justice are more human.”

Besides, “should” makes the outcome feel more within reach. It’s not just a wish or possibility floating around out there. It’s something destined to happen if you do what you need to do to get there.

Money Word 2: You

Money word 2 in copywriting for content creation

They want to know what you can do for them. 

When using “you,” everything you’re saying is about them.

If you live under the adage that the job of copy is not to sell a product or service but to create a customer, you’ll more easily remember to put the customer front and center.

Sure, there are times when you want to use the first person “I” – like when you’re explaining your background or what makes you qualified to help them. 

But only talk about “me” after you’ve spent a ton of time talking about “you.”

Money Word 3: Already + Still

Money word number 3 for content creation in marketing

The combination of “already” and “still” stirs up emotion and sales.

  • “Already” signals something the reader has already done, which ought to put them ahead.
  • “Still” signals a lack of forward progression, despite their previous accomplishment.

Accepting whatever you’re offering, of course, will propel the reader forward where they “should” and deserve to be.

This word pair uses a persuasion technique known as exclusive empowerment. What are readers exclusively empowered to have or be based on what they’ve done? Find it and you’ll find the ideal already/still combination.

Money Word 4: Here’s the Thing:

This phrase keeps people moving down the page. It’s best bolded, and always followed by a colon and a line break. Variations include phrases like:

  • The thing is:
  • But the tricky thing is this:
  • First things first:

Here’s the thing:

It sets up the reader for important information to come. You’ll see some copywriters bold the words they think the reader needs to pay attention to, which works in some cases. But it can also result in a quick scan rather than a deeper read.  

Bolding the phrase that precedes the important information pulls the reader farther down the page. Again and again, as needed.

Money Word 5: The Truth Is/The Fact Is:

Using logic when copy writing in content creation for marketing

Not to be confused with the reader-propelling “here’s the thing,” this phrase plays a different role. It makes people think they are relying on logic, rather than emotion, for making their decisions.

It’s a persuasion technique known as signaling logic

The truth is people base their decisions on emotion. But they want to believe logic is what’s really driving them. Introduce signaling logic into the mix, and the decision will most likely be yes.

Money Word 6: Even If

This phrase is king for overcoming objections, using the persuasion technique of objection handling. Here you want to anticipate an objection people may have to what you’re proposing, and then plug it into the equation:

{benefit or outcome} + even if {objection}

This technique can work like magic, even if you’ve never tried it before.

You’ll capture attention and sales, even if you haven’t sold a thing in the past four weeks.

You get the idea.

Money Word 7: [Whatever Word Your Readers Keep Using]

The final money word varies, based on what your readers consistently mention. Your readers may be past customers, new customers, prospects, or loyal fans. You want to find the word that connects with your target audience.

Google review voice of customer data for WriterAccess

Instead of sitting around trying to imagine what word they are likely to use, you can find out through voice of customer (VOC) data. Collect customer input through:

  • Surveys
  • Phone calls, digital conversations
  • Help desk tickets
  • Social media comments

CopyHackers capitalized on VOC data by sending a straightforward question to customers right after they purchased Copy School 2018. CopyHackers asked:

What was going on in your life that brought you to join Copy School today?

As they were sifting through loads of responses, Wiebe and crew found one word that kept popping up again and again. The word was “confidence.”

“We saw ‘confidence’ enough to hypothesize that it was an important sales message. So we added it to our launch sales emails.”

Joanna Wiebe | Copyhackers
Joanna Wiebe instructor with WriterAccess Academy on Content Creation in Marketing

Genius, right? You’re in actuality letting the customers write new content for you. As Wiebe notes, your customer has all the messages they need to hear from you to buy from you. Just listen to your target audience to determine what they need to hear.

4. Know Your Types

No, we’re not talking fonts. We’re talking types of visitors, types of phrases, types of pages, and types of conversions found on successful websites. You’ll find two types of each element, and each type of element has its own (different) goal.

Types of Visitors

  • Informational: Wants answers
  • Transactional: Wants a product or service

Types of Phrases

  • Tangent Phrases: Research-related
  • Targeted Phrases: Buyer-related

Types of Pages

  • Content Marketing Pages: Blogs
  • Sales Pages: Your home page, product/service pages
The different types of pages of content creation in marketing

Types of Conversions

  • Awareness: Subscribe, follow link
  • Action: Purchase, lead generation 

Your content marketing goal is to ensure the copy you write aligns with the type of visitors, phrases, pages and conversions you’re targeting. 

Potential customers are coming to your site in search of either answers or a product/service, and you want to deliver the right type of phrases and pages to snag their type of conversion.

Informational visitors -> Research-related phrases -> Content marketing pages -> Awareness

Transactional visitors -> Buyer-related phrases -> Sales pages -> Purchase, lead generation

Every piece of copy you write is going to align with one type of customer or the other. Keep that in mind as you gather content ideas, create the copy, and ultimately the path, that leads them through your site.

How to write for different visitors to your website

Also keep in mind that:

  • Awareness copy works better as the flowers
  • Action copy works better as the apiary (that’s jargon for a bee-house)

Is your copy meant to attract or capture the sale? Most content marketing strategies contain a mix of both.

“A B2B content strategy should always tell a helpful story with concrete facts. Good B2B content teaches ‘people how to fish.’ It helps frame the critical questions around a purchase decision. It provides budgeting or scaling insight. It shows how others have solved a problem. It doesn’t pitch or sell. If you teach your audience how to fish by educating them, they will figure out you are selling fishing poles — and eventually buy one of yours.”

Gerry Moran | MarketingThink

5. Go for High-Quality Content Over High Quantity

If you have the choice between creating one high-quality piece of new content that will take 10 hours to create and 10 fast-track pieces of content that will each take one hour to create -go for the 10-hour gig.

Absolutely no amount of medium-quality content will stand up to the high-quality stuff. Quality is always where it’s at when it comes to getting results.

There is also a difference between good content and great content. Crestodina defines great content as the tiny percentage of content out there that gets most of the views.

the amount of content that actually gets shared in content marketing creation

Competition is stiff. Only the greatest gains attention. The mediocre gets lost in the crowd.

6. Find Topics People Are Talking About

While VOC data works to pinpoint your customers money words, keywords, and topics, gathering results can take some time. In the meantime, you can cash in on a slew of other ways to brainstorm and research new content topics in a flash.

Answer the Public

This handy tool, available at answerthepublic.com, helps you discover hot topics by simply entering one or two words related to your brand, topic or product. You’ll end up with a load of questions related to your entry.

Results are delivered in an eye-catching circle view as well as a data view that puts everything neatly in categories and lists.

Using answerthepublic.com to come up with content creation ideas in marketing

Quora

Crestodina calls Quora the secret weapon for content marketers. That’s because you not only get the question, but a super-detailed answer on the topics you search.

Because Quora is packed with experts eager to share their knowledge, you also get a potential lineup of people to collaborate with. 

Google

Of course, Google is one of the most obvious go-to tools for finding topics. Simply type in the beginning of a question and let Google fill in the blanks for you. The end result is a bounty of potential topics surrounding your key-word or phrase.

As an example, give Google something like: Why do wolves…

Using google search to come up with content creation ideas in marketing

And you’ll get questions that include options like:

  • Howl
  • Howl at the moon
  • Howl after a kill
  • Rub against humans

A great start for important things your readers are yearning to know (especially the one about wolves rubbing against humans).

Keyword Tools

Combine your question research with keyword tools and you can get an even better idea of the questions’ popularity. You’ll also get a peek at metrics related to keywords to boost your SEO. Choices include:

Once you’ve gone through the different sites and tools to perform your research, put all your potential new content topics on a list. Then go back and pull from that list when it’s time to create content.

Your results provide you with powerful clues you can reference to create the best content outline, with the most pertinent questions and answers readers crave.

7. Determine Where the Topics Fit

Now that you have potential topics galore, the next step is to figure out what to do with them. Myriad options abound.

Each content idea could be transformed into:

  • A large piece, long-form content 
  • A small part or subsection of a larger piece
  • Something built specifically for social media platforms
  • Anything from a general overview to a deep dive, depending on what you decide
The different types of content creation in marketing

Whatever option you choose, make sure to cover the topic adequately. You want to leave readers feeling fulfilled, not full of more questions.

“It is the job of the content strategist to create a structure that will address the topic completely.”

Andy Crestodina | Orbit Media
Andy Crestodina instructor with WriterAccess Academy on Content Creation in Marketing

8. Try the Two Types of Most Effective Content

As noted earlier, only a small percentage of content gets the attention. Most content has dismal metrics, especially when it comes to links and social media shares.

  • 75% of articles have zero external links
  • 50% have two or fewer Facebook interactions

That said, there are two types of content that consistently get a high level of both shares and links. They are:

  • Original research
  • Strong opinion

Original Research

Original research makes your site the primary source of new, previously unexplored information. This is the first time this information has appeared, ever. You’re not just another site referencing research that’s already been done. 

How many people publish original content in marketing

You’re leading the pack with new info and stats.

So how do you brainstorm original ideas for original research?

  • Cover questions that don’t currently have adequate answers
  • Bust a myth, or disprove something that people believe to be true
  • Pay attention to what your readers keep asking 

“The added bonus of original research is that it’s highly shareable. People love sharing content about something new because it makes them look cool! “

Mark Schaefer | author of “Cumulative Advantage”

Strong Opinion

Hitting the audience with a strong opinion is another highly effective method of creating engaging content that gets attention, particularly if your opinion goes against the grain. Opinion pieces tend to stir up emotions, a surefire way to light a fire in the crowd. 

Three helpful questions in content creation in marketing

Three questions can help you explore your own perspective:

  • What do you believe that most people would disagree with?
  • What do you think will happen in the future that most people think is unlikely?
  • What questions in your industry are people afraid to answer?

These don’t have to be earth-shattering topics. They just have to give your audience something to talk about. If you’re able to do it, take an assertive stance on a topic and see what happens.  

The truth is, taking an assertive stance – in the headline alone – can instantly gain more attention than a lukewarm headline.

Examples from Crestodina include:

  • Ho-hum headline: Best Practices To Consider: Changes That Might Improve Your Website
  • Assertive headline: Fix Your Funnel: 15 Things To Remove From Your Site Immediately

Which one is more likely to draw readers? The second one, hands down. That headline proved its power by helping snag more than 140 comments on the article since its publication.

9. Write for Potential Customers

If your potential customers, new customers, and subscribers are asking you a question over and over, that is what you should be writing about. When you answer a common question in the form of an article or blog, you:

  • Show your target audience you’re listening
  • Prove you understand their needs
  • Can deliver the new content to your sales team for their use
  • Can send a link to the article every time someone asks
  • Give others an easy way to pass the info along to others
  • Have the chance to expand your reach and improve your conversion rates 

Listening carefully to your prospects, or any conversation you’re having with just about anyone, can open up an entire world of topic ideas.

“Never waste a good conversation by having it in private.”

Andy Crestodina | Orbit Media
Andy Crestodina instructor with WriterAccess Academy on Content Creation in Marketing

If you’re having an amazing conversation with someone, write down the questions that came up. Be open to capturing ideas from anywhere. You can then:

  • Use web research to tell you what the best questions are
  • Use experts to tell you what the best answers are
  • End up with a very powerful piece of new content
The question to topic flow of content creation in marketing

10. Ace Your Headlines

Headlines are 80% of the game. That’s because it’s extremely tough to gain attention with all the noise. Most people are exposed to 200+ headlines every day, and they calculate whether a headline is worth clicking in a split second.

Every time you see a headline, you automatically calculate cost/benefit:

  • Is the cost of clicking the headline (time spent)?
  • Worth the perceived benefit you’ll receive (something gained)?

Your goal as a content marketer is to make sure the cost for the reader is definitely worth the benefit. Getting that right depends on where your headline appears.

11. Know What Works on Search vs. Social

Headlines that work on search are vastly different than headlines that work on social media, and vice versa.

In search:

  • People want answers
  • They aren’t there to browse
  • You know everything about what they’re thinking, but nothing about who they are
How headlines can impact your content marketing

Template for Search-Friendly Headlines 

keyword + colon + number + headline with benefit 

In social:

  • People want to be amused or intrigued
  • They aren’t there to answer a question
  • You know everything about who they are, but nothing about what they’re thinking
How emotions get shared with social media content creation in marketing

Headlines in Search

  • Questions as title tags kill it, increasing CTR by 14.1%
  • Power words that tap into emotions tend to fall flat, decreasing CTR by 13.9%
  • Positive superlatives (always, best) decrease CTR by 11%
  • Negative superlatives (never, worse) increase CTR by 50%

keyword + colon + number + headline with benefit

Example: Visual Content Tips: 12 Ways To Enhance the User Experience and Conversion Rates 

Headlines in Social Media

Headlines in social media are getting longer. Those with the most engagement on Facebook are 15 words long. That’s right: 15 words. 

Certain trigrams, or three-word combinations, have also been shown to gain glorious results on different social media platforms.

Benefit-driven trigrams strike gold on Facebook.

Top facebook headline trigrams for content creation in marketing

Trigrams promising fresh, new, or thought-provoking info grab attention on Twitter.

Top twitter headline trigrams for social media content creation in marketing

Additional tips for headlines in social include:

  • Tap into the power of emotions: Emotions get shared. Well, all except sadness. Check the emotional marketing value (EMV) of your social headlines with headline analyzer tools.
  • Use numbers and data (wisely): Adding meaningful statistics or numbers to social headlines can increase both the CTR and impressions.
  • Frontload your headlines with impact and benefits: For both social media and email, put the most important information at the front of the headline. Headlines and subject lines often get truncated, and you want to ensure the vital stuff doesn’t get missed.
How to front load headlines with benefits in email content creation with marketing

12. Align Headline Structure With Headline Function

Although the term “headline” is constantly used in content marketing, headlines double as specific types of content. And as you’re already learning quite well, different tactics work for different types of content.

This cheat sheet from Crestodina makes it easy to determine what works where, and when it comes to headlines.

what works in search and social headlines for content creation in marketing

13. Write Tons of Headlines for a Single Piece

And we mean tons. Like 20 or more headlines for each article. Even if that sounds a bit like overkill, it’s also been proven to net the strongest results.

how many headlines should you write for content creation in marketing

14. Format Your Inbound Content to Pull in Readers

Readers don’t read. They scan, skim, and actually take in about 20% of the words during an average visit to any given page. To keep them at even that seemingly measly amount, you need to format your content in a compelling manner.

How format impact reading on content creation for marketing

A wall of text is never compelling. Scannable text is.

Scannable text features:

  • Headers and subheads
  • Short paragraphs of no longer than three sentences
  • Bullet lists and numbered lists
  • Bolding and italics
  • Frequent line breaks
  • Plenty of white space
  • Internal links– to and from existing content
  • Multiple images– with a value-adding image at every scroll depth (skip the stock photos in favor of graphs, charts, infographics and other meaningful visuals)

“Short paragraphs get read. Long paragraphs get skimmed. Very long paragraphs get skipped.”

Jason Fried | Basecamp

16. Hop on the Long-Form Content Bandwagon

The length of the average blog post has been steadily increasing over the past several years. Back in 2014, the average post boasted 808 words. By 2019, the average word count for blogging was up to 1,236.

The same is holding true for emails, social headlines and posts, and other forms of content. As long as the content keeps pulling the reader in, they’ll stick around for the long haul.

Long-form content boosts metrics across the board. It has been shown to:

  • Get more links and shares
  • Rank higher in search
  • Generate more leads
  • Get more traffic

The idea that people have short attention spans is not altogether true. If you’re adequately engaging, educating and/or entertaining them, you can keep their attention for what may seem like an infinite amount of time.

Just remember to use reader-friendly formatting, along with plenty of white space and visuals in your long-form content if you want that attention to hold.

17. Collaborate With Experts and Influencers

There’s an easy way to automatically get more people interested in your content: Put them in it. Collaborating with experts and influencers is one of the savviest content marketing strategies around.

Not only do you get expert insights and info on any given topic, but you get an eager audience waiting for your content’s publication. There are three types of content collaborations:

  • Contributor quote, where you can email an expert to provide a quote on your topic
  • Expert roundup, where you pose the same question to a group of experts on the topic
  • Deep-dive interview, where you get into the nitty gritty details with an expert in a given topic
Three types of expert contributions in marketing for content creation

Mentioning people in your articles is often endearingly called ego bait. And you can bet all those mentioned will automatically know when that article goes live. Savvy marketers understand the benefits of collaborative content. They include: 

  • More shares and exposure as collaborators send it to their networks
  • Better quality content with expert POVs
  • Better social media reach
  • Expanding your professional network

Your Best Content Creation Starts Now 

Now that you know the recipe for high-quality content, you can easily include all the ingredients the next time you sit down for the content creation process. 

Also, you can use this piece of great content and give it to an expert freelance writer like the ones at WriterAccess. Here you connect with people with experience in your specific industry. 

They’ll even talk with you one-on-one to match you with the perfect writer and save you a ton of time. Or you can use their unique AI-style metrics matcher to let AI pair you with your freelancing soulmate. 

Ho you can use Writeraccess AI to find the perfect writers in seconds

Whether you’re writing new content for your website, blogging, creating an ecommerce landing page, white papers, or a script for video content, you’ll know how to put together great content. 

As you recall, great content is content that achieves its goal. And yours will be primed to do it, every time.  

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