Why Does Great Content Matter, And How Can We Make Yours Stand Out?

iPad showing words such as great content, informative, and findable.

There’s a reason the title to this blog post is a question. There’s also a reason why it contains 13 words, including “why,” “how” and “yours.” More on those things and writing great content in a bit.

But first, I read some astonishing statistics the other day about our data-driven world.

Astonishing Statistics About Our Data-Driven World

By 2020, according to “Data Never Sleeps 6” by Domo, “it’s estimated that for every person on earth, 1.7MB of data will be created every second.”

Every second! For every person on earth! When you extrapolate that data out, that means every minute of every day:

  • Tumblr users publish 79,740 posts
  • Instagram users post 49,380 photos
  • Giphy pumps out 1,388,889 GIFS
  • Google conducts 3,877,140 searches
  • Americans gobble up 3,138,420 gigabytes of internet data

Again, that’s every minute of every day.

Check out Domo’s excellent graphic here!

Internet Expands Reach

More and more people are able to access the internet each year. In 2017, according to Domo, “internet usage reached 47% of the world’s population and now represents 3.8 billion people.”

What does all this mean for content creators and digital marketers? It represents an enormous opportunity to reach and grow audiences for our clients with keyword research, quality content, and pleasant user experiences. It also represents a tremendous challenge — just the sort of challenge that inspires digital marketers to do their best work.

There’s a lot of information out there. In the time it’s taken you to read this far, another minute or so worth of data has been created and unleashed on the world.

Content matters. It informs. It engages. It helps create buzz. It answers questions and drives traffic to our clients’ websites, where users can make informed purchasing decisions about products or services. But how do we create content that stands out in a world awash in data? What are some tricks of the trade?

Writing Great Content: Some Tricks Of The Trade

Every piece of content is a chance to do something effective and/or something new. Sometimes those two things intersect; often they don’t. What we do must be effective, but it’s a good idea to try something new from time to time. When faced with these two marketing strategies, the decision should always be in service of the client. Naturally, right?

Tried And True

In a helpful piece on compounding blog posts — i.e., “posts whose traffic grows steadily over time” — HubSpot tells us that relatively few posts are compounding posts, but “they account for 38% of total blog traffic” across their sample, which looked at more than 15,000 companies.

That’s what we should be trying to create: compounding posts.

Some tricks of the digital marketing trade are firmly established, and HubSpot points a few of them out.

“To maximize the chance of creating a compounding post,” HubSpot says, “write articles that solve readers’ problems, are easy to scan, and feature words like ‘how’ and ‘why’ in the title.”

You’ll remember that the title of this post contains 13 words. You’ll also remember that it asks a question and includes the words why, how, and yours. HubSpot reports that compounding titles typically contain words “that suggest certainty and utility,” such as how, what, why, and best. Furthermore, “posts with the most traffic consistently had 11 to 13 words in the title.”

Graphic of words typically found in compounding blog posts.

Digging a little deeper, a robust collection of stats from Backlinko shows that titles ending with a question mark “get 23.3% more social shares than headlines that don’t end with a question mark.” Backlinko asserts that “longer headlines are correlated with more social shares” and “headlines that are 14-17 words in length generate 76.7% more social shares than short headlines.”

Try It And See If It’s True

As far as trying new things to attract attention to your client, consider the following findings from Backlinko. They may help inform your content creation, moving the needle for your clients and helping squeeze every ounce of juice from your work.

  • Lists — yes, the dreaded “listicles”! — “are heavily shared on social media,” Backlinko says. “In fact, list posts get an average of 218% more shares than ‘how to’ posts and 203% more shares than infographics.”
  • So-called “Why Posts” and “What Posts” (along with infographics) “received 25.8% more links compared to videos and ‘How-to’ posts.”
  • Blog posts get way more shares than the same post published on B2B sites — 9.7 times more shares, according to Backlinko.
  • HubSpot agrees that blog posts are traffic-drivers. “Marketers who prioritize blogging efforts,” they write, “are 13x more likely to see positive ROI.

Bar graph showing number of words in title.

A Little Bit Of New!

With all that content and data being published every second, what else attracts eyeballs? Consider adding video production to your content creation. According to HubSpot, “Video content is 50 times more likely to drive organic search results than plain text.”

Plus, we need to be smart and tactical about where we target our content. Consider once again a mix of solutions — tried, true, and new. For example, let’s build more robust, in-depth content pages for organic searches that wind up on iPads and e-readers. And let’s focus on more real-time SEO with highly functional pages containing effective CTAs for smartphone users.

As Search Engine Journal reports, “Search is changing to align with consumers preferences. In order to keep ahead, it is essential to use SEO data and real-time insights as keys to understanding, optimizing for, and engaging with consumers.”

It all comes down to doing what’s best for your client and forgetting all the noisy data that’s getting pumped out every second of every day. As digital marketers, we have access to powerful data that can tell us precisely what people are searching for and when they’re searching for it. Once your SEO gurus have targeted an audience for your client, it’s time for tried and true … with a little bit of new.