As many digital marketers have learned the hard way, SEO is no longer “optimize your page and chuck a whole bunch of anchor text links at it”. Instead, SEO is more of a “make sure your site is optimized, produce amazing content, and get linked to and shared”. The problem for most marketers is, this is easier said than done. Seriously! Sure, any SEO can tell you that it’s all about content and “attracting” links and shares (because that’s all they’ve heard from thought leaders over the last two years), but very few can actually execute. In today’s post, I want to talk about three critical components that your content must have in order to truly attract links and social shares. These three components are relevancy, timeliness, and the ability to go viral.

Content Relevancy

The first component and in my humble opinion, the most important, is how relevant your content is to your target audience. If you don’t understand who your customers are, what their pain points and needs are, and how they use the internet to reduce their pain and fulfill their needs, then you aren’t going to be able produce content that’s relevant to them. To create relevant content, you have to truly understand your target audience. I like to do this through buyer persona creation. Going through the process of identifying demographics, needs, goals, and marketing messaging is a huge step in creating content that’s relevant. If you are unfamiliar with personas, HubSpot does a great job at explaining it and they even have a nice little template to help you with your efforts.

Content Timeliness

The second component is how timely your content is. This one is tough, because not all content can be timely. I mean, a new iPhone is released only once per year, but when it’s released, everyone needs new screen protectors, cases, etc. You see where I’m going with this? To make sure that your content is timely, you need to on top of your industry and monitor changes or updates on a regular basis. To do this, you should subscribe to trade magazines and have an RSS reader set up that monitors news and chatter in your industry. When there’s news, make sure you have the resources to create content for your website (and external websites if you really want to kill it) and get it out fast. Doing so will help you become the thought leader in your space and will help you generate new business.

Ability To Go Viral

The third component is the ability to go viral. Before we jump into this, I pose this question: How many pieces of “text only” content have you seen go viral? Very few, right? I’m not saying that you need an interesting infographic or video to go viral, but when you put some time and resources into adding stunning photos, charts, and graphics into relevant and timely content, you have a better chance of your content going viral. So when you are putting together your content strategy, don’t just think of fun or creative pieces that people might like. Take the time to strategize and work in these three components. Doing so will help your business grow by leaps and bounds.]]>