Smart content involves marketing research, data analytics, consumer targeting, strategic planning, positioning, and promotion. Smart content adapts based on customer demographics, behaviors, geolocation, other intelligent data. To put it briefly, smart content identifies and delivers what customers really want. To deliver, this type of content must provide enough value for readers to enjoy it, share it, and act upon it. If done right - with marketing and SEO in mind - smart content provides highly targeted results.
Thin content will not work. Instead, try to identify what users want - the so-called reader intent. Understanding intent signals is the key to creating content that builds confidence and brings value to the users. Again, the best advice comes from Google:
“Whether it's to get excited, build confidence, or manage their money, people are using search to shape and validate the decisions they make. To ensure you’re part of their consideration set, pay attention to the intent behind people’s searches and adapt your messaging accordingly.”
Top Reasons to Develop Smart Content
The main reasons to develop a smart content strategy are to engage with potential consumers and drive better ROI. Improved SEO, and better search engine rankings are desired side effects. Other advantages include enhancing your online reputation, brand awareness, and the number of brand ambassadors.
Stay Ahead of Your Competition
Monitor and analyze the type of content your competitors publish to attract customers and create content based on these topics. Then, offer your prospects more value and incentives with your smart content strategy to determine them to take the action you desire: buy, download, subscribe, and so on.
In this respect, marketers must identify the topics used by competitors to attract customers, how this content ranks in the organic search engine results, and whether readers share on social media or not.
Once these topics are identified, marketers must write unique texts that provide more information and added value to appeal to the readers.
Identify Local Marketing Opportunities
Knowing what people in your town or general geographical area want and are searching for helps you write content that addresses their needs. Every business can create content supporting local communities, charities, business partners, non-profits, or other organizations relevant to their customers.
Local searches are increasingly popular as users look for “restaurants near me” or other similar queries. Marketers should take advantage of these search trends to capitalize on local marketing opportunities.
For example, a hotel could create smart content highlighting nearby attractions or business partners like wineries, bars, nightclubs, shops, etc. This type of smart content, while not necessarily designed to sell rooms, presents exceptional branding opportunities for hotels and will offer undeniable SEO benefits: traffic, backlinks, search engine rankings, and a better user experience overall.
Have Your Smart Content Featured in Quick Answers
The writing must adhere to the SEO quality guidelines search engines look at when indexing web pages for successful smart content.
For example, people may ask specific questions before a trip:
How to save money on flights?
What can you bring on an airplane?
When is it safe to travel again?
Writing content that answers these questions may place your web page in the Google quick answers (also known as featured snippets) box in the Google search engine results. Having content featured in these results will increase your clickthru rates, improve your online reputation, and deliver more traffic to your site.
Besides Google search, you could use Answer the Public to discover current questions and get long-tail keyword phrases and topics ideas.
How to Create a Smart Content Strategy?
To create a smart content strategy, first set up your goals, then identify your target audience and define reader or buyer personas, create content that is valuable for your readers and optimized for search engines respecting the best SEO practices, distribute your content, and finally monitor and analyze the data.
Set Specific Marketing Goals
The first thing to consider when you create a smart content strategy is why you need it. For example, do you have business objectives - like selling products or services or communication objectives? Here are some examples of marketing goals:
- Launch a new product or service, or increase awareness for products and services performing poorly.
- Reach a broader audience that will read and share your content on social media.
- Drive more website traffic or gain more backlinks.
- Improve your online reputation and enhance your brand image on the web.
Identify Your Audience and Define Your Target Persona
Marketers fail when they create content for the web by making assumptions about their audience instead of researching. It’s a mistake to target a too broad audience because different people have different needs and are interested in different things. That’s why you should identify buyer or reader personas and target your content for those audience segments.
These are some examples of highly-targeted audiences:
- Existing customers - and you already know their likes, dislikes, buying preferences, and other relevant data to offer them personalized smart content.
- Potential customers - organized into two to four different buyer personas based on intelligent data like age, location, language, browsing activity, activity on your site, interests, buying history, and so on.
To find out more about your potential customers, you can conduct online surveys on social media or use online tools like HubSpot’s Make My Persona (free), Up Close & Persona (free), Persona Generator by Userforge (free), Smaply (premium), Mnemonic AI (free and premium), or Live Persona by Delve AI (free and premium).
Create Valuable SEO Content
Even when you write content optimized for the search engines, your primary purpose should be to deliver value to your readers.
Research and identify your topics to stay ahead of your competition, capitalize on local marketing opportunities, or appear in Quick Answers in Google search.
You need to focus your topics with one long-tail keyword phrase and identify three to five semantically related keywords to optimize your texts for search. Use Google Keyword Planner or other free tools for this purpose.
Last but not least, create an Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) version of the content and link it to the original to improve the user experience across platforms.
Distribute the Content on Different Platforms
To maximize audience reach and SEO impact, you must distribute your content across various platforms. Of course, publishing it on your website is helpful, but having it shared on social media platforms can amplify its reach, boost traffic, and grow your online influence.
Choose the platforms that best serve your business goals. For example, Facebook is excellent for B2C, while LinkedIn is better for B2B content.
To help readers reshare your content with ease from your website straight to social media platforms, use plugins that pull titles, summaries, meta descriptions, images, and links straight from your page.
When you redistribute the content yourself, plan to reach your audience at the right time. For example, B2B content reaches the audience during workdays and work hours, while B2C posts should be shared on weekends or after hours.
Monitoring and Data Analytics
Track and analyze data to see which type of content performs and which needs improvement. Google Analytics is a free tool, complex enough to give you all the information you need.
You can use analytics primarily to:
- Access insights and machine learning capabilities to help get the most out of your data.
- Evaluate the performance of your content.
- Identify your customers, define target audiences, and create custom site experiences based on those audiences.
- Understand how customers are interacting with your content.
- Find out which users are likely to convert and which customers have high revenue potential.
Data analytics offers many other advanced features that help marketers refine their smart content strategies to perfection.
How Smart Content Improves the SEO of a Website?
SEO is a smart content prerequisite - in other words, there is no smart content without SEO.
Only optimized content can perform and benefit your marketing efforts. Anything else will fail.
The top SEO benefits of smart content on a website are identified in the paragraphs above. In a nutshell, these are:
- First, rank better in local searches.
- Rank better in the organic search engine results for relevant niche-specific keywords and topics.
- Get listed in Google quick answers (people also ask) search engine results.
- Increase the traffic to your website.
- Gain more backlinks to your website.
In addition, smart content is shareable, discoverable across all platforms, focused on a stellar user experience, valuable and ROI-driven.