When you optimize something, you’re making it “as perfect, effective, or functional as possible,” according to Merriam-Webster. When you optimize your content marketing, aim to make it functional, effective, and, dare we say, perfect. This is what we call content marketing optimization.
Back in the day — and by “day” we mean 2013 — content marketing optimization was pretty much the equivalent of SEO. Although search is still important, most content marketers recognize that it’s part of a larger whole and shouldn’t be the only thing they focus on.
Learn more about what content marketing optimization means. Additionally, how you can work it into your overall content marketing strategy.
What Does Content Marketing Optimization Mean?
Content marketing optimization means making your content as functional and effective as possible. Marketing expert Heidi Cohen defines it as making your “content as useful, easy to find, and easy to consume as possible for five audiences.” Those five audiences are your customers, influencers, search, social media, and your business.
Depending on the audience it’s trying to reach, optimized content marketing will successfully answer one certain question or achieve a certain goal. For example, when you optimize content for your business, the content should be able to convert more or lead to more sales that previous, non-optimized content.
Content that’s optimized with your customers in mind should be worthwhile and genuinely helpful. You don’t want customers to move on after viewing a piece of content feeling like it was a waste of their time.
Why Should You Care About Content Marketing Optimization?
Why bother to optimize your content marketing? For one thing, taking the time to optimize helps your brand stand out in what is a very crowded field. Back in 2016, Wired reported that there isn’t enough time in 100 lifetimes to read/view/look at every piece of content that exists online.
Even when people do look at content, the odds are likely that they don’t stick around for long. MarketingLand reported that most readers make it to the halfway point of a story or other piece of content, and then they are out. There are (or may be) better things to do online.
Optimized content takes people’s habits into account. It also recognizes that there’s a lot of stuff out there and strives to be the best option of the bunch. When your content is optimized to be the best of the bunch, it’s more likely that people are going to come across it and actively engage with it.
How Content Marketing Optimization Can Help Your Brand
Perhaps the biggest benefit your brand can get from content marketing optimization is content that stands out and demands attention. When you optimize your content, you don’t have to spend much time worrying about no one seeing it or no one sharing it.
People want to share and engage with optimized content because it genuinely helps them out. For example, if a customer of yours has a question and comes across a blog post or video tutorial that answers that question, they are more likely to stick around to the read the post or watch the video.
They might even comment on the blog post or video or share it with their friends.
Another benefit of optimized content is that it builds trust with your target audience. For example, a helpful tutorial sends a message to the viewer that your brand knows.
How You Can Work Content Marketing Optimization Into Your Strategy
To take advantage of the benefits of content marketing optimization. Work optimization tactics into your overall content marketing strategy. How you go about doing that depends on your goal.
You can use the same piece of content to reach multiple audiences. You will want to have different optimization tactics for each audience.
For example, to optimize content for your customers, Heidi Cohen recommends focusing on the quality of the content and its readability. If your customers can’t find the content or have trouble digesting it, they won’t connect with it.
Optimization techniques to make content more consumable include:
- Using short sentences and paragraphs
- Creating an engaging, attention-grabbing headline
- Utilize subheadings and bullet points to make the content easy to scan
- Working in graphics and images
To optimize your content for search engines, you’ll focus on different elements of the content. For example, taking a mobile-first approach can make your content more likely to rank highly in the search engine results. Using keywords wisely — without cramming them into the content — is another way to optimize it for search.
If you want to optimize your content for social media, make it as easy as possible for people to share it on their preferred social platforms. You also might consider using paid social media ads to boost your content on your preferred social platform.
Content marketing optimization isn’t an either/or project. The audiences you optimize for aren’t mutually exclusive. You can focus on optimizing for social media. While, optimizing for your customers and for search. Ensuring that your content performs well for potential audiences. Is the best way to make sure that it performs as well as it can overall.