Maintaining relevancy is something you read about in multiple blogs: it could be listed as a simple bullet point, but many blogs do not unpack it further. What do they mean by saying “keep your content relevant?” How does one keep their content relevant and stay that way? You will find it is quite easy to stay relevant by following a few simple steps. This blog is going to explore relevancy in detail and give you nine tips that will help you stay up-to-date with your content, and not get left behind.
1. Be Aware Of The Trends. The most important element in making sure you stay relevant is to follow the trends. This is both for in your field and the overall trends around the Internet. For example, having photographs with fancy filters over them is quite trendy, and many professional businesses are starting to go that way.
Take the following photo as an example. It is of a kitten and old film camera with a filter overlay to make it look more vintage, giving it a trendy feel. Professional businesses are learning that this is the way their ad campaigns need to go. Maybe not so much with a cat in the photo (though that will win businesses points on the Internet) but by keeping up with how people expect to see photographs nowadays. This is just one example of staying up on trends, so keep a weather eye on the trend horizon and watch for any changes that you can implement into your content.
2. Make Some Points and Then Unpack Them. People love to find posts that are filled with great points and prefer the option to read on certain points instead of all. A great way to reach people this way is to offer points in the beginning and then unpack them throughout the blog or making bold sub-headers available for readers. This gives them the chance to skim your post and find what they specifically want to know. This is one of the best ways to keep your content relevant. You may be used to writing a lengthy blog with only paragraphs – no sub-headers numbered points, or bullet points. If you write a post like this, chances are people will skip over it. Try out a bullet list approach or a numbered list and see how well people respond to it. Two indicators of how much people enjoy the layout are either in the way of comments or how long they stay on your site.
3. Make Your Content Fun For Readers. Even if you are writing for a professional crowd, writing fun blogs is a great way to connect with people. We all get the opportunity to read serious posts, which makes us all crave something fun. You could write a story about something that happened at your business or create a silly list post about tips on how to lower energy usage and costs, or anything else that pertains to your business. The same goes for your web content – add a bit of fun to the mix, instead of making it hyper professional. You can have fun without sacrificing professionalism.
4. Work Hard On Your Headline and Opener. In the content world, great headlines and openers are imperative for relevant content. Some places sacrifice the opener for more space to write information they believe to be more important. This couldn’t be further from the truth. If you have a lot of information to write about and don’t think you’ll have much room for a great opening paragraph, then consider doing a two-part blog. This will give you the ability to write all of the information you wish to share while also making sure you stay relevant. If you are having a hard time coming up with a great opener that gives adequate information, as well as having a difficult time writing your headline, consider crafting the rest of your content and coming up with both once you are finished. This will also help to make sure your title, opener, and post match. Making sure your content and headline match is important to all content and one of the best ways to make sure once people click on the link that they will stay to read your article or other content.
5. Ask Your Audience What They Want To Read. You might be following all of the trends you see in content creation, but you might notice that your audience is slowly pulling away or no longer commenting. What should you do? Take one simple step and ask your audience what they want to read. It might be something completely different from what you are writing. You can send out an e-mail asking for input or put a call to action at the top or bottom of the page stating, “If you would like to see or read something else, please contact us and let us know!” It does not have to be exactly that sentence but something similar, encouraging your audience to participate with you. Not only will this ensure you write content that is relevant to your specific audience, but it will also promote a feeling of engagement with your client base.
6. Pay Attention To Analytics. Those analytics are there for an important reason – to let you know what you should continue to write about and what you should avoid. Sometimes it can be difficult to start out based only on audience participation on your posts, so analytics will greatly help. Take a look at what posts are getting the most views and which posts people seem to be avoiding, this will show you which topics your audience prefers giving you more ideas on how to write for them. Use all of that information to better your content and approach to writing online content.
7. Watch Your Social Media Accounts. Social media is another great indicator about which topics your audience prefers. The best way to tell which topics people enjoy are to see how many responses you have received via Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social accounts you may use. You may find more people will respond to one topic than others, which saves you a trip to your analytics. However, combining what your social media responses are with your site analytics will give you clearer information about what people are expecting. You can even use social media to ask your audience what they are looking for when it comes to your blogs.
8. Find Topic Suggestions. If you are having a hard time coming up with more relevant topic ideas, you can always find websites that helps you find topic ideas within your field. Simply Google for blog topic ideas in your field and see what pops up. For example, if you are in the insurance field then Google “blog topics for insurance” and see what ideas you can come up with. This can really help you to stay relevant and can also help you come up with a multitude of blog ideas that you had not thought of. Always make sure to have a Word document open to write down the ideas you get and save any websites that will help you in the future. Remember, some ideas will just come to you without any specific Web page, which is why it is vital to have that Word document open for note taking.
9. Follow The Leaders In Your Field. Following the normal Internet trends and asking your audience what they would like to see is a great way to find relevant topics, but you might find yourself running out of ideas. A great way to keep fresh ideas in your mind is to start following leaders in your field and industry. If you are unsure as to who is a leader in your industry, once again take to Google to find out. There will be several websites for your industry with information on social media accounts and blogs. Make sure you have signed up to receive their newsletters and that you follow their blogs in whichever manner you can. This will help you know what is popular in your industry overall, as well as what is seasonally relevant. A great example of this is libraries. There are pieces of information that are great overall such as how the children’s books are organized (age and grade ranges), but there is also seasonal information like how other libraries are doing the summer or winter reading programs. Find similar information for your particular business and use it; if you do, you will find that your content is relevant and fresh.
As you’ve read, relevancy is quite important when it comes to online content; take some time to learn about trends on the Internet, as well as trends within your field. You will be happy with the results you get when you start crafting relevant content.