Infuse your content with a point-of-view—and more understanding of humanity, too
By Tracey Wallace
A lot of folks out there seem to think that content written for or optimized for SEO is boring, repetitive, and just plain eye-roll inducing.
I get it, to an extent.
A lot of folks over the last several years have made “seo content” a term of its own, and they are often talking about content written specifically to rank, not to necessarily educate or tell a story, or do anything that, you know, human beings might enjoy.
You see this in some of the copy results AI turns out too––in which those tools are just synthesizing and spitting out what human beings have already synthesized and spit it––and none of it very good or useful or entertaining.
Indeed, the internet is full of content pollution and “SEO content” is certainly one of the main contributors. But, “seo content,” if we must call it that, doesn’t need to be devoid of perspective.
Ideally a content team is optimizing content for SEO, not creating it only for that channel.
That could mean that you start by targeting a keyword, and then build a brief. Next, you interview several folks about the topics, and synthesize the information into a blog, and add that blog to Clearscope to get yourself an A++. After that, you might plan your creative: hero images and in-article images, and anything you need to support your go-to-market (i.e. distribution plan) image-wise.
This is all well and good, but you’ve forgotten, it seems, a crucial aspect to great content marketing: the humans you are marketing to.
As algorithms have come to dominate how information is distributed around the web, many a content marketer have focused far more on gaming those algorithms and distribution channels.
That’s fine––game away!
But it will be far easier to game those algorithms, as well as far easier to rank in search, and even turn a profit from your content if your content serves one audience well: the human reader.
And humans, well, they are an even more finicky bunch than those algorithms.
Sure, AI may impress them, but only insofar as it benefits the human at hand. Humans are easily impressed by tools that suggest speed, ease and/or wealth. Insinuate all three and you’ve got yourself a revolution.
Indeed, writing, too, was once such a tool. And for centuries writers have been philosophizing over what makes certain types of content more persuasive, more beloved, more effective, more invigorating than the last.
It’d be a shame if we ignored all of that information as we put pen to paper for our careers and for our companies––all for “SEO content,” instead. A real shame, indeed.
So, if you think your content is boring, is lacking in personality, in point-of-view, or even in clarity, then this newsletter landed in the right place today!
I want to share with you several decks, again made by Benyamin Elias that I’ve used to help educate my own team, to whet your palette and get the philosopher inside your content marketing brain working yet again to make content of all types more fun, more creative, and, just plain and simple, more effective.
- How people learn, and how to apply that to your marketing copy
- How to write great copy
- What to say in your headlines
- How to write introductions
Content will continue in the age of AI as it has in all ages prior: may the most convincing win. This is your toolkit for getting started.