Content marketing expert Joe Pulizzi wrote a great post this week about how important it is to find your niche—what he calls the content tilt. It’s that area of little-to-no competition on the Web that actually gives you a fighter’s chance of breaking through the noise and being relevant to your reader. I couldn’t agree with him more.
Relevancy Matters More Than Ever
At Extractable, it’s quite common for our FI customers to seek our help writing articles on how to buy a first home or a first car, how to protect your credit score, how to plan for retirement, etc. They believe that having these articles on their website will draw customers into the website through SEO, thus generating valuable leads. The reality is that most credit unions and regional banks will never be able to successfully compete for these broad terms. For example, for an article on how to buy your first home, a likely search term might be, not surprisingly, “how to buy your first home.” This returns a mix of paid and organic results dominated by media sites and big brands such as Bankrate, Kiplinger, Forbes and Wells Fargo.
Clearly, this topic is adequately covered on the Internet, and there’s no reason to be spending money and resources to write more copy about this subject.
Finding the Content Tilt
A better approach would be to write an article about something more specific and relevant to your specific audience. To do this, you must research your audience well and then consider the factors that may change what or how you write your articles. For example:
- Age (e.g., pre- vs. post-retirement age)
- Seasonality (e.g., tax forms, holiday savings, vacation plans, back to school)
- Location (e.g., geographic specificity)
- Climate and environment (e.g., outdoorsy and active)
- Your FI’s business specialty (e.g., home loans, retirement planning)
A more focused example for a Texas-based bank specializing in home loans might be to write an article titled “The Best Time To Buy A House In Texas.” When you use a similar search term and compare the search results to our more generic example, you can see that there is much less competition.
Additionally, the leads that you would receive from a more focused search are likely to be more qualified because the content will be more relevant to the user.
Want to be really useful to your user? Check in with your customer support team to learn what questions and topics they’re hearing the most on your toll-free line, online chat or even in branches. It doesn’t get any more relevant than straight from your customers. You can also look to tools such as Google Trends to find ideas for niche topics to cover.
Data, Insights, and Optimization
Whatever you decide to write about, don’t forget to track it using analytics. Then analyze that data to find insights that you can use for optimization. If you find that a certain headline style—for example the list-style, “Five Things You Should Know About…”—is garnering more organic search traffic than others, then consider using that style more in your future articles. Or maybe you find that anything with a local focus brings in more readers. Whatever the insight, just be sure to follow-up on it.
At Extractable, we use data every day to find insights that help determine the best strategies for our clients. Want to learn more? Get in touch.