By 2020, its forecasted that the data created by humans and machines, such as pictures snapped, content streamed on Netflix or Prime, Data captured by AI or even emails sent will reach 44,000,000,000,000GB (44 trillion gigabytes!) That's a lot of data.
It's a stat that should strike a bit of fear into everyone, more so if you're involved in publishing content.
Simply put, For content marketers, that’s a staggering amount of digital noise that you’re struggling to break through just to be heard by someone. (not including your active audience)
There are thousands of tactical tips and tricks out there to help get your content in front of the right audience. From posting in industry-specific communities and forums to republishing on sites like Reddit, from targeted newsletters to repurposing your content into new formats, the challenge is not coming up with tactics that might grow your audience, it’s figuring out which ones are going to work for you.
Those tactics all focus on what happens after you've published your content. But what about the content itself? – how do you think about capturing the audience when you’re creating your piece of content? Simple, just stick to a proven strategy that works. The one simple strategy which, provided you stick to it can help you rise above that noise is:
Have An Opinion!
But being opinionated does not mean you have to be angry, bigoted, condescending, contrarian or SHOUT AT PEOPLE all the time. But it does mean you're not publishing content that is available at 100 other places and which everyone in your industry agrees with. It's totally custom to you (which is also a win for SEO and originality!) e.g. Why you need a custom 404 page is a strong opinion that is well argued and illustrated by many web developers & designers.
According to the dictionary definition, opinions are something that others can disagree with. In fact asking yourself if anyone would disagree with what you are about to write about is a great way to start thinking about the content you're writing. It's worth knowing too that people are much more inclined to share opinionated content on their own social profiles. It's just something that resonate's with people, sharing content they they can boast about to their friends because they agree with your opinion, or a chance to rant because they disagree or they just find it interesting. People just seem to love to share opinionated content.
Everything you publish should be opinionated if it can be – even if you just think of it as sharing information or knowledge with your audience. Giving details on how your product, service or business can improve someones life isn't exactly a fact, it's a matter of opinion.
Take reviews, these are opinions. These are opinions of real-life users of the product. It's not fact, it's simply their opinion. Reviews help to make up a purchasers mind of a product before they make a purchase. Which, in turn means opinions help sell products!
But, a word of warning, if you are writing content for the pure benefit of SEO, Don't prioritise opinions, focus on the facts and the stats. People rarely will search for your opinion, unless it's a well known one, such as Brexit. Search Engines look for keywords within your content and the more relevant keywords you have, the better the results will be in improving SEO.
Sticking to this strategy will help you rise above the digital noise, you'll have content that is unique to you, you'll spark a conversation or a debate and you'll see your social shares increase too. It's a win win for all. But please, don't go too crazy with your opinions. Doing so may see the internet brand you as a troll and that will only do you more damage then good. Be courteous with it.