Ebun Oluwole started blogging six years ago while studying at the National Open University of Nigeria. She tried her hands on fictional writing and realised it wasn’t for her. On her journey to self discovery, she also explored photography and graphic design before returning to writing. Ebun currently runs June Eleven Co – a content marketing agency for SMEs and Startups. We had a great chat with Ebun on getting started with creating content for social and search.
What should be the first step in creating SEO content?
“It’s really simple. Carry out keyword searches and use Google’s keyword planner”. Ebun advises beginning your content creation process by Googling a couple of keywords to find out if they are viable in your niche and country. Google’s keyword planner is also a great tool that can help track viability of keywords and thus, content. She says to study current search results that show up and measure metrics such as the age of the content and linkbacks to the publisher’s site. These metrics can help tell how much work you have to put in to show up for certain keyword searches. Keeping up with Search engine changes and trends is a very important aspect of creating content for SEO. “It’s important to follow the latest trends, follow updates to Google’s search algorithm and rankings. As at December when I researched, it had changed. They were telling me I now need 2000 words, so I told my clients, if you’re not going to write 2,500 words, don’t waste time”.
2000 words is a long stretch. How does one begin to create such long-form content?
“When clients submit short articles to me, I merge together into long-form content. The longer, the better. It’s possible to think that you’re saying too much, but you’re not.” Ebun advises topics should be fully explored. She notes some great examples of long-form content like Buffer, Shopify and Hubspot blogs. “One thing I noticed in Nigeria, is everyone wants fast track, they don’t want to put in the work. It’s usually the older blogs and websites that come up top on page one, so if you’re new, you can’t easily get up top, except it’s a niche that hasn’t been explored and new niches are hard to find these days”. Patience is truly a virtue when expecting results from SEO.
Let’s move to social content for a bit. How do I define what my audience wants to consume?
“Usually, when I have to work on new content for social like that, I experiment a lot. If it’s a new page in a new niche, you don’t have any choice than to experiment. I advise you try all kinds of content. If it’s a new page on an already established niche, you go through already existing old pages, find out what works for them and try to create similar content as a shortcut”
For a lot of businesses, they’re creating social content as a marketing tactic to drive sales. What’s a good formula to match both engaging content and sales content?
“My go-to formula is 80-20. 80% engaging content and 20% sales content. That’s the point of social media. It’s supposed to engage your followers and get them to trust you so that whatever you recommend seems viable to them”. Ebun creates content for a client in the hair and beauty niche. “People who keep natural hair need products but you want to be there when they need products. So you have to be strategic in your engagement, such that you’re recommending products subtly to them”
I want you to share some light on the metrics to track at different stages of creating content for social media
Marketers tend to track different metrics from what companies would track. “For me, I’m in love with engagement. Once you keep it flowing, followership will come. Though clients wouldn’t ask for engagement, what they are interested in is monthly sales targets. That’s my go-to metric because I know when engagement is constant, I wouldn’t have to worry about other numbers but I still have to deliver sales numbers to clients”. Ebun believes engaging content will drive followership and eventually, sales. It’s however important to realise that a new brand will take a while for trust to be built and for followers to make purchases. A great point to find out if your content strategy is working is when people begin to tag their friends.
Let’s go back a bit to starting a new page For new companies who just created social media pages. What do they need to leverage on to get their first 10 followers?
“For Facebook, I’ll say, promote your page. For Twitter and Instagram, people say just spam your page with content but I say use hashtags which are a common denominator on both platforms. Then again, you want to be strategic and picky about them. You don’t want a bunch of people that are irrelevant to your target audience”
‘Pivoting to video’ was a hot content trend last year. Regarding videos, what kind of content do people want to see? Is quality important as opposed to making them look like DIYs?
“You have to strike the perfect balance. I outsourced video content creation because I didn’t have resources to create and edit videos. I reached out to my clients and told them that videos were hot at the time but they didn’t have the budget.” Ebun launched influencer marketing campaign, partnering with influencers and getting them to create high quality and engaging videos.
Is Influencer marketing also a good way to grow a new page? There’s a lot of problems with people using bots to create false engagement and followership
Ebun says influencers in a niche are great to grow a new page but she tends to work with micro influencers with about 10,000 followers or less as they perform better in the long-run. Even though they could seem to have low engagement rates. She advises new companies to research on influencers in their niche and do some fact-finding to find out if their numbers are real or not.
Growing followers of your brand on social media and via content is a lot about creating engaging content and consistency. When your content provides utility for people it increases trust and you can then begin to recommend your products and services to them.