Shakespeare and SEO
Gifts for Our Audience
What did Shakespeare teach us? He taught us that for sustainable and long term success we need to write well. We need to write what people want to read. We need to create content that they do not see everywhere else.
We need to write regularly and with an effort to create variety and depth of content while entertaining and providing new stimuli.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is no different: If you want to achieve long term and sustainable results with the search engines and ultimately your audience then you need to write well. You need to create delightful and relevant content which is unique. You need to do this consistently.
“What’s the big deal?” Everyone already knows this.” Every newly learned SEO consultant, content marketing expert and entrepreneur knows this.
I attended a seminar on Internet Marketing last week. One of the presenters stressed that we need to think of everything that we create for our audience as a gift to them. If we think about our content as a gift then what characteristics would define our gifts? Here are a few terms that define a delightful gift:
- Well presented
- And . . . matched to the recipient . . .
A delightful gift – no matter how great it is will not be perfect for everyone, everywhere and for every occasion. A delightful gift will vary based on the recipient and the occasion. We need to do this too. We need to tailor our content to the intended recipient. We cannot be all things to all people and should not try to be.
Shakespeare knew this too.
Why did he do most of his work in London?
Theater companies of the time toured all over the country. They performed outdoors and in town halls. Shakespeare spent most of his working life in London. Why?
London was the biggest and richest city in England; it was the home of the first permanent playhouses. Wealthy traders and manufacturers – and their workers – lived there. These people had the money to go to the theater. By 1600, London’s theater-goers numbered 20,000 per week.
Moreover, London wasn’t just big; it was growing fast, mostly due to migrants from the countryside and from the European mainland. Between 1550 and 1600 it is estimated that London’s population grew from around 50,000 residents to over 200,000. It was an expanding market for Shakespeare. He wanted (needed) to be close to it. He needed to understand it so that he could create content that meshed with it. Remember Shakespeare’s product was his content.
Shakespeare was a writer. He was also a performer. He was also a businessman who knew the business and his audience well. He understood his market. He stayed close to it. He learned from it and produced gifts for it in return. These gifts have stood the test of time.
When we create content for our audience is our content thoughtful, well presented, valuable, timely and well matched for the intended recipient? We can all do better with our content creation and we need to always think about how to do better.
One important aspect of creating delightful content is to know your audience well. Create target audience personas and define what “content gifts” are best for each persona. Think about your audience personas and develop and refine them.
- What type of home do they have?
- What type of business do they manage?
- What radio station do they listen to? (Do they listen to the radio?)
- What websites do they visit?
- Do they enjoy and have the time to read blogs?
- What TV shows do they like (Do they watch sports, Nova or Crime Scene Investigation?)
- Do they attend lectures or seminars?
- What clubs do they belong to?
- Do they support the local community?
- What problems do they need to solve?
- Who do they look to for information and support?
- Do they attend classes, seminars, webinars or try to find solutions over a cup of coffee?.
In the comic strip below Dilbert’s boss has a good handle on the VP.
There are many questions you can ask about your target audience. You need to ask these questions and get the answers. You need to mesh your content to their needs and desires and in a way that makes it easy for them to engage.
Your content marketing success depends upon it and the foundation of your Internet Marketing is your content.
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