A few years ago, we decided as a team that content marketing would be the primary avenue through which we generate business.We could have focused on telesales and cold email blasts, but we decided to put all of our efforts into SEO and inbound marketing.
Today, the investment in time, money and resources has certainly paid off. Most of our sales emanate from organic visits to our website. But how did we get here? More to the point, how can your IFA website be put to similar use?
A key ingredient to our success has been content frameworks.
Content Frameworks On An IFA Website
Essentially, a content framework is a system you use to guide yourself through the creative process. It provides structure to your article, in a manner that powerfully communicates your content’s insights.
There are, broadly, seven different content frameworks which can be used effectively on an IFA website. Using this approach ourselves, for instance, has skyrocketed us onto the first page of Google for many important search terms which bring in business.
Here, I’m going tot describe each content framework for you, and list the pros and cons to each approach.
Here we go.
#1 The List Post
Everyone loves a good listicle post. This type of article usually takes the form of a short introduction, a set of listed items, and a suammry/conclusion.
The positives of this approach is the ease of writing. They are straightforward to create, even if the subject matter is fairly complex. These are often some of the most successful pieces of content on prominent IFA websites.
The drawbacks mainly relate to competition. If there are other IFA websites with similar list posts, then it could be difficult for your post to gain prominence in Google’s search engine.
#2 The Expanded-List Post
Coined by Brian Dean (Backlinko), this is a development of the List Post described above. As mentioned in the drawback section, list posts are common and hard to rank for. So, how can you make yours stand out from everyone else’s?
This kind of list post delves into depth with each point on the list, rather than just providing a quick summary. From the perspective of Google and your website users, an IFA website with these kinds of list posts is considered to be rich with insights.
This is one of our most successful and popular approaches to marketing CreativeAdviser. These are usually posts which are longer in form (1000 words and over), and which Google likes to show to our readers because they are more comprehensive.
The obvious negative to this approach is the amount of time and effort required to produce the content. It can take weeks to bring together the required data to come up with something truly compelling, original and comprehensive. However, the effort is worth it when you see your post soar to the top of Google.
#3 The Go-To Guide
A Go-To Guide is a collection of the top posts you have surrounding a particular topic. The main difference between this type of post and the ones described above is the book-like structure of a Go-To Guide. There are brief introductions to each sub-topic, for instance, and a set of contents.
The main advantage to this approach is that it isn’t actually that hard to produce such a guide for your IFA website. You are not usually writing that much, as you are re-purposing content which is already available or which you have already written.
If you are promoting the work of others with your Go-To Guide, the original authors might be incentivised to share it. However, they might now always do so. You also face a struggle if you’re trying to curate content which isn’t new, or particularly fresh.
#4 How-To Guide
A How-To Guide explains how to perform a particular task, or use a particular product. For instance, at CreativeAdviser we’ve written How-To articles on how to approach financial branding, and how to target multiple keywords on a blog post.
You need to rely on your own experience, knowledge and expertise to produce a guide like this. It’s far more focused than the Go-To Guide described above. However, a big pro to this kind of content is that Google loves content which solves a user’s problem, or answers one of their questions.
How-To Guides are one of the most effective ways for us to generate traffic here at CreativeAdviser. They don’t usually require building lots of backlinks either, which takes a lot of time and legwork out of the SEO side of things for an IFA website.
On the flipside, How-To Guides do take a lot of time and subject expertise to make. You will need to write a lot more than you would, say, for the listicle post described above.
#5 Expert Round Up
This type of article gathers up a series of quotes and short interviews from specialists and experts in your industry. In this approach, you reach out to several influential people and ask them specific questions, collating their answers into a post.
For this to work well on an IFA website, you will need to get to grips with a few nuances. However, the really great thing about this approach is that you’re getting industry experts to write the content on your behalf.
Another pro to the Expert Round-Up is that the contributors will be incentivised to share your post, giving it far more reach as they show it to their own followers/audiences. The other big advantage is that this kind of post really is quite unique on an IFA website. How many IFAs do you know who are doing this, for instance?
The obvious negative to this is the time, effort and headaches often involved with creating an Expert Round Up. This is especially the case if you’ve not done this before.
Influencers are not easy to get hold of. You will also be dependent upon your contributors’ schedules to complete your piece. They may not get back to you straight away.
#6 Interview Post
Here, you simply include a post on your IFA website where you interview an expert or influencer on a particular topic you want to cover.
This is a more journalistic approach to blogging. The great thing about this approach is that you don’t have to do a lot of writing, and the expert in question can promote the content on their own channels (e.g. social media). Moreover, your post will be unique and compelling.
However, one problem with this approach is organising the interviews. People’s schedules can be busy, or fluctuate. Especially when the person is question is well-know, or in high demand. Moreover, it can also be a struggle to convince them to promote your content once it’s done.
People love images, even on an IFA website! They are powerful and engaging because they can communicate a lot of information to the user very quickly, in a clear and digestible manner.
These kinds of posts a re up to 3x more likely to be shared on social media, according to one study. You can also reach out to the sources of information you used in your infographic, inviting them to promote it.
The obvious, big negative to this approach is that you’ll need some graphic design know-how to produce this kind of content. Otherwise, you’lll have to pay someone to do if for you. There’s also the fact that infographics are literally everywhere. Sure, there are some good ones making the rounds. But there are also a lot of them sitting around collecting dust. They’re also very hard to rank well on Google.
Phil Teale is the head of Marketing at CreativeAdviser. He spends most of his time focused on digital marketing, Facebook advertising, PPC and remarketing. In his spare time, he likes reading the Sherlock Holmes novels, powerlifting at his local gym, and enjoys scuba diving with his wife.