As of January 2021, there were over 1.8 billion websites in the world.
With billions of potential competitors, ranking your site on Google is no easy feat. Luckily, there are numerous digital marketing strategies that can help boost your website rankings, the most important of which is the development of compelling content
Yes, the old saying “content is king” might be something of a marketing cliché at this point, but trust me when I tell you that it's the truth. If you want to be competitive in today's market, you have to ensure that all your published content is informative, engaging, and most importantly - original.
Today, we'll talk about original content, its significance in the digital marketing landscape, and some tips to help you create value-driven content.
What is Original Content?
Original content refers to information that was never said, discussed, or published before.
However, for the average business, writing or publishing all-original blog posts on a consistent basis is rare. Therefore, in most cases, original content means taking an established topic or idea and inflecting a new view or opinion.
The essential question is this: What are you bringing to the table?
If a specific topic has been covered a million times over, you need to develop a new approach. Not only will you provide your audience with value, but you will avoid being penalized by Google and other search engines for having duplicate content.
The most crucial part of developing online content is to make sure that your content says something unique - i.e., that it doesn't exist in the exact same form anywhere else online.
A very helpful tool for avoiding duplicate content - and one that we use when developing our SEO optimized content - is Copyscape. This tool will not only help ensure that your content is original, but it also acts as a plagiarism-checking tool that scans the web for duplicate content.
Why is Original Content Important?
According to a research by the Content Marketing Institute, 83% of B2B marketers agreed that a top contributing factor to their success was the value of their published content, with 96% of those surveyed also claiming that valuable content is highly beneficial for building trustworthiness for their brands.
Original content matters because it makes your business or brand look good online while providing value. In today’s all-digital-all-the-time world, your audience has high expectations. As such, recycled fluff won't do your brand's credibility any favors.
In addition, most search engines, including Google, weigh original content as a significant contributing factor for site rankings.
Higher visibility + More Credibility = More Business.
Benefits of Original Content
Here are some reasons why your company should invest in producing original content.
1. Improves SEO Efforts
I can't stress this enough: original content is the heart and soul of any SEO strategy. One way or another, a solid SEO campaign revolves around the production of quality original content.
Whether it's a blog entry, article, video, product description, or anything else you create for your audience, authentic, valuable posts will improve your ranking efforts.
Producing topically relevant and original content will increase your company's online presence, enhance site traffic, and grow your brand. Conversely, blatant plagiarism is the kind of content that readers not only avoid, but that can get your website delisted from Google's search results.
Additionally, if your original post truly provides value, other blogs and websites will link back to your website, resulting in increased domain authority through high-value backlinks from reputable online sources.
2. Increases Credibility
Are you familiar with Google E-A-T?
Google's EAT represents the three core pillars of website evaluation - Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. If you're writing about a subject, your company needs to demonstrate EAT for Google to recommend your website as top-tier content.
Remember, most customers buy based on confidence.
According to a recent Edelman report, 81% of customers said that they only buy from companies and brands that they can trust. In essence, when you build trust for your brand, people will reward you.
Quality content shows your industry knowledge and will empower you to position your company as a subject matter expert capable of understanding trends and providing tangible, value-driven solutions.
3. Drives Social Shares and Engagement
For content marketing, originality alone isn't going to cut it - your content must be smart, informative, and engaging.
Compared to typical blog posts, a well-researched and engaging article isn't only valuable for your target audience; it's likely to receive more engagement on different social media platforms. Unique content is exciting and highly shareable - a fact that your company should capitalize on.
Publishing unique content is also an excellent way to generate leads and attract new customers. One of the best sites to publish quality content is LinkedIn. By the numbers, LinkedIn is the #1 social network for B2B lead generation with conversion rates as high as 80%.
When sharing your content on social media (or anywhere on the Internet), make sure that it's the very best content that your organization has to offer.
Types of Original Content
What types of content count as “original?”
As we already discussed, when you create content (i.e., an article, video, blog entry, social media graphic, image macro, etc.) that discusses a brand-new idea or concept, you're presenting original content. But remember, it's more than just publishing a unique post or video.
Here are the two main types of original content.
New Concepts or Opinions
A difficult roadblock that marketers face on a daily basis is the development of 100% unique content.
With thousands of content creators out there, finding a worthwhile topic that hasn't been sufficiently covered may seem impossible. But with suitable material, enough research, and a dash of creativity, it's more than possible to create content from new concepts and perspectives.
Of course, not everything that you publish has to be groundbreaking. However, writing about new ideas is how you can attract readers and separate your organization from the competition. A standard method that can help with your originality is to see what other industry leaders are writing about and which kind of topics generate a lot of interest.
A Unique Perspective on a Known Topic
Consistently coming up with a unique idea or opinion is difficult. Fortunately, there's another way to generate more original content for your website - content with a new spin.
I’m not talking about taking a well-known topic and repurposing it into your own words. You have to develop your own insights about the topic. Look to dig deep and share something (like a story) from your personal experience. This way, you're providing value by bringing something new to the table and not just rehashing topics your readers have read a million times over.
An excellent strategy for creating an original piece from a well-known concept is to create multimedia content. Examples of rich media content include images, videos, infographics, and podcasts. You can use these content forms to repurpose a well-known topic into fresh content that people find engaging.
3 Best Practices for Creating Original Content
Putting out new content with consistency sounds daunting. Here are some tips to help get you started:
- Develop a Plan - As a first step, businesses should develop a content marketing plan. Having a plan keeps your team of writers organized and will help you create more relevant content. See our content planning tool guide if you need a hand in getting started.
- Use a Content Creation Tool (Or Tools) - The right content creation tools can take your content marketing strategy to the next level. Popular tools like Ahrefs and MarketMuse are excellent for content research and planning. Grammarly is another essential tool for checking your spelling and grammatical errors.
- Add Visual Elements to Your Content - As mentioned above, developing multimedia content is an excellent way to boost your content's uniqueness. Visual content (like videos and infographics) generates more social media shares and boosts engagement.
Invest in Original Content Now
Learning to navigate the murky waters of original content may seem complex and tricky, but the potential to present your organization as an industry leader while elevating your SEO strategy to new heights is well worth the effort.
Do you believe in the power of original content for your businesses? Do you have any other tips for generating unique topics and creating one-of-a-kind pieces? Feel free to let us know in the comments!