Search engines and the internet as a whole has made information easily available. You can get any type of information from baking cakes, changing tires to photography and much, much more. All can be done through a simple query using a search page like Google or Bing. But don’t think that this makes masters unneeded.
Google, Bing, Yahoo, and other search engines just serve as the bridge between the needed minds and the masters and authorities. It is just that these search engines cannot just say one master is better than the other. In fact they have developed a system for filtering out who are the best and most significant ones, and placing them on the “front page” — or the first few pages of the search engine results.
Being on the first or second page of the search engine result pages means a lot. It is synonymous to the first page of newspapers in the old times, when they were still around. But this time, it would be in a larger circulation, with billions of probable readers. And it often comes with a price. However, launching a marketing push to get on the front page may sound impractical for small businesses with limited budget. PPC and other marketing channels can cost a lot. This is where effective SEO tactics come in handy.
In the recent years, local businesses have enjoyed the boost that local searches have brought to them. Social networks and content marketing is key to getting more visitors. And so is the value of providing tutorials, how-to, question and answer posts, and other contents where the users are not just entertained, they are also educated, be it through audio, video, or written contents.
To help content marketers and businesses use tutorials for their benefit, we have listed down a few steps that are sure to increase your tutorial value.
- Videos for the win
- Be present in multiple social networks
- No video? no problem, go on and draw
- Others love it live
- Trust the power of questions
1. Videos for the Win
Producing and sharing high quality videos is fast becoming the go to for tutorials nowadays. Google realized how important videos are and lead them to buying YouTube. Use videos to show that you know what you are doing, thereby making you a thought-leader for that niche.
You may probably spill out a trade secret or two in the video, but as long as it is not the core of your business, then might as well show it. For example, a coffee barista may show how to create visually and tastefully stunning lattes, but in the end, the viewers will still opt to go to the coffee shop to buy coffee beans. This will also show them how you make their coffees, and that can add trust to your brand and practices.
Many people are also not keen on reading manuals, and this can be thought of as another reason why videos are important. If a local shop shares a video on how to use and appliance easily, safely, and effectively, the viewers may go to the shop to buy appliances next time because you showed how knowledgeable you are with that appliance.
2. Be Present in Multiple Social Networks
Lately, Facebook became the first network to reach a billion active users in a day. This is really huge. But Facebook is not the only one; there are YouTube, Vimeo, Vevo, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Ello, Foursquare, Snapchat, Google Plus, Sina Weibo and QQ among others.
To be popular in these networks mean that you need to engage with your audience, use ads to promote your business, and produce quality content regularly. Getting more views and engagement gives you more chances of being shared and talked about. This signals search engines like Google to treat you as a thought leader and may put your content on the front page.
Lengthy tutorials may give more ideas and knowledge, but it is time-consuming not only for the producers, but also for the viewers. Instagram’s 3 – 60 seconds limit is quite good actually. It does not bore the viewer, and it pushes producers to be creative with the video as well. If you plan to have a long tutorial video, divide it into a couple of short episodes. This allows users (especially with data caps) to watch many of your videos without costing them too much. This also means you can post and share these videos on more networks.
3. No Video? No Problem, Go on and Draw
Video production consumes time and money. Smaller businesses may not be able to cope up with the big brands when it comes to videos. But videos are not the only way to share tutorials. Blogging is another way. Blogs have been one of the go to of marketers. It is cheap, easy to SEO, fast, and provides a good way to communicate with your audience. You can find tons of ghostwriters to produce contents daily.
But what separates blogs from other blogs? Great graphics. Tutorials are usually better with images and pictures, and posting blogs with great graphics gives you two shots on Google’s SERP – one is on the All tab, the other is on the Images tab. It is also easy for users to share your content’s graphics on their social networks. Sometimes people are too lazy to read and just browse to find images. So use the words on your blog posts for the SEO, and the graphics for the users.
4. Others Love it Live
Then there are those who prefer to interact with and watch live presenters. You may also find it good, too. Doing it live saves time and resources on producing and editing videos, gives a stronger feeling of connection, and provides an avenue for reusing and refreshing older contents.
Live presentations and tutorials may cost somewhere from free to a couple of hundreds, depending on the service that you would use. Google Hangouts is one of the free services, but it only caters to Google users. You may try webinars, GoToMeeting and Cisco WebEx for online meetings and videoconference presentations.
To make some “commotion” for your live event, use your social media networks. It can also be the other way around, use your live events to get more engagements for your social network accounts. Remember to get your audience’s feedback, questions, even email addresses after your presentation.
5. Trust the Power of Questions
It is said that a kid who asks lot of questions has an inquisitive mind (though it may be annoying at times). It turns out it is also the same with marketers. (This may not exactly raise the SEO of your website/brand-awareness, but it is one of the ways to complement the list above.)
Go to public forums like Disqus, Reddit, Stack Exchange, Yahoo! Answers and Quora or check search engines for the most searched terms, and then base your contents from there. You may also use your social media networks to ask users what they want to see next time, or what previous posts need clarifications. Use polls, too. They offer a ton of possibilities for future content.
Your blog and social media posts may also be used to ask visitors what they want, just like how we will end this post.
That’s 5 of the proven ways to increasing your tutorial value. What did you like the most and which one you use most of the time? Did we miss something? Tell us in the comments section below.