This article will show you how to create, optimize, and promote cornerstone content that drives traffic to your website and eventually converts visitors into loyal customers.
The dictionary describes “cornerstone” as something essential, indispensable, basic, or the main foundation upon which something is constructed.
Cornerstone content, therefore, is the most important part of your website. It refers to a high-value piece of content that aims to increase traffic and brand awareness by showing what your business can offer.
Letting potential customers know what you’re all about will help define your brand and reflect your values. As well as creating a positive first impression, cornerstone content tells Google what your website wants to share.
Cornerstone content is not designed to convert visitors right away. The main aim is to pique their interest so that they’ll remember you and return when they actually need your services.
Cornerstone content is sometimes called “evergreen content”, which provides a clue to the type of articles that work best. As well as responding to trends, you should choose subjects that people consistently search for. If you’re a telecommunications company, for example, you could include a piece that explains some of the terminology (“What is VoIP?”) or how your products work (“The ultimate guide to video conferencing”).
Cornerstone content is a hugely important tool in raising brand awareness, both through content itself and the way it’s optimized. It’s a golden chance to get your core message across to your target audience.
Cornerstone content gives you the opportunity to build natural links: from other pages on your website. From your social media channels, and from external sources who think your content is worth linking to. It’s a great way to position your business as anauthority in your industry, which increases trust in your brand. And it also feeds your funnel, by attracting prospects who can be tracked and nurtured for optimum conversion rates.
Evergreen content can be used across all marketing channels to strengthen your brand identity — and it can even be repurposed into different formats to keep the website fresh.
If you focus your efforts on getting cornerstone content right. you’ll create something that continues to drive value for your business.
Now we’ll show you how to create informative, engaging content and promote it to your target audience.
Do your research
Getting to know your customers and understanding their buyer persona is a crucial aspect of marketing. If you know who you’re aiming at, you’ll have a better idea of what to write about.
You need to ensure that your cornerstone piece is relevant. And the best way to do that is to communicate with your audience. Talk to existing customers, carry out surveys, and then analyze the data.
You’ll also need to find out what people are searching for online. Ideally, you’re looking for a subject that’s commonly searched for but doesn’t yield many results. When you’re aiming to move up the SERP rankings, the content you provide must be better than what’s already out there.
Part of your research is to find out what keywords people use when they search on Google. You’ll need to choose the most appropriate keywords and phrases for your content, making sure they match the ones people are most likely to use when they type a question (which only you can answer!).
Once you’ve gathered the data you need, hang on to it! You’ll want to access it in the future to see how your target audience has evolved and how you can adapt. Using Platform as a Service (PaaS) storage solutions gives you a secure and efficient way to keep data (and content pieces) all in one handy place.
Cornerstone content usually takes the form of an in-depth article, such as “Everything you need to start selling online” or “Cloud computing: the complete guide”. While this is the most popular way to communicate brand values, there’s no law that says you have to stick with one type of content.
For example, you could consider posting a how-to guide with step-by-step instructions or a video tutorial. A searchable knowledge base could also prove helpful for visitors, while access to a free tool would definitely help them feel positive about you.
When you’ve chosen the type of content you want to produce, think about how long it will take and the costs involved. Decide if you’re going to keep it in-house or outsource the work, or a mixture of both.
Remember that previous content can be repurposed for another format or channel. This is a good way to stay on-budget, as you don’t have to pay for a whole new article. A clever writer can transform existing content into something that feels fresh and new, even if it covers the same ground.