Why Deep Content Is A Big Deal
What exactly is deep content? And why is it a great relationship builder for people?
Deep content goes right down into a topic and breaks down each issue that may face a target audience.
It breaks down a topic in detail and looks to give excellent advice (or takeaways) for people.
It is the opposite of wide content, which skims the surface of a topic, touching basic points or giving general tips, but can also be published more frequently.
These ‘scraping the surface’ posts do not win out over in-depth articles. That’s because a longer conversation that builds a relationship benefits a client more than a tonne of skin-deep content.
Google agrees as well.
Google shows a preference towards in-depth content, especially things that are a one-stop shop authority on key topics.
This is why deep content is a big deal.
Deep Content guide:
The two big benefits of this type of content:
Ideal Lead Generation ^top^
If your content holds real value for your target audience, they engage with it. And when they engage with it, they’re more likely to reach out to you because they trust your authority.
Research by Salesforce have shown that people will connect with you when their experience with you is good and they come to trust you.
Whether it’s subscribing to a weekly email, downloading a short ebook or reaching out to discuss a potential business opportunity, they are ready to deal with you. Because your content convinces them of your worth and authenticity.
That’s why deep content is more likely to generate leads. – smarter, refined leads.
Google has shown its love for content that meets and engages a target audience yet is changing its focus on what it considers worthwhile.
As Rand Fishkin recently said, organic search results are being pushed further down the priority list, with Google diversifying the things it provides. Especially for mobile searchers.
The carousel, mobile search, paid ads, and Question & Answer feature are now taking up more search results real estate like never before.
What does that mean for small business content?
They need to bring some remarkable content to the table. Or miss out on exposure to their specific target audience.
Good, in-depth content is more likely to boost this exposure.
And, if your competition isn’t massive, your edge over every other business has the potential to blast off.
If you’re in the landscape architecture business, your niche opens up better opportunities to rank for users rather than, for example, a new content marketing agency.
You could publish a deep content guide on end-to-end landscaping tactics which is published and promoted.
Google can assess its value to their target audience, aka renovating home owners, and bring it forward in its search results.
This may be especially true when published as an eBook or guide through an authoritative website or Amazon.
The opposite is true of highly competitive industries.
For content marketing, the competition is so formidable, and has big players throwing a huge amount of resources at every topic, that smaller players can barely make a ripple in the market.
No, it isn’t impossible but it is extremely difficult.
Amazing, in-depth content that usurps everything else to help your people is where things are at.
What makes deep content perform like a champion?
Length of Posts/Articles ^top^
It’s easy to see why this content works so well, as it combs through a topic or area in a detailed fashion, leaving nothing unturned.
The detail is lengthy because you offer better potential value to your customer’s questions.
An under-2,000-word article can struggle to flesh out the ideas that can help its target audience. Do certain posts buck this trend? Absolutely, but it’s more likely to be an established authority in that space already.
Going deep and giving ample value to readers is where small business owners can break through with their niche community.
Does it mean you can waffle? Geezus, no. It does mean being very particular on what you include (having a good proofreader cut any fat helps!)
John Morrow publishes blog posts that go over 10,000 words every time.10,000 words! It’s almost a small book. What you think would scare people off reading actually draws them towards his blog.
The reason? They are a beautiful conversation between the writer and reader that feels equal (even if it isn’t) while spilling over with tips, advice and research for his target readers to take something tangible away.
He leaves absolutely nothing to chance on any topic regarding blogging and content writing.
His post ‘595 Power Words That’ll Instantly Make You A Better Writer’ is a good example of this.
While other supposed authorities wrote 10 or 20 power words as articles, John did 595. Do you need 595 power words? No, but John’s post stands clear of its nearest rival because of the value on power words that any writer can take from it.
Takeaway: You don’t need 10,000 words for a great deep content post (at present, not many should) but creating content over 1,800 words that covers a topic is the bare minimum.
Specificity – Narrow Your Focus ^top^
With length comes a responsibility not to waste time. If you’re going into specifics, make sure they’re worth exploring for your reader.
Specificity in deep content is mining out potential ideas (pains, frustrations, and solutions to address them) and what benefits your reader can take away after finishing your post.
A fully fleshed out niche topic should help out your readers in several ways, having something tangible they can put into action.
Bigger companies can diversify their content output into niche areas because of the resources behind them and create a quality resource for their audience to use.
Canva’s learn page does this, discussing a host of first and second tier topics that cover web design, content marketing, small business and image resources.
Their primary target is bringing in relevant traffic through specific content topics and building more authority with their target audience.
It’s also helped by their brand authority and online reputation.
Individuals can capture a similar audience’s attention through in-depth content. And it doesn’t need to provide upfront benefits but connect with them in some way.
A good example of specificity is Geraldine DeRuiter’s article on trolling and online abuse, and researching the phenomenon from her experience.
She goes into unique detail in her own dealings with online abuse and what’s causing people to do it. It’s an eye-opening post you can read here.
Takeaway: Analyse the finer detail on topics then shape them into something worthwhile. Digging deeper can reveal untouched and under-reported findings that people can use.
Comprehensiveness on the subject ^top^
Remarkable content, the stuff that ends up ranking high on competitive topics, is also comprehensive. They are end-to-end guides that users can take so much away from and return to when they need to refresh themselves.
Make no mistake, this takes an enormous amount of time and work to produce.
Let’s take a couple of examples.
I mentioned Brian Dean before, who is an all-encompassing juggernaut on the subject of SEO and content marketing.
He goes so deep on subjects that he needs a submarine to navigate there, but the posts/guides he publishes are full of data analysis, examples, and actionable tactics to use, and they generate a massive number of backlinks, shares and traffic.
He also did this within the SEO and content marketing space, probably the most competitive area to rank for online.
You don’t need to produce the type of posts that Brian Dean publishes (that might be insane in certain areas) but planning to create content that runs end-to-end over a topic is something worth considering.
Comprehensiveness can also highlight transparency on how a business works. Patagonia, a company that sells sustainable outdoor fashion, wanted to shine a spotlight on its own clothing production line.
It’s article, Know Better, Do Better, uses storytelling and direct experience as a tool to place the reader on the factory floor.
The value stems from understanding how their clothing line functions and how the employees on the floor create the clothing that Patagonia sells to the world.
This is a different but amazing way to use deep content on a subject.
It doesn’t directly solve a customer’s exterior issues with purchasing from Patagonia but drives their reflective thoughts on where the clothes they purchase come from: a reputation and relationship-building piece of in-depth content.
Takeaway: Go one better than your competition on a topic. Bring more answers, bring something your audience will benefit from (or action).
Diversity into other content formats ^top^
Think diversification of the topic through different channels.
As Rand Fishkin highlighted before, the different types of results Google is presenting on search queries is laying the challenge at a content writer’s feet to mix up how they publish.
So, you should look at diversifying how this information comes out. Through video, podcasts, or eBooks, but also building an email list of loyal people to whom you can send this high value content.
Deep content can help you build a bigger email list, by some consistent promotion (as well as some key authority shares). Actually, by some consistent, amazing promotion.
A fantastic email list is a godsend in challenging SEO times. It’s controlled by you and no-one else, and not at the mercy of a social media giant who can change their algorithms with a snap of their fingers.
By diversifying how your deep content reaches your audience, especially in different formats, you increase your chances of engaging them.
For example, Olly Richards, a polyglot based in London, runs a language learning resources website for over six languages.
Both his blog posts and emails are long conversations on issues in learning a new language.
He breaks down the finer points of what works (and what doesn’t) and why, has videos embedded within those posts/emails discussing the same topics, as well as a regular podcast.
Olly has employed several channels, and platforms, to deliver benefits to his aspiring language learners.
His content isn’t light, either, some posts clock 2,500 words in change.
He doesn’t rely on one way to reach his audience, he uses a variety of ways to do this. But it’s anchored by a consistent email marketing campaign once people subscribe.
Almost every topic is broken apart, researched and given actionable solutions for his language learning community base.
Take a look at any of the people or companies I’ve mentioned, almost all are mixing up how they present their content to its audience.
Takeaway: Variety is the spice of life. Deep content can be broken down into other formats. Think about video, audio, eBooks and guest posts to get your stuff out there.
Review and Update Consistently ^top^
Depending on the topic and the changes that occur over the months and years, any in-depth content can become old and stale. What was relevant two years ago doesn’t apply today.
Refresh is the word here; a spring clean to blow out any cobwebs that might have appeared over certain tips.
Nothing is static, it changes as time goes by. The amount of change varies between industries so review when you need to. It could be 6 or 12 months. Set down a date and revisit the post again.
Takeaway: Spring clean your content. Give it a scrub and wash (research the same topic again) then update or rewrite what you previously published.
Deep content is a cracking way to give value to your target community ten times over anyone else. When you’re a one-stop shop for solutions to them, you go up in trust and authority with that community.
It’s a great way to connect with a larger yet smarter audience and to solidify your brand with Google.
A creative content calling card for every potential and existing customer who can decide to do business with you.