Today’s customer relies on the internet to find which products or services best solve their problems or struggles. But with so many options available to them, standing out on the internet can be difficult for companies. If you want to drive more traffic to you company’s website, you need to create unique and valuable content.
The best way to get your audience to notice you is through content creation. Although content comes easier to some companies, it is necessary regardless of the industry you serve.
When you’re providing helpful, informative, and entertaining content that revolves around your products or services, you’ll attract more paying customers.
If you’re unsure of what goes into a content marketing strategy, don’t worry. Here are eight content marketing best practices to keep in mind when creating your next plan.
Know Your Audience
Each audience will have different needs and expectations from a content marketing strategy. In order to ensure you’re reaching the right audience, you need to understand what your target audience is looking for online.
This means you need to know as much as you can about your ideal customer and create relevant and accurate buyer personas.
Creating a buyer persona is the best way to get to know who you’d like to purchase your products or services. Take a moment to consider which customers you’d like to work with.
Outline their unique demographics, characteristics, needs, goals, and fears. Get as detailed as possible when creating your buyer persona.
Use this information when determining which kinds of content to create. If your audience is the kind of user who likes long form blog posts, be sure to include many different long form blog posts in your strategy. If they’re looking for visuals, like videos or infographics, make them the start of your strategy.
Put Your Customer First
Too many small businesses get trapped in believing that their content strategy should be about them. They create content that revolves around company news, what the company is doing, or bios about the employees or CEO.
While this information is useful for building trust, it doesn’t help the customer find you.
Your content marketing strategy should focus on the customer, not you.
If the customer does not know who you are or what you offer, they frankly won’t care about news involving your company. It is not until they’re familiar with what you can offer and how you can solve their problems that they will want to learn more about you.
Focus your content strategy on providing your audience with the tools or solutions they need to solve a problem or make their life easier. Listen to what kinds of questions your audience is asking and use that information to create your content strategy.
Use a Mix of Content
A content mix allows you to appeal to customers in all different areas and directions. Although you should have some idea of what kinds of content your target audience is looking for, you’re likely to have many different preferences within that group.
Some audience members may like videos while others are looking for blog posts.
Using a mix of content ensures there is something for everyone within your target audience. Various forms of content can also help your audience members through the various stages of the buying process.
Blogs, videos, articles, infographics and case studies should all be used strategically to help your lead become a customer.
Consider the purpose of each kind of content you create. If you feel like you’re leaving a crucial part of your strategy ignored or open, create more content to fill that spot. Look for what kinds of content your audience may be asking for and get creative about the way you share your information.
Know Your Buyer’s Journey
There is a buyer’s journey behind every purchase. The buyer’s journey, or the decision making process that your audience must go through to decide to make a purchase, can be extremely short or relatively long. It all depends on your product or service.
Regardless of the length of your audience’s buyer’s journey, you need to understand how it works and what thoughts they’re having.
The buyer’s journey typically follows the same path. First, your buyer must become aware of your brand and the products or services that you offer. Next, they become interested in what you can provide.
Once they know more about you, they spend time considering whether or not you’re the right provider for them. When they’re finally ready, they’ll make a purchase.
Your content strategy needs to consider each phase of the buyer’s journey. You’ll want to produce different kinds of content that helps get your company noticed, encourages your audience about your products or solutions, and convinces them to make a purchase.
Create an Editorial Calendar
Creating a content strategy isn’t enough to see it through. If you want to stay on track with what you’ve created in your strategy, you’ll want to document it through an editorial calendar.
An editorial calendar allows you to see which kinds of content you need to post each day. Each company or individual may have their own needs and expectations for a content calendar, but for the most part, you can include the topic of the content, how it will be posted, and when it needs to go up. You can use more or less information in your calendar as needed.
When you use an editorial calendar, you’re able to see just how your content works together to create a big picture plan.
You can see what kinds of topics you’re talking about too frequently or what topics you’re not covering enough. It also ensures everyone in your marketing department knows which kind of content needs to be posted.
Have a Promotion Strategy
We all hope to have a following so strong that we don’t need to promote our new forms of content. Unfortunately, there aren’t really any companies out there that don’t need to promote the content they create. If you want readers to check out your new content, you need to let them know it is available.
Your promotion strategy can include social media, influencer marketing, email marketing, SEO, and more. The promotion strategy that works well for you will depend on your industry and who is in your target audience. To ensure the maximum number of audience members are viewing your content, you’ll want to promote it where you know they’re hanging out.
Many promotion platforms, such as social media, allows you to pay to give your posts a boost. If you find that just posting your content isn’t enough to get your audience members to your site, you may want to consider a paid form of promotion.
This can bring more visitors to your website and increase your reach.
Creating content takes time. Because you want to ensure you’re posting high-quality content, you want to do all the appropriate research to create a solid post. Unfortunately, research can become one of the most time consuming parts of your content strategy.
You can get around doing additional research by repurposing old content. If you have pieces of content that your audience has connected very strongly with, consider creating a new or additional form of content to accompany or supplement the piece.
This can bring new readers to your website or encourage old readers to come back.
Repurposing your content does not need to be difficult. You can begin repurposing by turning a popular blog post into a video, webinar, or infographic. If you can update the blog post to include new or additional information, you can add a second part or an update to the content.
Get creative about the ways you repurpose your content.
Track and Measure Results Of Your Content
As with all your marketing, you want to know that you’re making the right connections with your audience. If your content marketing strategy is missing the mark, you need to know how and why if you’d like to create something stronger.
In order to find this information, you need to be tracking and measuring your content marketing results from the very beginning.
There are various ways you can track the results of your content marketing strategy. First, Google Analytics allows you to see how many people are coming to your website, what pages they’re engaging with, and whether or not they’re connecting with your new content.
Social media analytics platforms can also give you a good idea of if your content is reaching your target audience.
Use this information to see where you may be falling short and where you could use improvement.
You can also use analytics to determine which topics your audience like the most, which forms of content are getting the most attention, and what you need to include in a revision of your marketing strategy.
Content marketing doesn’t need to be complicated, you just need to think through the strategies you’re creating.
When you keep your audience’s needs in mind and produce content that they want in ways they will enjoy, you are sure to attract new audience members to your company and website.