Many of our clients know they need to create content for their website, but they don’t fully understand the reasons why. “I need to create content to increase my SEO.” “Having an updated blog will show that I’m an authority in my field.” Yes, these statements are true — to an extent — but there’s much more that goes into driving traffic to your website or increasing your ROI than simply throwing blog posts against the wall to see which ones stick. Is your content geared toward your target customer? Are you incorporating SEO best practices when creating your content? Have you hired a reputable and experienced writer to research and compose the content for your site? And, most important, have you set goals for your content?
Before investing time and money into creating content, whether it be through blog posts, videos, or other types of content offers such as e-books, infographics or podcasts, it’s important to take time to develop a content strategy that will help focus your ideas in order to establish the best opportunity for success. And believe it or not, putting together a strategy is easier than you think. Here, we list three steps to creating a successful content strategy.
Define Your Goal and Target Audience
The first step to creating effective content is to establish your goals. What is the intended end result you’d like to produce? Maybe you want to drive traffic to your website or appear higher in organic searches. Or maybe you’d like to build your email list. In addition to defining your goals, it’s also important to identify your target audience. What buyer persona are you trying to reach? Creating a detailed buyer person at the beginning of the process will help establish a clear direction. What type of content is your buyer persona more likely to look for — blog posts, how-to guides, videos? Do they hang out on social media? Are they technically savvy? Having clear parameters in place will help guide your content creation process.
Brainstorm Content Topics that Appeal to Your Buyer Persona
When businesses first try to incorporate in-bound marketing strategies, they tend to rely on the thought that any content will do, especially when it comes to blogging. And sure, having a deep well of good content is better than none at all, even if there’s no discernible rhyme or reason to the direction or topics, but in order to see a return on that investment, there has to be some thought put behind all of that content. In-bound marketers create campaigns devised around a buyer persona. These campaigns will guide the direction of the content topics and give it a focus. For example, let’s say you’re a pet supply company who’s trying to increase sales for organic, health-conscious dog food. Your content should be targeted to the buyer persona you’ve developed around this dog food campaign. Blog topics could include lists of healthy dog food brands; the health benefits of buying organic dog food; or a list of synthetic ingredients found in popular dog food brands. Taking the time to create a buyer persona and brainstorm topics around it will help give your blog content (or other type of content) a clear focus.
Determine the Best Type of Content
Blog posts are great to help build your organic search results because they’re relatively easy and inexpensive to create, and don’t have to be terribly long to make an impact with potential customers. Just make sure you’re posting regularly and optimizing your posts with keywords and internal and external links. Longform content such as e-books and case studies can be used to help establish a business as an authority in their field or as a thought leader. Maybe your goal is to increase social shares (and therefore amplify reach). An infographic might be your best bet because you can pack a ton of information into one image that is easily digestible (and easily shared!).
So, do you need a content strategy? If you’re investing time and money into creating content for your website, and you have a definable goal for that content, then a content strategy is absolutely necessary to making sure that investment will be successful in the long run. Setting clear goals and determining the best type of content to help you reach those goals are the first steps to finding success with your content strategy.
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