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every business needs a content strategy. Although building one can seem like an intimidating task, in reality it’s easier than you think. A great content marketing strategy can help your small business grow and thrive. In this post, we will teach you how to build a solid content strategy.
You will learn how to know and understand your online customer, choose the right format for your content, write for online audiences, promote your content and finally, how to measure success with content marketing.
First of all, why is a content marketing strategy important for your business? Well, this is a strategy you should definitely follow as it provides competitive advantage and it can drive more sales to your business. 47% of buyers still view 3 to 5 pieces of content before actually buying a product and companies with blogs tend to 67% more leads than those who don’t. We hope you are convinced about the importance of a content marketing strategy after these few statistics.
In a content marketing strategy there are three main aspects you should always consider in order to succeed:
- Focus on answering your audience’s needs;
- Create content they will find valuable;
- Keep them engaged so they will visit you in the future for more content.
Now that you know why a content marketing strategy is important, let’s see how you can actually build one for your website.
Get to know your online customer
In order to answer your audience’s needs you need to know who they are and what pain points they have. To do this, you will need to segment your target audience and create content for each segment.
To get to know your target audience use the help of online tools like Consumer Barometer. This tool from Google reveals how people are using the internet and allows you to discover what makes your customers tick and click.
Choosing the right format for your content
The purpose of content is to connect and engage with your audience. Your content should be valuable to whoever consumes it and it should be helpful in any way. To achieve this, you need to identify what your audience wants and how they want to consume that information.
Online content can take lots of different forms: from case studies and ebooks, to infographics, images and video clips. Each of these different formats comes with its own benefits.
- Blogs: original content or guest-authored content
- Infographics: eye catching format, great for the viewer to share
- Ebook: educational, easy to read, practical content, makes you stand out as an specialist
- Videos (product demonstrations or tutorials): allows brands to create engaging content
Writing for online audiences
Writing online content is not the same as writing offline content as people online have a much reduced attention span due to the overload of information. There are best practices for online content writing you should follow, and tools that help you choose the most engaging topics for your audience.
Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash
1. Start with a good hook
Draw people in and get people excited to read/view your content with a good hook. This can be an enticing title like a question or interesting statistics.
2. Read your content with the eyes of your audience
After you’re done, review the content as if you were your audience. Think if you would enjoy it and find that content useful.
3. Incorporate a CTA
Plan ahead what you want your reader to do after they’ve actually read your content. This can be subscribing to your newsletter, booking a call with you or visiting your social media. To achieve this, place a call to action (CTA) at the end of each piece of content you publish.
4. Stay consistent
You probably have heard that consistency is key. It really is! In order to keep people returning to your website you should stay consistent with the frequency you publish your content. Otherwise, people can visit your website hoping to find a certain piece of content and not finding anything new. This can lead to disappointment.
Now that we’ve covered a few rules on writing content, let’s discover how you can write about engaging topics that will actually be relevant for your audience.
1. Research your competitors
See what your competitors write about and explore which of their topics have better performance and greater engagement. You can also find topics that they don’t explore as much as you could. This way you’ll have a competitive advantage over them.
2. Visit the site Answer the Public
With this free online tool, you can get insights about what your target audience searches for. With these insights you can tweak your content to match what your audience wants to consume.
3. Keyword Planner and Search Console
Keyword planning is essential when it comes to creating content. The right keywords allow people to find your content easier and drive content to your website. There are a lot of tools for keyword planning like Keyword Magic Tool from Semrush or Keyword Planner from Google.
Help your content be seen online
Where will you publish your content? To answer this question, think about where your audience spends time online and where they consume content. There are a lot of channels available to increase visibility – owned, earned and paid channels.
Owned Channels – these refer to marketing channels you manage such as your blog, social media, website or podcast.
Earned Channels – any marketing channel owned by a third party such as another blog or other social media accounts. Appearing on these channels can boost the reach of your content and bring new people to your owned channels.
Paid Channels – promotion you pay for like campaigns you make to a specific audience.
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To optimize content publishing in any of those channels, consider creating a content calendar. This calendar is a detailed timeline that organizes all your marketing activities and can help make your process consistent and efficient.
When building this calendar try to make it achievable, consider all the multiple channels and don’t forget key dates so you can plan all your season content ahead. There are several tools online you can use to help build your content calendar. CoSchedule is one of them and allows you to see the big picture and manage all your marketing activities in one place.
Measuring Success with Content Marketing
Like any other strategy you should always measure your results so you can improve in the future. There are several online tools and softwares that helps you measure the success of your content marketing strategy as well as identify key metrics to help you improve your campaigns.
Social media platforms are a great tool to find which of your content is most effective and what are the most engaging posts. Tools like Google Analytics show time spent on each webpage and where visitors come from, as well as other relevant insights. To learn more about how to take full advantage of Google Analytics check Google Analytics Academy.
The first step is to identify your goals and objectives. Make sure they’re measurable and trackable and explore specific metrics such as where your users are located, their age, gender and how long they spend on specific webpages. After you analyse these metrics, compare them to previous results.
A Content Marketing Strategy is a powerful way for marketers to reach their target audiences with less effort. They allow you to tap into how your customers think and allows you to adapt your content, and deliver exactly what people want to consume.
We hope this blog post has helped you learn more about content strategies and will help you find success in any future endeavors with digital marketing. Thanks again for reading!