Developing a Content Marketing Strategy for your Business
Content marketing is all about creating educational, entertaining, and informative material that will show visitors you're interested in and understand their needs, and not just their business. Content marketing’s importance lies in providing added value and effectively reaching your buyer persona.
By using content marketing, you are more able to tap into the first two stages of the buying process:
1) creating awareness of available solutions
2) providing background information and social proof to consumers about innovative products or services.
This resource guide will show you how to create sought-after content that is most valuable to your audience, as well as content that people want to share.
Content marketing involves using content creation methods to market a business by using a piece of content to engage with your target market. Content marketing can be used for any type of business from lead generation, to general services, or an online shop. In each one of these instances, it becomes an integral part of a buyer’s journey.
Content can be created for blog posts, podcasts, webinars, videos, and other media and should ultimately cultivate brand awareness. Whereas email marketing focuses on reaching a predetermined or particular demographic audience, content marketing as a whole seeks to reach the widest audience, while connecting with those already interested in your product or service. In essence, the goal is for potential buyers to find you through your content marketing campaigns and efforts.
Content marketing campaigns can be utilized on any online platform from social media platforms to websites and Digital advertising. Depending on your content marketing goals, you will utilize these platforms differently to reach these goals. For example, if you wanted to increase page views, you may decide to add valuable content to high-ranking blogs on your website.
Overall, content marketing efforts work to increase your business revenue. Great content equals higher conversion rates, which without a doubt is part of your business goals.
As a business, you may be thinking, Why would I need to incorporate content marketing into my current marketing strategy? The answer is simple, the ROI on content marketing is unmatched. Take SEMrush’s Easter egg hunt for example. SEMrush is an online toolkit for digital marketing, with tons of research tools for almost anything marketing related, including content marketing. A strategy they used to help educate users about new features was their virtual Easter egg hunt. This challenged users to find 15 “Easter eggs” by completing a variety of desired actions using their SEMrush tools.
A key feature of this strategy was making it easy for users to tweet their results, and overall this earned them 8 million Twitter impressions from more than 9,300 participants, proving its validity within a social media strategy. A big way they made this work was by using content marketing outside of customer acquisition. They weren't focused on gaining new customers, but on engaging the ones they already had and encouraging them to share their positive experiences with the company.
Content marketing isn’t always about gaining revenue directly, but rather implementing tactics in order to gain a following and build trust, which then converts into revenue. Effective content can do exactly that.
The first thing to think about when planning marketable content is where your expertise lies. What is the one question that your business can answer better than anyone else's? You want this to be as specific as possible so that it will be easier to find original content that your audience values.
New content ideas for a content marketing plan
For example, consider that you are a pet food company specializing in affordable natural nutrition, perhaps the question you can answer is: When I buy the cheapest pet food, what am I sacrificing in terms of nutritional value for my pet? While the answer to this question could lead to buying your company’s product, that is not the point of the post. You can be completely impartial about your answer, and give facts instead of product recommendations. You aren’t looking to sell, but to provide helpful information to your audience in order to build trust.
You may mention things like how the cheapest brands of pet food usually contain preservatives and chemicals that can cause your pet to become lethargic. You can also say the benefits of all-natural ingredients, and give your opinion about where the line is drawn in terms of price. Because this topic is so narrow, it will lead to more organic traffic and higher conversion rates.
Remember: Ranking on Google is about owning a sphere of influence for a specific niche topic. Once you have answered your question on what you can answer best, it is time to start expanding on it. Build content around that question, and move on to wider topics, for example, weight loss when switching to natural pet food. This way, all of your content will be centered around your expertise and your audience will know where to find the information they need and will trust that it is reliable when it comes from you.
The next step to delivering high-value content is to audit the content you already have. You want to gather all of your existing content and look at which posts perform best, and what kinds of posts attract your target audience. In doing this, you should be able to see trends among topics that perform well and topics that don’t generate as much website traffic. Repurpose your content to work for you! Once this is done, you can take topics that perform well and expand on those. They should also be in line with your company's expertise and build off of the question that your business can answer best.
The next thing to understand about keeping a collection of information like a blog is that they are like libraries. Blog posts shouldn’t have a sequential order, but rather should be a collection of relevant content no matter when the user is searching. When a customer has a need and searches for answers, it doesn’t matter if your answer to their question was posted this year or five years ago, it should be up to date and relevant.
This kind of content is known as evergreen content. This isn’t always easy or straightforward, especially in today’s world where topics evolve quickly. This is something to consider when choosing a topic to write about, you will want to think about how much time and effort it will take to keep that information up to date and relevant.
There is something to be said for the ability to write about topics that are constantly changing, and be committed to keeping all of that information up to date. This isn’t something that a lot of larger companies with lots of content are able to do, so if this is a path that you choose it can be very valuable for your audience to know that they can trust your content.
Using a great content team
The other option is to choose topics and write about them in a way that will always be applicable. Some examples of this kind of evergreen content are How-Tos, Listicles, or Product Reviews. A specific example for our pet food company may be: What to Feed a Newborn Puppy.
There will always be new pet owners searching for answers on how to take care of their pets, and so this content will remain relevant for a very long time. Evergreen content that is good quality content can ensure a consistent flow of traffic to your website - and potential customers. This applies to big corporations and small businesses alike.
A valuable thing to think about when creating content ideas is how sharable your topic is. Who is going to want to share your post? There are several tactics to write sharable content, and one of the main ones is to write local. Local promotions are most likely to get picked up by the community as well as news sources, and often generate lots of traffic.
Going back to our case study of a pet food company example, they may choose to write a promotion about an upcoming dog adoption event in a local park. Showing interest in the local community, as well as something that will attract lots of attention on its own, is most likely to be shared by participants and sponsors of that event.
Another type of content that is extremely sharable is lists. For example, Top 10 Natural Dog Food Brands. Here, you already know that there are at least 10 companies who want to share your article and likely others as well. Once you know which of these kinds of sharable content works for you, scale them. Build around those topics in order to keep generating new traffic.
Originality and Brand
A common tactic when creating content is compiling information from preexisting articles and posts. However, search engines such as google value originality so it is important to incorporate new information into your posts. Google Analytics can be your best friend here. The metrics and infographics are designed to give you all the info you need to measure the KPIs of your content strategy.
A step-by-step guide to creating valuable content
This could be any number of things, like original research, surveys, or interviews. Maybe our dog food company would interview a vet to be featured on a blog post about what nutrition your dog needs daily, or survey customers to find out their favorite local dog parks. Simply adding new and authentic information can help you portray expertise to your audience and therefore build trust when it comes time for them to buy. Additionally, keyword research and editing of existing content can do wonders for SEO. Optimization of content can lead to a higher ranking of content that may be ranking fairly high already. Ensure that all your content templates contain the necessary keywords to ensure rankability.
Building high-quality brand awareness through content
Another way to do this and build brand trust is to incorporate your brand as much as possible in search-focused content. Write a straightforward piece, for example, a product review or a how-to, and incorporate an editorial opinion that relates to your brand. This doesn’t mean promoting your business and products but just offering a bit of personal advice to the reader. This can help to build trust, and when your audience learns to trust your opinion they will be ready to buy from you.
To build on a stronger content marketing strategy for your business, utilize your sales team in your content production to drive sales or boost brand awareness. They have the expertise to sell whereas your content production team has the skills to translate this to your target audience.
Content marketing is a valuable strategy that, when done correctly, is 13 times more likely to generate ROI than a regular marketing strategy. Producing a consistent stream of reliable content tailored toward your audience builds trust and increases conversions. In order to get started, figure out your expertise and audit your existing content. Create a workflow to optimize your existing content and then build on an editorial calendar and content white papers designed to skyrocket your brand.
Then use guidelines like sharability and evergreen to start building out your content, and lastly don’t forget to be original and include your brand in whatever you post. As you implement, don’t forget to keep tracking the key performance indicators of your content management strategy and building on what works for you.
Our agency offers content marketing services that are geared toward helping your brand and business reach new heights! For more information or to start building a content strategy to convert more browsers into customers, get in touch!