November 22, 2016
“Forget building feeble sandcastles with your content strategy, build an empire.” – The Content Assassin
You can’t argue with the fact that content is leading the way we market ourselves online. Think of it like a giant clockwork system and each cog represents a key component. This includes our SEO strategies, email marketing campaigns and our social media presence.
An effective content strategy combines each of these to create and share valuable content with our audience.
What is the purpose of this content?
To attract and convert customers.
At least, that’s what it should be doing. Yet, many companies struggle to adapt a content strategy that actually fulfils this purpose.
Here are five simple steps to build an empire with your content strategy:
1. Define your content objectives
Each piece of content MUST embody at least one business goal or objective. Unfortunately, it’s not enough to just churn out content every other week. Your content must fulfil a purpose.
Examples of suitable content goals:
- Drive traffic to your website or Blog
- Increase sales
- Promote an upcoming event
- Magnify a specific message
- Reach your target audience
- Promote a product or service
- Build brand awareness
- Solve your customer’s problem by providing the solution
Once you have determined your content strategy and its objectives, you will have a clearer understanding of the type of content that will work best towards achieving that specific goal.
2. Prioritise your company blog in your content strategy
I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, content is KING.
If you want to promote your brand and drive sales online, you need to publish consistent high-quality blog posts.
According to the Content Marketing Institute, 85% of B2B Marketers who have experienced an increase in sales in the last year, have said that content creation (higher quality, more efficient content) has been the main contributing factor to their success.
Your blog posts should provide your readers with valuable information that they can’t find anywhere else. In terms of SEO, updating your blog with long-form and relevant content is imperative towards driving traffic to your site and boosting your ROI.
Google’s search algorithm analyses the content on your web pages. It takes various factors into account, such as quality, relevance, credibility and value. It’s up to you (and your copywriter), to ensure that your blog posts reflect each of these qualities.
3. Use different types of content to drive sales
You need to incorporate different forms of content into your content strategy.
Because people who visit your website will be at different stages of the buying process. Some will be at the early stages of research and others will have their credit cards at the ready. Your job is to deliver content that effectively communicates with people from all stages of the shopping experience.
There are three main types of content that will help you target customers in the right way, at the right time. This helps to drive brand awareness, demonstrate your expertise and finally, end with a sale.
1. Awareness Content Strategy
This form of content appeals to new customers. People in the “awareness phase” have never met you and know very little about your company. They have a problem that needs solved and have found your website under the assumption that it contains content that delivers some sort of solution to their problem. Blogs are your best way to speak to this type of customer because a great blog post will prove your expertise by providing valuable insights that educate and influence the reader.
2. Consideration Content Strategy
Now that you have proven your business is the perfect solution to your viewer’s problem, you need to show that you have the right experience and expertise to deliver on your promise. This is achieved through content such as whitepapers, testimonials and case studies. The main purpose is to demonstrate your expertise and convince the consumer to move onto the next stage of the buying process.
3. Decision Content Strategy
The final stage is when the consumer has decided to make a purchase. Decision-making content includes things like pricing lists, discount rates and traditional promotional materials. However, it is also important to create appropriate content to follow up on a recent sale (re-targeting).
4. Promote your content on social media
Creating high-quality and engaging content is the first step towards building a successful content marketing strategy. You also need to promote your content. Social media is one of the most effective marketing tools at your disposal – and its free!
Social media provides an ideal platform to build brand awareness, credibility and reputation. Share your latest blog posts on as many social networking channels as possible. Tweet about your new content and publish updates to LinkedIn, Facebook and Tumblr. You may also want to consider creating an email newsletter to help push your content and reach a wider audience.
5. Measure the results of your content strategy
Tracking your progress and measuring the results is extremely important. It lets you determine what you are doing right and what areas need improvement. Google Analytics is an excellent tool and completely free of charge. It allows you to find out where your site visitors come from and how they found your website. As a result, you can also learn exactly which keywords they used to locate your business.
Although primarily used to help improve SEO strategies, Google Analytics can be used to help optimise and improve the effectiveness of your content marketing strategy. In conclusion, utilising analytic reports can help you to fine tune the content on your website to improve conversion rates and gain more customers.