One of the most effective ways to steer traffic to your site is with great content—without it, the internet would pretty much cease to exist. Whether you browse the web for learning new information, interacting and socializing with others, or just watching cute dog videos, content is the entire reason we use the internet.
So as a marketer or a business owner, how can you use a content marketing strategy to your advantage? Besides your product and web copy, what can you do content-wise to drive traffic and build closer relationships with your audience? How can your brand and business goals benefit from consistent, high-quality content?
For those who are just starting out, your content strategy (or content management) covers any tangible media your brand creates and owns. This can be text, imagery, videos—pretty much anything. Your brand’s content strategy is the part of your overall digital marketing plan that continuously showcases who you are and what value you bring to your industry. But even if you already have a content strategy in place, it’s never a bad idea to revisit and potentially reassess how you can keep things sharp and fresh.
Whether you’re forming a strategy or looking over your existing strategy, your content should be up-to-date, innovative and engaging. Here are some tips and tricks to help you develop your best content.
Starting Out: Ask Yourself Some Questions
Asking yourself these questions will keep you focused and help you make sure that your content stays on-brand.
About your brand:
Why does your brand exist?
How does your brand solidify your “why?”
What will you do specifically to develop your “how?”
If you’re a little unclear on how to answer these questions, we like to think of this fill-in-the-blanks statement:
I created my brand to [why]. It provides [how] by [what].
Example: We created WebServ to help healthcare professionals with marketing. We increase our clients’ SQLs and online business through our SEO, PPC, Web Design and Content Marketing services.
About your content:
Who is your target audience? Think about your buyer personas. If your brand has more than one type of customer, don’t ignore them in your content strategy—utilizing a variety of content types and channels with your different customers in mind will help you cater to a broader audience and increase engagement.
What problem will you solve for your audience? In most cases, your products or services already identify and solve with a problem you know your audience has. When it comes to your content strategy, keep customers on both sides of your product in mind. Not only will this help prospective customers identify and learn more about the problem, but it also makes existing customers more comfortable with and qualified to use the products.
What makes you stand out? Always keep in mind how you stand out from the competition. This is where investing in high-quality content comes in—it’ll help potential customers see the value in choosing you over your competitor.
What content formats will you use? After figuring out what topics you want to cover, think about the best ways to deliver your information. Consider text, videos, photos, infographics—whatever formats you believe will best deliver your information—then think about how it all fits into your budget. When it comes to content, you definitely get what you pay for.
What publishing channels will you use? You can publish a piece of content on owned properties like your website or blog, or social media properties. If you choose to publish content on social media, make sure to take your audience into consideration. For example, if your buyer persona likes posting Minion memes on Facebook, you may not need to worry about posting to TikTok.
How will you manage content creation and publication? This part will probably get a little intimidating, but it’s so important to build yourself an editorial calendar. It’ll be your go-to hub that’ll house who is creating what as well as where and when that content is going live. There are lots of tools that can help you organize your calendar (we’re big fans of Airtable, personally)
Get Going: Develop Your Content
Remember that quality content doesn’t usually happen by accident. Carefully planning and building a solid foundation for your content will help you consistently post content of an exponentially rising caliber. Here’s what you need to know before you get started:
- Stay true to your brand: Be sure to define your goals for your content marketing efforts as well as clearly defining your buyer persona(s).
- Get organized and in the flow: After choosing a content management system that works best for you and your team, brainstorm ideas on topics and types of content. Then, decide which types of content you’ll be creating, and build or add them to your content calendar.
- What to do post-production: After your content is created, you’ll want to figure out how you want to manage and publish your content, and after a while (once you have a good amount of live content), audit it and see if it can be refreshed or repurposed elsewhere.
Keep Growing: Different Types of Content to Consider
After conducting your audit, you may find that you want to explore different types of content. Some popular ones to consider are:
- Blog posts: Regular blog posts should provide valuable information, attract new visitors and make those visitors inclined to share that post across different platforms.
- Case studies: This is your opportunity to tell a customer success story in order to showcase the value you bring to customers and to the industry.
- Ebooks: Ebooks are typically longer and more in-depth than blog posts, and they aren’t posted as frequently, either. Unlike blog posts, which are used to attract visitors, ebooks can be downloaded by potential customers in exchange for their contact information, making them excellent lead-generation tools.
- Infographics: If you’re trying to share a lot of data, presenting the data in a quality infographic is a great way to deliver that information (a good place to create your own infographics for free is Canva).
- Podcasts: The number of podcast listeners is growing. Podcasts are an excellent way of connecting with audience members who don’t have the time (or desire) to read content all the time.
- Social media: Social media is great for repurposing your existing content into different formats while amplifying your brand’s reach.
- Templates: Similarly to ebooks, templates allow your page visitors to download a useful tool in exchange for their content information.
- Videos: While videos take a lot more production effort than other forms of content, they’re worth it. This form of content is highly engaging and is 40 times more likely to be shared on social media.
Don’t Stop: Adapt, Innovate, Flourish
Remember to treat your content like an investment. It will work so well for your website and your brand, but rarely is it a post-it-and-forget-it situation.
If you’re looking to expand into a new form of content marketing, hire a professional to ensure quality. If you’re creating evergreen content, consider updating it regularly (biannually or annually). The bottom line is, if you take care of your content, your content will take care of you!
Feeling creative yet? Click here to explore our tips on creating high-quality written content.