Are you ready to make a content marketing plan to enrich your website, inform your customers, and build your business? Once you launch your plan, measuring the ROI can be difficult…will you know if your efforts are working?
Content marketing objectives
Different types of content have different purposes. Here are three goals that will help you define your content.
#1. Brand Awareness
You need to get your name out there, and content marketing is a great way to do it. High-quality content identifies you as an industry authority, the go-to source of knowledge and expertise. The more information you put out there, the stronger your authority. Be patient. It takes time to build an authority reputation, but it’s worth it…and as long as you deliver on your promises and treat your customers with respect, brand awareness comes with trust and loyalty.
#2. Customer engagement
The bonus of brand loyalty is an active customer base…and your own volunteer army of brand evangelists happy to spread the word about your wonderful company products and service. Every article or blog post you put out there is an opportunity for interaction, which allows you to get to know your customers a little better – and vice versa.
#3. Inform your customers
An uneducated customer base is a marketing minefield. If they don’t really know what you do or what to expect, they become a customer service headache and a public relations nightmare. Start by writing blog posts and articles based on questions your customers ask and information your customers search for.
Build a strategy
So that’s the what. Now comes the how.
It’s something we all struggle with, how to deliver content. How should it be written? Where should it be published? How can I attract readers? Let’s talk about that.
#1. Improve the quality of your content
Semantic search terms have replaced traditional keywords. When Google search was less sophisticated, content was all about keywords. In the last few years, a spate of refinements has made keywords almost obsolete.
Google is trying to make search more customer-centric by delivering results based on intent. Not pages containing the specific words users searched, but pages that best answer the question. The most information-packed pages designed to answer the query. Posts and articles getting the most traffic are longer and more in-depth, and how to style posts are most popular.
You can improve your content by throwing the old rules out the window. Don’t repeat keywords, just write naturally and address what your customers want to know.
#2. Create buyer personas
To better understand your customers, create buyer personas. Basically, this means writing up detailed profiles of the people most likely to buy your product or service. When done well, buyer personas can help you speak your customer’s language.
Your buyer persona should be a complete picture of who your customer is, how they live, and their buying habits. A clear picture of your customer helps you identify what content to put out there and where to put it. Finding your customers’ stomping grounds will help you engage.
#3. Publish a lot
There’s a barrage of content out there and there’s no hard and fast rule about how often to publish. Most marketers agree that 2-3 times a week is a reasonable goal. Consistency is key. Try to publish the same number of posts each week so readers know what to expect. Just keep in mind, quality is better than quantity.
Measure your results
When you put your content out there, what happens? Is it being read, shared, talked about? Unless you’re measuring your results, you’ll never find out, and as a result, you won’t know what’s most effective. There are plenty of programs out there to help you determine the success of your efforts. One of my favorites is RivalIQ, because it has unique features that measure not only your success, but your success in context against your industry competitors.
Your content marketing strategy should start with goals and objectives, and end with measuring results and using that information to refine your process. It’s the nature of the web that most of your content won’t get much attention, especially at first. If you’re monitoring results, you can see what does get attention and produce more of it. And don’t forget to keep promoting what you put out there.
photo credit: Rosaura Ochoa photo credit: 14clicksNick
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