If you ask any digital marketer about standing out online, the chances are that they’ll tell you to focus on developing your content marketing strategy. It’s no surprise to learn that 70% of business-to-business companies are spending more on content marketing in 2017 than ever before – it’s a cost-effective method of converting readers into customers.
At Climb Online, we write about why content is king often. We believe that a strong content strategy can help to position you as an authoritative voice in your industry and increase your conversion rates. But how do you develop and create content that speaks to your audience? Below, we’ve put together the key things you need to know about content, and categorised them into the Four Ds of Content Marketing; determine, define, document and distribute.
The most important part of any content marketing strategy is determining your desired objectives. Perhaps it's to increase brand awareness, change public perception or simply to increase your sales? Understanding what you want to achieve will ultimately shape the type of content that you create, from its style and structure, right through to things such as calls to action, outreach and promotion.
Before you set your objectives in stone, remember that some business goals can be difficult to track. Make sure that you set a realistic aim for your content – for example, to bring a 20% increase in visitors to your website – and regularly track and review these goals.
As Co Schedule writes, defining your target audience can ensure you’re creating the right content for the right people. It’s, therefore, essential that you define your target audience before you start content marketing – otherwise, you’ll be creating content that speaks to nobody. Run a focus group to ask for feedback on content, whether that’s blog posts, social media updates or live video, and conduct competitor research.
Now that you have your objectives in place and understand the types of content that will appeal to both existing and potential customers, you should begin planning your content. While you should avoid falling into the trap of producing low-quality content so that your website is always updated, you should also avoid taking long breaks between content, as fresh, engaging and up-to-date content can help reduce your bounce rate, improve your search engine rankings and increase organic traffic to your website.
HubSpot has put together a content marketing planning template, which you can use to strategically plan your content to increase your chances of success.
While it’s true that high-quality content is the most important part of any content marketing strategy, it won’t be effective unless it reaches your target audience. A content distribution plan is just as important as a content marketing plan, so take the time to decide how you’re going to distribute your content once it has been created and published.
Paid distribution, in the form of pay-per-click (PPC) advertising and social media advertising is one of the most popular methods for its speed and targeting abilities, but it’s important to remember that this method isn’t always sustainable. Organic distribution, on the other hand, through social media and search engine optimisation, is a more cost-effective method of distributing your content to the masses without having to spend money on advertising.
Other distribution methods that you should take into consideration are mailing lists, crowdsourcing, content platforms such as SlideShare and YouTube, and guest blogging.
At Climb Online, our Organic Climber plan is designed to help you get noticed by search engines naturally. If you’d like us to help you develop your content marketing strategy, increase your search engine rankings and grow your brand, click here to get in touch.