If you have been trying to figure out how to link brand awareness with lead generation, then content marketing is your answer. If you do it well, you will build affinity, trust and familiarity with the customers you now have, and attract prospective ones by giving them information that resonates with them. To achieve this, you will need to create a content marketing strategy. Creating a solid content marketing strategy requires clear intent of what you hope to achieve, careful planning, and focused execution.
Here are 5 content marketing tips to get you started so that you can develop your strategy and deploy it effectively:
Show how content marketing can help achieve better results
You should consider content marketing a long term commitment. This means that you will need to have continual support from key departments and people in your organization. The reason for this is that you will need to source and fund your content strategy and they will be the ones approving the budget. Start by identifying your brand’s pain points and goals, and then show how content marketing can help achieve better results.
Understand your audience
Before you can embark on creating a strategy, it is important that you first understand your audience. Remember that you will be informing, entertaining and educating your readers as a means of obtaining their trust, as such, you need to take an approach that is customer centric. You will need to know what it is that your audience wants so you can create content that resonates with them. Focus on these two activities to effectively understand your audience:
Establish who your target customer is by creating customer personas
In order to do so, ask the following key questions:
- Who are your company’s ideal customers and prospects?
- How do they make the decision to purchase?
- What are their pain points, objections and questions?
- What information gaps are there that you can fill?
Consider your buyer’s journey and map the content you create to it
Once you understand the various buying stages, you can then create relevant content and assign it to the appropriate stage. Map the buying cycle and match your sales cycle to it. With that information, audit the current content that you have and then once you know where the gaps are, create the content matrix that includes content to fill the gaps.
Find the correct content formula
The goal here is to ensure that the content you create solves your client’s issues or answers a question they have. It should be content that will generate the necessary action to make a purchase or take the necessary steps. In order to do so, you will need to:
- Ensure that the content you create is what your customers want.
- Have enough content variety that you can deploy to multiple devices and channels.
Put together your editorial calendar
Your calendar should be proactive and planned carefully. Your calendar is your execution plan. It is where you will be integrating your content to create a story that your audience can see.
- Itemize your content themes ensuring that they are aligned to the phases of the buying cycle and the audience personas you created.
- Create your content outline detailing the content you will publish, where you will publish it, syndications if any, and your social channels.
- Break it down so that you know which piece of content will be created when and how it will be distributed. You need to publish consistently and in a timely manner.
Ensure that your content is SEO friendly
In order to make sure that you are meeting the requirements of the various search engines and the needs of your visitors you will need to ensure the following:
- Target a single keyword or keyword phrase for each page
- Ensure that your keyword or keyword phrase is in the copy
- Use exact terms
- Don’t overdo your optimization
- Determine the minimum length of each page based on the message you are communicating
- Be sure to milk your content for all it’s worth. You need to use each piece of content in several distinct ways. As an example, start by creating a white paper, break the segments down to create blogs, pick out phrases for your social media pages and so on.