One thing we know for sure – effective content marketing always comes with a strategy. We’ve heard the old adage that insanity is doing the same thing over and over, expecting different results. So, you need to be adaptive and ahead of the trends. You can’t just line up the same themed posts each week and expect the recurring schedule to somehow produce impossible results. To lead a conversation and to make your voice distinct, it’s paramount that you are listening to other channels and dissecting topical news when it’s hot.
To do this, you need to constantly revisit your plan, ensure it’s up-to-date and themed correctly with whatever happens to be going on in your sphere of influence. Engage both your loyal customers and new readers. Reach out to them for insight with polls and single-sentence questions.
For those of you who find all this a little daunting, read on as we attempt to uncover the secrets behind fresh ideas and the best laid content plans…
Know The Basics
Every business needs a content marketing plan. Your strategy should cover all audio, visual and written content that speaks for your brand. The aim is to attract a target audience and speak directly to them during all phases of the conversion funnel. Or, if you’re concerned about nothing more than quality traffic, you’ll need to invest in a dedicated team of graphic designs, copywriters and photo/videographers. Content is everything in this world of many eyeballs and only the sharpest creatives will know exactly who to attract and how.
When it comes to drawing in an audience, it’s important that you understand the nuts and bolts of search engine optimisation (SEO). These are the tools needed to raise your website’s profile and increase your visibility on search engine results pages (SERPs). A strategy is not some luxurious addition if you have the money – it’s absolutely essential if you want to begin a content cycle that both attracts and converts your viewer. You could ask yourself what problem you’ll be solving for your user. Then devote some time to catering exactly for the needs of your troubled demographic.
One way to do this is to establish trust by knowing your focus and aligning what you write with a particular audience. In many cases these are simply like-minded individuals drawn to a particular perspective. Your marketing framework should be attentive to every step of a buyer’s journey as well. Think about those valuable repeat visits. Don’t just abandon your new arrival on a dead-end landing page. Holding someone’s interest is more difficult than attracting them initially – why do you think there’s so much high performing click bait out there? So, for the purpose of sales enablement and visitor satisfaction you need to devote your content to one principle, above all others… quality.
The Tools You’ll Use
Knowing the tools you need for the job is vital. In the early days, most brands begin with blog posts and press releases. At which point it becomes increasingly important to run a content audit and evaluate what performs well, or what doesn’t. You’ll also need a content management system (CMS), like WordPress or Squarespace, which facilitates the spreading and tracking of content with ease.
Website graders (like HubSpot) will also prove useful when it comes to analysing your website performance, digging into keyword usage, links and other ways to improve what you share with the world. Editorial calendars help at this point to organise the library of blogs, images and videos that will inevitably build-up. It’s a key way to incorporate holidays, festivals and other events that might be valued by your audience as well. You can refer to templates online to gain greater knowledge of how a calendar like this should be laid out.
Once your strategy begins to take shape, you should ensure you’re covering all bases with different varieties of content as well. Consider eBooks, attachable PDFs, infographics, videos, podcasts, social media, email marketing, press mailouts… All of these are powerful lead generation tools that need to be understood in our increasingly competitive marketplace. Just know that magic doesn’t occur overnight and to truly reap the rewards of a strong content plan, you’ll need to continually strengthen your foundations with a daily output of organisation and creativity. Only then will you be in a good position to rank above your closest competitors.