Now that you’ve really gotten to know your audience and your competition, it’s time for the fun stuff: actually building out your content strategy. As we’re sure you’ve heard time and time again, content is king in inbound marketing. Though a boring cliché, this statement couldn’t be closer to the truth.
A well-executed content strategy will help you build relationships with loyal customers, boost your search rankings, improve user experience, increase conversions, and grow your business into an established authority in your industry. But posting any old content won’t do this for you. You need to produce valuable content that resonates with your target market and can’t be found anywhere else on the web. If you do it right, providing outstanding value through content will help you rule the internet.
Here are the best ways to create a content strategy that is pretty much guaranteed to kick ass online.
Create That Blog You’ve Been Putting Off
Virtually all businesses can benefit from having a blog. Create a blog and consistently post high-quality content to drive more traffic to your site, help customers and potential-customers through the buyer’s journey, and gain higher rankings for a variety of long-tail keywords (or specific keywords) over time. Include your blog on your navigation bar to make sure visitors know it exists. Make sure to build an editorial calendar based on the data you gathered from your target market analysis, competitive research and keyword analysis.
Focus On Helping The Reader Instead Of Selling
Never directly sell your product or services while performing content marketing. According to a study by Kentico, 29% of readers say content published by a business loses credibility after they mention their product in the content. This doesn’t mean that you should never mention your product. You should just only do so when it truly benefits the user and is applicable to the subject at hand.
Thankfully, you don’t have to directly sell your product in your content to gain customers. Instead, answer your audience’s questions, entertain them, or benefit them in some other way (inspiring them, teaching them, supporting them, etc.). When they are in the market for your product, you will be top of their mind since you developed a relationship with them via your content. Outstanding content will boost your brand awareness through social shares and backlinks, pushing you to the top of thousands of potential customers’ minds.
You can also subtly promote your product in your content by answering questions that people may have about your product or service that may deter them from buying it, or by showing the benefits of your product without mentioning your brand. It’s best to only directly mention your brand in your content only when it helps readers with a problem, or entertains them in some way.
You Can’t Rule The Internet Without Content Experimentation
Take risks with your content. Don’t be afraid to experiment in order to offer your audience something they’ve never seen before. Unique content that only you can create is your key to an incredible boost in website traffic and user engagement across the web. Content strategy is all about creativity, so sit down, brainstorm, bounce ideas off of your coworkers, and give it all you’ve got. It’s the only way to stand out in the online clutter.
Use Tools To Come Up With Long-Tail Blog Post Topics
Your blog should focus on targeting specific, long-tail keywords, such as “How to Conserve Water in Your Hot Tub During the Summertime.” It will be much easier to rank for these than more general keywords. The Moz Keyword Difficulty Tool can show you the competition around a specific keyword. If the competition is too high and you’re a smaller business, it may not be worth it to write about that specific topic. (Remember, you want to focus on providing unique content to your audience.)
Here are a whole bunch of great tools and techniques you can use to come up with specific blog topics that will benefit your audience:
- Utilize Google Keyword Planner to discover keyword search volumes and ideas for new content. You don’t want to create content no one will care about.
- Use Quora to look up questions that people have about your product, service or industry. Answer these questions with original content on your blog.
- Play around on Google Trends for content ideas.
- Keep an eye on Facebook and Twitter trends to see if any relate to your industry.
- Enter your keywords in Ubersuggest for more specific blog post ideas. Add the Ubersuggest CPC & Search Volume Chrome Extension to your browser to make tool even more beneficial.
- Ask for industry experts to write guest posts on your blog.
- Build on your competitors’ most successful content by improving or adding to it. You can find their best performing content on social media on Buzzsumo. Make sure you don’t copy your competitors’ content. Duplicate copy will hurt your rankings and could be considered plagiarism.
- Repurpose your own content through a different medium. For example, create an infographic based on a blog post you wrote a while back.
- Come up with commentary about content that has already been published.
- Build content around trends, holidays and awareness months that are of interest to your target market.
- Search through your analytics to find your best-performing pieces of content. Build on them with new content.
- Create evergreen content that will drive consistent traffic for years to come, like Moz’s Beginner’s Guide to SEO.
- Ask your fans what type of content they would like to see.
- Publish answers to specific questions your customers have asked you.
- Get your customers involved. Possible user-generated content ideas include testimonials, fan art, photos using your product or service, retweets, and user-created videos. You can host contests and giveaways on social media that require your fans to send in user-generated content for an entry.
Create Local Content
Along with targeting more general keywords that will drive traffic from around the world to your website, focus on creating local content on your blog. Local content helps to ensure that people who are searching for your type of product or service in your area will find you. Here are just a handful of local content ideas that can work for most businesses:
- Use local images across your website.
- Create a page that provides helpful information for people coming to visit (such as restaurants to eat at and sites to see).
- Write about how regional weather may affect the way people use your product or service.
- Publish customer testimonials.
- Write about local events and celebrities.
- Feature information about your favorite spots in the city.
Make sure to do keyword research targeting the cities that you are located in. Finally, ask your regional managers and local customers what content they would like to see.
Optimize Your Content For Users Who Are On The Go
Mobile devices are everywhere now. According to eMarketer, time spent with digital media on a mobile device makes up 51% of all time spent with digital media. This is why it’s imperative that your content is optimized for mobile. After all, people may be spending more time with your content on their phone than on their computer. Explore creating visual content that is easy to consume on popular mobile apps, such as Vine and Instagram. When designing your website for mobile, it’s better to implement scrolling rather than pagination for longer content. You should also create a separate mobile content strategy that is contextual and focuses on the user’s location.
Think Outside Of The Written Word
You can create compelling content via video, infographic, slideshare, images, eBook, whitepaper, conference, guide, webinar, meetup, podcast, music, gifs, memes; the list goes on. Apps like Vine, Periscope and Snapchat give you even more interesting opportunities to create unique content for your users when they’re on the go. Don’t be afraid to try something new.
Let Your People Talk
Allowing users to comment on your posts will provide you with user-generated content for no extra work. Comments can also supply you with new ideas for future content. If you use WordPress, you can install the Comments Evolved plugin to allow users to comment from their social media accounts, increasing your posts’ visibility across social media.
Though it can take a lot of time and creative brainpower to come up with an effective content strategy, successful content can drive more leads than any other marketing effort in the long run.