With the invention of the internet, content can live on forever. This allows marketers to offer multiple pieces of quality content on their sites for potential customers to peruse at any time. In addition, marketers have multiple analytics tools at their disposal, allowing them to see what content works – and what doesn’t.
Of course, the abundance of marketing tools available often means that your competition is taking the same actions. This makes it essential to develop a content marketing plan that helps your brand stand out from the rest. With these seven content marketing tips, you’ll learn how to reach your audience and get the results you want.
Step 1: Evaluate Your Niche
The first step is to determine where your brand stands in the niche market. Consider your strengths and weaknesses and what value you bring to customers. A SWOT analysis is useful here, which relies heavily on data. Gather your analytics tools and compare new visitors versus returning visitors, bounce rates, and site behavior. Turn your weaknesses into strengths by identifying which areas should be improved. Conducting a thorough analysis allows you to create more valuable content that’s delivered to the right audience.
Step 2: Identify Your Goals
When outlining your brand’s content marketing strategy, think about the goals you wish to achieve. Do you want to attract high-value leads? Increase sales on your website? Once you’ve identified these goals, it’s important to define your KPI, or key performance indicators. If your goal is to increase email subscribers, for example, you can measure how many potential customers signed up for messages.
Step 3: Determine Your Target Market
Developing content tailored to each of your target audiences is an important part of any marketing strategy. One content marketing tip is to create customer personas, allowing you to deliver content based on their needs. Break down personas by demographics, interests, and location. If you need persona ideas, look to your sales representatives, who often understand customers’ wants and needs. You can also look at your competition’s social media interactions to see if there’s an audience you’ve overlooked.
Step 4. Develop a Content Marketing Plan
During this step, you’ll put together all the research you’ve done so far into a cohesive, tangible plan. Determine what trends are happening online and what captivates your audience, and see how these things intersect with your goals. Does your audience respond well to blog posts, or would an infographic interest them? Once you’ve decided what content best meets your audience’s needs, create a plan. This might be an editorial calendar, which allows you to map out multiple series of posts. Conferences, sales, and holidays all are good times to schedule social media content.
Step 5: Ensure Your Content Structure is SEO-Friendly
Even if your content is fantastic, it won’t be effective if no one views it. Quality content and SEO go hand in hand, working together to help brands achieve their goals. Optimizing your content for search engines is essential in today’s marketing world. Choosing the right keywords determines whether your site is placed on the coveted front page or on the back burner. When adding keywords, consider your audience’s knowledge of the subject, their needs, and the words used by competitors.
Step 6: Create the Content
Once you’ve made it to this step, it’s time to write or design the content. Shape each piece with your audience in mind while avoiding keyword stuffing. Each piece should be optimized to reach specific goals, including product promotion or nurturing leads. Add calls-to-action at the end of each piece of content to further boost your objectives. Most importantly, use genuine headlines that truly reflect what the content is about.
Step 7: Distribute the Content
Each day, more than 2 million blog posts are published, making it difficult for an individual post to stand out from the crowd. However, you can increase the odds by planning your distribution. A content marketing distribution plan outlines where and how you’ll deliver content to your target market. Scheduling tweets, posting Facebook Ads, and sending weekly newsletters are all examples of distribution.
If your current strategy hasn’t achieved the results you want, give these content marketing ideas a try. When implementing your plan, remember to be patient. Content marketing is a long-term effort that often takes longer to garner results the short-term PPC campaigns. When you consistently deliver the content your audience desires, increased sales and engagement will follow.
Eric Steiner graduated with an MFA in professional and creative writing from Western Connecticut State University in 2014. He’s worked on a number of professional writing projects with clients such as Pearson Education, WatchMojo.com, and Michael Mailer Films. Giving brands a voice is his passion.