According to a survey conducted by MarketingProfs and the Content Marketing Institute, 93% of businesses now use content marketing as part of their overall promotion strategy, and 73% say they now produce more content than they did two or three years ago.
Content is what makes your potential customers become just that – customers. If they are able to gain access to content that is relevant to them, their experience of interacting, engaging and doing business with you will be all the greater.
Here we show you what you need to do to make sure your site has the right content.
Know who you are talking to before planning your content, and understand your audience’s goals and interests:
- Who is viewing your website?
- What do they already know about you – nothing, something, do they know you better than their own mother?
- Is your audience ready to buy in the here and now, or are they simply looking for some form of distraction from their busy lives?
- What do they need?
Writing content that is aimed at ‘everyone’ will be attractive to no one and demonstrates a lack of understanding on your part about your audience and what they are interested in.
Identify why they are coming to you in the first place:
- Why should they choose you over other agencies?
- What makes you unique over your competitors?
- Why should they care about you – what’s in it for them by choosing you?
Align your content according to your customer’s needs and satisfy their concerns, resolve their objections, and overcome any other potential barriers preventing them from taking the next step in the buying cycle.
Develop your content:
- What research/information do you already have on the topics you are considering providing content on?
- How will this content be aligned with the core business objectives?
- Where does this content fit in the buying process?
- What will be the impact on this business if this content is not produced – is it simply a nice-to-have or will it critically affect a campaign?
There is no point loading your site with a plethora of content that does little to support the overriding aim of the agency. Rather, decide what the purpose is behind each piece of content. For instance, it may be to:
- Start a conversation
- Prompt action
- Share knowledge and information
Decide how to present your content:
- What resources do you have available, who will produce the content, and how much time do they have to make this happen?
- What budget do you have and what are your time frames?
- What format will work best and do you have the skill set within your agency to deliver these?
Your customers will engage with you in varying ways, such as looking for something worth sharing (blog, infographic) or information that addresses a specific need (report, white paper). By understanding the point at which they interact with you, you can enhance their experience of dealing with your business.
To ensure that your messages remain meaningful and relevant, you need to present information in a format that befits the way in which your target audience expects to access it. Presentation formats could include:
- White papers
- Case studies
Decide the frequency of your communications:
- How often do you want to produce these deliverables?
- Do you have the resources to react and respond to immediate requests for information?
The delivery of your content marketing plan is just that – it is planned and deliberate both in its content and its timing.
Get it out there:
- How can you promote your new content?
- How can you maximise the return you have made on your content investment?
Once your content is produced, think above and beyond the obvious delivery mechanisms for sharing this information. For instance, if you have produced a new white paper, extract two or three of the most salient points and use these as the foundation for other forms of communication, such as a series of new blog posts, an infographic, a press release or a featured article for the trade press.
Similarly, perhaps you are organising a roundtable discussion – again, thinking laterally, turn this into an opportunity for a new video, a series of thought-leader Q&As or engage your audience in real-time via a webinar.
Communicating your content works best when communicated across several platforms.
By cross-linking your content across a variety of social media and online platforms (such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Vimeo, blogs, microsites, newsletters), it gains a wider reach, increases SEO and provides you with a greater opportunity to introduce your customers to other areas of your business (such as related services) in a non-intrusive yet engaging way.
Finally; review, revise and refresh – keep your content relevant to your audience. At a time when competition between organisations is at its most intense, irrespective of which industry you operate, customers will always be attracted to and remain loyal to the businesses that speak to them in the right way and at the right time.
They want businesses to address their pain-points and save them time by ensuring that the content they are looking for is easily accessible, which in turn will pay dividends for businesses.