Content marketing is a great way to attract visitors to your site and transform them from prospects into customers. For a start, it offers your visitors value straight away: you get to demonstrate your knowledge and can begin building a relationship with potential customers before they even know anything about you. It’s also extremely cost-effective, with you being able to attract prospects who are actively looking to purchase the good or service you provide at a very low cost. In fact, it’s been shown you can increase your incoming traffic by as much as 55 times with a well thought-out content marketing strategy.
But as useful as content marketing is - doing it well is another matter entirely. Many businesses go about it without much thought and, disappointed when the expected customers don’t come flooding in, give up too easily.
By giving you 5 strategies to make your content marketing better, this article is here to make ensure you’re not one of these businesses and are one that produces great content that your visitors find valuable and that successfully converts them into customers.
1. Always Think About Your Audience First
It may sound obvious but many businesses don’t consider what their prospective customers will want to read. Instead, they write what’s easiest, to have content for content's sake, or about what interests them.
A better strategy is to write about what your audience will want to read and produce content that reflects that. To do that, you first have to know what type of customer you’re trying to attract: What are their problems and pain points? What are they looking for when they visit your site? How will your products or services benefit them and solve their problems?
When you know this information, thinking of topics for your content will be far easier.
Similarly, another way to generate topics for content your audience will appreciate is to think about recent interactions with your previous customers. What have your recent customers been purchasing from you? Have any products or services done better than others? What problems do they solve in particular? Have there been any recurring themes in your email or phone enquiries?
If you look at the reasons people have already bought from you, you could find some inspiration for content that future customers might be interested in.
2. Create a Content Marketing Strategy
Devising a strategy for your content marketing gives you clarity and consistency: You’ll have a better idea of which content to produce and when, and it will have a consistent message. Now, alternatively, if you quickly come up with ideas for your content whenever you feel you should put something out, it’s unlikely to be as valuable or interesting for your visitors as it could be. It’s also unlikely to be very cohesive and could appear to be a series of unrelated ideas. You’ll then have missed the chance to give your audience a better insight into what your business offers and how it will benefit them.
A good content marketing strategy also has a series of goals in place that allow you to track and measure its effectiveness. At first, these goals could simply be to publish a certain amount of content in a week or month to make sure you’re consistent. However, as you progress and start to see results, you’ll be able to see how many people visited your site as a result of published content and how many then went on to buy from you. If a piece of content worked well, analyze what made it successful. Similarly, if it wasn’t viewed many times, what could be done to make your next piece of content more appealing to your core audience.
Develop a content marketing strategy that focuses on one problem your customers are facing, one aspect of your business, or one product or service at a time. This will prevent you from becoming overwhelmed at what content to put out next and give you a chance to see what works.
Need help creating a content strategy? Check out this guide now.
3. Optimize your Content
As part of your content marketing strategy, and considering your audience first, look at which keywords and phrases your core audience is searching for – then create content around them. This is known as optimizing your content and ensures it has the best chance of being found on search engines.
Using resources such as Google’s Keyword Planning Tool will tell you how many people are looking for the keywords you enter and in some cases will offer more popular alternatives that you can use within your content instead.
However, when inserting these keywords in your content, don’t make the mistake that some businesses make and have repeat it too often - this will make it unreadable and tedious! Although you want your content ranked highly on search engines, remember you’re writing for people and not machines.
4. Vary The Format of Your Content
As well as written content, it’s a good idea to vary the type of content you produce, such as audio, video and infographics.
For a start, you might find this preferable if you’re not particularly comfortable with your writing, and finding a format you enjoy creating could inspire you to continue. Secondly, you might find a good portion of your audience enjoys your short video clips or podcasts and respond to them more than your written content.
Varying the content allows you to keep things fresh while learning more about what attracts visitors and subsequently turns them into paying customers.
Lastly, and best of all, varying your content allows you to constantly repurpose it, meaning you’ll have to come up with fewer topics. For instance, you could turn a written post into a video post and then later craft it into an infographic. Similarly, you could transcribe podcasts into a series of written posts before compiled them into a nice, little eBook.
Now, although I’m talking about the benefits of variety, it’s still important to produce good quality content. If you find you’re not as strong in producing some content as others, it’s better to enlist the help of professionals to help you manage the process. Ultimately, this will save you time and effort and maximize the impact of your content on prospective customers.
5. Persist with your Content Marketing
If there’s one principle that stands above all the others when it comes to being effective at content marketing, it’s persistence. Unless you’re incredibly lucky, you’re unlikely to create a piece of content that instantly results in a huge increase in customers straight away. It’s likely to be many pieces of content, produced over time, that steadily draw more visitors to your site. But to get to that point, you’re going to have to persist.
Don’t be dismayed if people aren’t reading your articles or watching your videos straight away – press on and they’ll come in time. You’ll get better at creating valuable content, will develop a feel for what interests your customers, and will better refine your strategy. However, you have to give yourself the chance to get better and this won’t happen if you give up prematurely.
Give yourself a specific period of time, say 6 months to a year, where you’re going to focus on creating increasingly better content and won’t throw in the towel. Make a commitment to yourself that you’re going to stick at it – and persist!
The 5 ideas outlined in this article will make your content marketing way more effective, help you connect with your core audience, and turn them into paying customers. If you’d like help on applying them to the specific needs of your business or want to streamline your content marketing, contact us here at Scribly, we’re always here to help.