Experience The Benefits Of A Strong Business Content Strategy
If you are creating effective content for your customers, not only will they be able to find your business more easily, but they will be more likely to remain engaged with you over time. Businesses that want to expand their digital presence must appreciate the importance of SEO and search engine visibility. Quality content will bring these benefits to life.
Content creation and SEO are two sides of the same coin. In fact, 72% of online marketers describe content creation as their most effective SEO tactic. In addition to optimizing your search engine performance, the benefits of creating effective, strategic content include:
Creating a loyal audience
Higher engagement on social media
Building credibility with your audience and potential customers
Generating a higher volume of qualified leads
Building brand awareness
Optimizing your marketing budget
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8 Simple Steps To Content Success
If you are ready to start seeing all the amazing benefits of content creation, there are a few steps you’ll need to take. The main objective of content creation is to create a piece that your audience will actually appreciate and want to consume. While this is not an easy feat, it is possible. Follow these steps to get the most out of your content:
Establishing a clear goal and mission statement
If you have been running your business for some time, you might think you have already established your goals and objectives. The truth is that if you are just beginning to create content for your customers, you might want to make sure these goals align with your content. When it comes to your mission statement, you want to think of the big picture. Make sure you are working with a statement that you can communicate through every piece of your content.
In terms of your more specific goals, this is where you will get more granular. A common means of setting and tracking goals is through KPIs, or key performance indicators. Your business can use social media KPIs to determine whether your strategy is working properly. Ideally, you want your KPIs to be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely. For example, you might want your content to result in a follower increase of 500, or you might want your engagement to increase by 20%. It is most important that your KPIs reflect your overall business goals.
Familiarizing yourself with your target audience
The bottom line when it comes to content creation is communicating a message and making sure it is received. When you understand and target your ideal audience, you will ensure that your message is received by those who matter most to your business. These would be the people who are most likely to take interest in your services, products, or content. This interest will allow you to turn them into customers, which is the ultimate goal of your content strategy.
In order to determine the individuals who are most likely to engage with your content, the first step should be to analyze those who are already interacting with your business or those who interact with your competitors. Some qualities you should consider are age, location, language, spending habits, interests, and stages of life. For example, if you are a family law firm in the Upper East Side of Manhattan, your target market would include upper class families who are dealing with divorce, child custody, and other family-related legal matters. In this case, you would want your content to come across informative, professional, and compassionate toward the problem they might be dealing with.
Determining the best channels for your brand your business
There are so many channels to choose from, but when it comes to content that you create, it can all be broken down into two main categories: owned and paid. Any owned channels are channels that are owned specifically by your business. This includes your website, blog, newsletter, and company social accounts. If you are running these channels yourself, you might think that they are free, but you have to account for your time, and if you are paying a marketing team, you get to swap that time with money. Paid content is the content distribution that you pay for. This includes social media campaigns, partnerships, paid editorial in publications, and other media buys.
As previously mentioned, both owned and paid content channels will require some investment on your part. What you don’t want to do is put money into every single channel without knowing what will be the best one to reach your goals. If you are just starting off creating content, it would be wise to start with a few distribution channels at a time to allow you to compare and contrast. If two channels are similar in spend, such as Instagram and Facebook, it would be best to divide your budget or time equally.
Determining the best content types for your brand
Creating quality content takes ample time and resources, and if you are going to make this investment, you want to make sure you are creating the right content for your business. In order to do this, first and foremost, you want to consider your own expertise. What is it that your business does and why do your customers seek out your expertise? Try to showcase those benefits throughout all of your content in a fun, informative, and engaging way.
In addition to setting KPIs for your content, you will also want to consider what direct action you want your audience to take as a result. Do you want to lead them to a place where they can make a purchase, do you want them to share, download a file, or reach out to your business? Think through this lens when you think about the way you want to communicate with your audience. Even if you think your business is not much different from your competitors, chances are, there is something unique about it. Be sure to communicate your unique skills, abilities, and personal flair in your content. Some of the forms of content you will want to consider include:
Social media posts
Podcasts or vlogs
Creating a content calendar
As you consider the forms of content above and begin to plan out your calendar, you will also want to consider variation. Plan out your content with a variety of forms in order to keep it fresh and interesting.
Because some of these content forms will cost you more time and money than others, you want to strategically consider which ones are the most important when you create your calendar. You’ll want to plan out some content a few months in advance and leave room for opportunistic content that might come up along the way. For example, if you are going to be running a blog, or simply commenting on trending topics in your industry, you’ll want to leave some room for those opportunities to shine every month.
Although there is no single right answer for how often you should be posting content, most experts recommend posting at least once per day on social media. If you are using your social media to promote content on your website or other outlet, this would mean posting once per day on those platforms as well. If once every day seems a bit aggressive, try to aim for at least three times per week. You can adjust the kind of content you post and the frequency of it later depending on what earns you the most engagement and leads.
Now that you have laid all of the groundwork for your content, the fun can begin! Whether you are creating your own content or hiring a team to do it for you, be sure to keep the goals you created earlier as a top priority throughout the process. Remember that quality content tells your customers what to do next. Keep these three qualities in mind as you determine what quality content means for your business:
Creating entertaining content is an excellent way to grow your reach and target audiences who might not have heard of your business otherwise. The most important reason to create content with entertainment value is to raise brand awareness. Your growing audience will associate your content with your business name in the future and will be more likely to keep you in mind for purchasing decisions.
Educational content holds all the same benefits as entertainment content, but it brings even more value to the table. That is because content that educates will establish your business as a thought leader in your industry. This will increase your credibility and it will go one step further to convince your audience that your business is worth investing in.
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Although your content should not come off like a blatant advertisement, you should mix in a healthy dose of promotion. There is a fine line when it comes to drawing your audience towards their next steps. Although you never want to come across as pushy, you do want to advocate for your business and give your audience the opportunity to contact you. A good call-to-action (CTA) is enthusiastic, persuasive, and uses a strong command verb.
Marketing your content
One of the best ways to market the content you create is simply to post it on the social media accounts of your business. In addition to posting on your own page, you can also post on relevant groups you might be a member of. For example, if you are a local home services business in Phoenix and you just published a blog about how to protect your roof in the desert heat, you might post it to the Facebook groups of your local suburbs to gain more traction. Social media platforms also offer the option to boost your content, which will allow it to appear in front of a wider audience. Platforms that offer this feature include Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter. You can also choose the demographics that you want to target, which is another reason why making these determinations early on is such a great idea!
Social media is not the only way to market your content. Some other ways include establishing a rewards program, or a referral marketing program, that incentivizes people to share. A study by Nielsen shows that 84% of people trust recommendations from people they know, which makes this the most influential form of advertising. There is a wide variety of ways you can promote your content. It might take some trial and error to discover the best ways that work for your business.
Speaking of trial and error, that is exactly what you will do until you are in a strong groove with creating content for your business. Analyzing your results will be the best way to help make adjustments and optimize your content in the future. In order to do this, go back to your original KPIs. Is your content helping to reach your KPIs or is it falling below the mark? When you look at the engagement rates of your content, what kind of content seems to be performing the best? Pay attention to this data and use it to create the best possible content for your business.
To learn more about optimizing your content for your audience, reach out to the team at Scorpion.