Content marketing is all the rage now. According to stats, 91% B2B marketers are doing content marketing now where as the figure is 86% for the B2C marketers. And it goes without mention that content is at the heart of the whole process.
“The single most important thing most websites can offer to their users is content that those users will find valuable.” – Jesse James Garrett
But creating good content on a regular basis can never be solely instinctive. It requires a proper plan and an efficient management process to produce relevant and usable content incessantly. In short, you need a full proof content strategy for this. Let’s discuss how to do it.
1. Set Your Content Goals in the First Place
“Content without a goal is art, not marketing.”
To get a grip on your content marketing it’s extremely important to have goals in front of you. To go by the definition, content strategy is all about producing and delivering “content that effectively achieves business goals”. So, setting clear content goals should be the first step towards creating your very own content strategy. These goals not only will help you in being driven and directed but also will make your content effort measurable. Usually for marketers, the motive after creating content use to be:
Primarily engaging their audiences and then motivating them to take a desired action. There can be different content goals, like:
- Educating the target audience
- Creating awareness about a particular product/service
- Sharing industry knowledge to establish yourself as a thought leader
- Generating and nurturing leads through the complete sales cycle
- Be always on top of the audience’s mind
To be more specific, “four things a marketer needs from any piece of content:
- To be shared
- To get comments
- To generate leads
- To make sales”
Once you have your goals set, create content in alignment with the same. Now you can share the
Note: Not necessarily you’ll create all your posts keeping these goals in mind, some of them can definitely be market or situation driven or just a very good topic in general.
2. An Editorial calendar is Must
When it is about creating a good content strategy, one thing which comes up as an absolute indispensible part of the game, is the editorial calendar. It gives the right framework to create and execute a good content strategy.
- A newsroom without an editorial calendar is like a ship on voyage without a roadmap. Though the main purpose of an editorial calendar is to schedule and track the future posts, but that’s not the only way it helps the publishers:
- It helps to create a content roadmap layout for a particular period of time
- Makes sure there is a consistent flow of content
- Helps in maintaining content variety in terms of topics and format
- helps in keeping up with the seasonal and occasional topics without a miss
- Makes it easy for the team to work in collaboration by helping in delegating tasks
- Helps in dealing with deadlines
Just to add to it, always remember to keep the editorial calendar flexible and dynamic to explore its full potential.
3. Tell Your story
Your content is the mouthpiece of your brand. It helps you build a non verbal relationship with the visitors of your website which is one of those first points of contact. So basically, your content needs to narrate your brand story and it’s values which the customers can strongly associate with. Always write your articles in a conversational tone and the language should be easy, so that it remains understandable. Most importantly it should be consistent with the personal values of your target market.
4. Resolve the Queries
Your content should be of value to the customers. Instead of creating content on the basis of relevant key words, develop content that addresses the queries of the customers about your product and services. If you receive similar questions regarding your product or service, sales process and after sales services from different platforms try to address them right away through your content. If you fail to provide adequate information, you may lose potential customers who are impatient enough to do further research to address their concerns by themselves. This is even justified on their part as they have multiple options to opt for.
5. Entertain, engage and inspire
Your website visitors need proof that your brand represents more than just a prefabricated story. One way to do this is to develop content that is original, inspirational, and entertaining. If you do this on a regular basis, visitors will be encouraged to subscribe to your brand and your newsletter or via social media.
6. Drive decision making
Make sure your website is making you stand apart from the competition.
For that, your content should be competitive, convincing and compelling. You can use aids for that in the form of comparison, infographics, graphs and charts etc. which will help your target customers to clearly identify you as the one with visibly better product or service. This is very much true for the big ticket products like gadgets, cars etc.
Consumers of these segments often do a lot of research before buying a product. They type key phrases like, “iPhone 5 vs. Samsung Galaxy S4” or “”Honda Civic vs. Toyota Corolla” to do a comparative analysis between two or more options available to choose from. You should make sure, a potential buyer doesn’t need to visit multiple other sites or head-to-head sites to get the desired information. If you are a reseller of multiple products, try to provide as much information possible, for each of them.
7. Manage customer expectation
Managing customer expectation is the most difficult as well as important part of marketing, if you do it right, conversion is bound to increase, but if incase it goes wrong your SEO will get negatively affected. Content plays a major role in managing expectation.
Disgusted customers are the last thing any business want at their credit and you can only disappoint them if you don’t deliver what you promised. You need to create realistic content with a practical view in order to manage the expectation:
- Clearly explain what your product or service is capable to accomplish
- Avoid doing any false promise or claims that are not true
- For a better expectation management, you can state the limitation of your products or services in the lower funnel section of your website such as FAQs.
8. Variety is the Spice of Life
If you have contents of multiple types, you can tap your consumers from all angles. This will hopefully help you to convert the potential customers into buyers, by satisfying their research needs and guiding them through all stages of buying cycle. For example if you have a technology based site Add sections of information like:
- Product/Service details
- Related products
Doing so will increase the stickiness of your website. This is one of the reasons websites like Amazon are able to convert researchers into buyers so quickly. To maintain the variety you don’t always need to create all the content, you can also curate them from different sources. Always remember, to achieve the content sweet spot, you have to mix content creation and content curation in right proportion. So do it intelligently and ethically.