Content marketing still reigns supreme among other digital marketing strategies.
Surveys say that 82% of marketers who blog experience a positive ROI, while 79% of companies that have a blog report the same result. So, it’s safe to conclude that doubling down on content marketing will help you grow your business.
Another reason why you’ll want to focus on this strategy is its cost-efficiency. According to stats, content marketing generates three times more leads than outbound marketing while costing 62% less. It’s a double whammy, in short.
But we’re not talking about just any content. If you want this strategy to move the needle on your revenue, your content has to be truly great. Here’s how to create fantastic content that works for your business.
1. Identify and Understand Your Audience
To create exceptional content that will be relevant and provide value to your readers, you first need to figure out who your target audience is. After you do that, it’s essential to do research and find out what makes them tick.
Or, as Benjamin M. Friedman, a well-known economist, said, “Prospecting – find a man with a problem.”
It’s crucial to unearth and understand your target audience’s pain points and interests.
This way, you’ll be able to pick the topics that resonate with them and offer solutions to their problems in your content.
You can do this by:
- Collecting demographic data using social media, email, and web analytics
- Obtaining customer feedback by asking your existing customers what they think about your content or what topics they would like you to address
- Building personas based on your collected data and describing your ideal readers/customers, their challenges, pain points, and behavior motivators.
Since the main idea behind your content is to educate and inform your audience, all this data will allow you to create useful content that will answer their questions and solve their pain points.
However, you can have several customer personas that need different things from your content. That’s why you’ll need to group your audience into different segments and offer personalized content for each segment.
Anytime Baseball Supply offers three different blog categories tailored to their customers’ different needs and interests. This simple segmentation goes a long way, as it enables their audience to easily find what they’re looking for – product reviews, tips for practicing, or groundskeeping, without having to flip through all blog posts.
Source: Anytime Baseball Supply
2. Leverage Different Content Formats
Mixing it up is the way to go when it comes to content formats.
Not all your customers prefer the same type of content; plus, you can make your content efforts more effective by diversifying.
Some of the most popular content tactics include:
- White papers, ebooks, and industry reports
- How-to guides, both in the form of blogs and videos
- Email marketing
- Social media
To decide which formats to use, consider the buyer’s journey stages, the platform you want to publish your content on, and the audience you want to target.
Stage 1: Attract
During this stage, you can target your potential customers on social media to boost brand awareness and attract their attention using short videos or colorful infographics that are easy to consume.
Video, in particular, is a very powerful marketing tool as it’s consumers’ favorite type of content, while video marketers get 66% more qualified leads per year.
These are prospects trying to solve their problem or find an answer, so blogging and webinars are effective channels too. Blogging covers a particular topic in detail, while webinars offer an interactive way of learning about an issue.
Esthetics Center’s blog provides answers to the most important questions their customers might have and serves as an authoritative resource on the topics of skincare and cosmetic surgery.
A good example of this is their blog post, “Dark Spots? The Complete Skincare Guide for Permanently Eliminating Sun Damage,” as it walks readers through the essentials of hyperpigmentation and offers actionable tips on how to get rid of it.
Source: Esthetics Center
Stage 2: Engage
During this stage, you need to engage the prospects you attracted and educated at the awareness stage and show them why they should opt for your products.
Email marketing, especially in the form of newsletters, is an excellent and cost-effective way of keeping your potential customers engaged. This is the point where you can offer products directly and target your potential customers with what fits their needs.
Sonos, for example, uses simple and straightforward email copy that revolves around their main selling point and their prospects’ needs – portability that doesn’t come at the expense of quality sound.
Stage 3: Delight
The customer’s journey doesn’t end once they have become your customer. You want them to purchase more from you and become brand advocates.
That’s why your content marketing strategy should reflect these goals. Continue to delight your customer by sending them newsletters with valuable content, discounts, and special offers.
It’s also a good idea to build a knowledge base that will provide self-service and where your customers can learn how to make the most of your product or service.
Fitbit’s knowledge base not only offers help when it comes to exploring and configuring devices but also comes with the expert community and support sections.
3. Implement Search Engine Optimization
As content marketing and SEO go hand in hand, it won’t be a mistake to say that creating content that will bring you a lot of traffic and help your business grow can’t be crafted without optimizing it for search engines.
The main benefit of implementing SEO is improving your ranking and boosting your visibility in search results. Bear in mind that the top Google result scoops 32% of all clicks, while the second-page results have a CTR of only a meager 1%.
The math is clear – better ranking means more traffic and revenue.
Here are some tips to help you get started:
1. Identify relevant keywords your target audience uses to search the internet and add them to your content. Keyword research will also give you valuable insight into the topics your customers are interested in. Besides this, make sure to understand their search intent and pick the keywords that aren’t too competitive but suitable to the size and authority of your blog.
2. Add internal links. This will help your readers explore the topic in greater detail. Internal links also make it easier for bots to crawl your content and index it while signaling to Google that it’s written with your readers in mind.
3. Break down your content using multiple paragraphs and visuals. This approach is much easier on the eyes, and readability and legibility of the content are the factors that Google also takes into consideration.
4. Optimize the technical elements of your website too. This means adding meta tags, including meta titles, descriptions, alt tags, and robots, as well as optimizing your content for different devices and improving the loading speed. All this will impact your rankings and help you generate more traffic.
5. Update your content on a regular basis. It’s important to revisit your content and refresh it with the latest information or stats so that it stays relevant.
All these requirements have the purpose of offering Google users the best and most relevant results for their search queries.
Runner’s World holds the top spot with its blog post on how to pick the right running shoes and serves as an example of a well-optimized article. There are lots of images, internal links, and bite sized-information. It’s packed with relevant details and makes for a valuable resource for anyone trying to purchase a pair of decent running shoes.
Source: Runner’s World
Although there are more than three steps in the creation of great content, the ones we’ve covered here will help you lay a solid foundation. Implementing them will make it easier for you to grow and scale your blog and increase the odds that your readers will turn into your customers.