When we talk about marketing trends, we often forget that content marketing is one of the most appealing and underrated; everyone loves helpful and educational content that can help us define and solve a problem.
So, how do you start creating a content marketing strategy that your prospects will value?
Here’s some of the most effective techniques to create a killer content strategy that will not only drive traffic to your website, but that will also drive readers down your marketing funnel.
1. Create Your Business’ Buyer Personas:
I can’t overstate the importance of buyer personas. Without investing time and effort in creating personas, your marketing content strategy WILL FAIL. It’s like trying to find a needle in a haystack… with your eyes closed.
If you don’t know the pain points your current and potential customers are facing, you won’t create content they’ll read- simple.
How do you create a Persona?
Start by interviewing your current customers wherever possible. If this is a challenging task, send visitors to your site, blog, or eCommerce store a survey and offer something in return if they fill out all the questions.
This will bring you TONS of information you probably didn’t have:
- Their current role at their job
- Their most recurrent pain points and challenges
- Their demographics
- Their goals
- Their daily activities
You can also take this opportunity to gather real quotes from them, and use this collection as part of your persona creation process.
Here’s a very basic example of a single buyer persona for reference:
Speak to the people in your own company, especially your sales and customer support, service, and success teams. They’re a reliable source of insights about customer and prospect motivations and feedback. Ask them about the most frequently asked questions (which should find their way onto a FAQ!)
If you don’t have a lot of information to start off, create a simple template and improve it over time as you gather more information from customers and leads.
We explore the process of building meaningful buyer personas in the following post:
2. Perform a Content Audit:
With buyer personas defined, it’s time to audit your existing content, and identify all the marketing assets your business has at its disposal.
This is an analysis of every piece of content your team has ever created! It will help you understand which buying stages and buyer personas need more attention and content- what you have, what you need, and what should be improved.
You can organize your content audit in a spreadsheet, gathering information such as the following for each piece of content:
A content audit keeps your collection organized, keeps your team on the same page, and makes it easier to repurpose past content that remains relevant to your prospects.
3. Set SMART Marketing Goals
SMART goals are:
Setting SMART goals will give you a long-term vision of where you want to go, and short-term motivation since your standards for success are clear and possible.
Your goals should always be realistic and precise- if you have a hard time defining them, look at your old data and start from there. If you don’t have any data from previous months, look at competitors’ blogs as a benchmark – tools such as UberSuggest can give a domain overview, keyword suggestions, content ideas and more.
4. Create Content Ideas
This is the final step to creating a content strategy, and it’s sometimes the hardest. Coming up with topics might be difficult if you’ve already written hundreds of blog posts. Creating or updating buyer personas and doing a thorough content audit will help you get there- consider the example buyer persona above, Amelia, and how her buyer’s journey evokes a unifying topic that would be a great foundation for a blog post, eBook, guide, or all three:
This seems repetitive, but as you write each blog post on the topic, you can make your headline more specific. Don’t forget that content written for the decision stage will always offer your product or service as the final and best solution to the reader!
As Hubspot says, content is defined by purpose, topic, and format. It’s always better to have a few posts that add a lot of value than hundreds that may be skipped- quality over quantity, always.
Don’t forget that you can use various formats for your content offers; the more diverse, the better, unless you’ve already identified one or two types of formats that your audience loves.
Finally, no matter who the target audience of your content- consumer, B2B, or something else- the reader is a human. Write to humans, and communicate as though you’re speaking to humans. The most essential quality of content that is read to completion and acted on is a genuine voice.
Looking to create and deploy a killer marketing strategy with help from the experts? Drop us a line– we’re the experts you’re looking for!