Publishing a constant flow of new content is no longer just a nice idea for businesses to demonstrate their expertise. It has become a vital online marketing activity for improving search engine rankings, driving website traffic and nurturing existing leads.
The types of content you might create include;
- Blog posts
- Social media posts
- White papers
Creating a content Marketing Plan
Here are 5 tried and tested best practice content marketing techniques:
- Start with your USP
Every business needs a Unique Selling Proposition. The first step to great content marketing is to identify your own USP – which should people buy from you? This should already be clear from your website, so if it isn’t take some time to refresh your website content (particuarlly the home page) before you start on a content marketing plan. You USP should be apparent in every piece of content you create, and understanding this will enable you to add an appropriate voice and ‘story’ to your content. Whether your business is local, national or international, you will have expertise and information you can share, stories to tell and news which your potential customers can engage with.
- Know your audience
Who do you typically sell to? Identifying and building your buyers’ persona is crucial for success. You need to understand their concerns and needs and know where to find them online. Do they use Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Pinterest or something else? Only then can you get your content in front of the right people.
- Map your content to the buying cycle
Understanding your customers’ buying cycle will not only enable you to identify suitable content topics for different phases of the cycle. For example, the information buyers look for at the initial research phase is different to the information they need when comparing suppliers and making a purchase decision. Thinking this through will help you to generate content ideas and then to match the most appropriate content formats to each phase of your customers’ buying process.
- Map out ideas
Based on what you now know about your customer, map out topic ideas which will be relevant, helpful and interesting. Be creative with content delivery by adopting multiple formats, e.g. using videos and infographics. Repurposing user guides, answering common customer questions or curating third party content will also enhance your message and further demonstrate your expertise. Videos, for example, are particularly useful in demonstrating how products work.
- Build a content calendar
Creating useful content on a regular basis may feel a bit daunting, but it doesn’t need to be. A content calendar is vital for staying organised and making sure that you allocate time to the creation and publishing of quality content and share you information in the right places on a regular basis. Note dates for publishing tasks, including who is responsible for each task. Include important dates and external events relevant to your industry.
Following these five steps will enable you to develop an engaging content marketing strategy and make the most of the latest search engine, social media, email, blogging and social selling techniques which ultimately leads to increased traffic and more sales.
If you’d like to create and implement a content marketing plan for your business, but need some help, please get in touch with WSI Derby.