You know the quote by Eleanor Roosevelt, “Today is the oldest you’ve ever been, and the youngest you’ll ever be again.”? Well, the same applies to content. Today holds the most content there ever has been, and also the least there ever will be again.
According to Hubspot, 47 percent of buyers view 3-5 pieces of content before engaging with a sales rep. With more content being created around the world every day, that percentage is only going to continue to increase.
Content marketing can be a powerful tool to grow your business. After all, it’s highly likely to be your first impression to the customer. Below are 10 tips for a content strategy that will better connect with your customers in a sea of never-ending content, which will in turn, grow your business.
1. Conduct an initial content audit
Before jumping into creating a ton of new content, conduct a content audit that documents all of the materials you already have. Anything from marketing materials to sales presentations on your intranet could be stashing valuable information that your customers may want to know more about. Auditing the content you already have will save you time in the long run by showing you content that can be repurposed and also identify gaps where more content is needed.
2. Use real customer questions to inspire your content
To be the go-to source for your customer’s questions, look for what they’ve already been asking. Identifying these questions is sometimes easier and more accessible than you may think. For example, start typing a question related to your service or product into Google. A number of autocomplete search results will come up, suggesting related questions that your customers have been asking online. Use these results to inspire your content and build a library around them.
3. Involve all departments in content creation
Often times we see a sole department take charge of content creation. However, sales teams, customer service staff and other customer-facing teams offer valuable input because they are the ones who speak directly with the consumer. Make time for an extra step in the content creation process to ask these teams about customer FAQs to create the most relevant content.
4. Plan for each stage of the buyer’s journey
When building a content calendar, make sure you are creating content that will be useful to a customer in each stage of the buyer’s journey. It’s important to account for the education of customers who are just starting their initial search for an industry or product, but it’s also equally as important to create content that engages returning customers. To do this effectively, map out each stage, where each piece of content fits within the buyer’s journey and what the ideal next step would be for the customer (more on this in #8).
5. Write to your audience
The goal of any piece of content should be to make a connection with your audience. Write in second person so the reader feels like you are talking directly to him or her. This will also help your readers associate themselves with the problem you’re addressing, and then (ideally) with the solution your service or product provides.
6. Be consistent across platforms
While optimizing content across different platforms is crucial, the tone and message should be consistent across every platform. A conversational, visually appealing social media post shouldn’t direct a user to an outdated website filled with technical jargon. Ensuring consistency will help build trust and brand recognition amongst your audience.
7. Use SEO
Use basic SEO strategies to help your content reach further. Make sure to focus on keywords, and include them in your page title, page URL and headers. And don’t forget your meta description and image alt-text!
8. Cross-promote your content
Always provide a next step for your reader to make it easy for them to move to the next stage in the buyer’s journey. Add a relevant call-to-action box within the body to read a similar piece of content or at the end to continue learning more. The longer the customer stays on your website, the better.
9. Repurpose, then repurpose again and again
Get the most out of your content (and your time) by repurposing content. Did you write a blog with 5 tips that was a hit? Down the line, review it to make sure it’s still timely, bump it back up to the top of your blog and start promoting it again. Or even better, turn it into an infographic, a quick video or occasionally reuse the tips for social media posts.
Always make time to take a deep dive into the analytics of your content. Who viewed your content? Which links were clicked on? How far did readers get in the buyer’s journey? Analytics provide key insights into your customer’s interests, like and dislikes. Any way you can figure out how to better get to know your customer, the better for your content and your business.
Ready to launch a strategy that will drive real results? Make sure to include the marketing metrics your CEO wants to see.