Serious question: Why did you build your website?
The likely answer is that it serves as a way to promote your business. Or maybe just to ensure your business doesn’t fail. According to Forbes, it’s better to at least have a bad website than no website at all. But, deep down it does something bigger — the site provides solutions.
Your website is where visitors discover your products. It’s where visitors get answers to their burning questions. Your site solves their problem(s). And, in doing so, creates an experience that’ll get visitors coming back for more.
Blogging and content marketing is the best way to connect with visitors.
Both outlets provide a way to solve problems and answer questions. This may sound like a tough investment involving both time and money, but stick in there as it’s well worth it.
Now, strap in and follow along – let’s dive right in and discover the real value of content marketing.
Part 1: Define an Audience and Solution
Content, like your product or service, needs to address a specific audience. Likewise, each content piece should provide a solution to one problem. The goal of content is finding a joyous middle ground with these two items.
You will begin by identifying your ideal audience (ie customer/avatar):
- What are they like?
- What are their demographics?
- What are their problems?
These are just a few questions you should ask about your audience. Answers to these begin forming an imaginary persona. This persona becomes who you talk to when creating content for your site and ultimately, your inbound marketing efforts.
Have you ever played a tabletop RPG like Dungeons and Dragons? The concept of building this avatar is the same as creating a character:
- Grab a stock photo of what they look like
- Fill out personal details like character “stats”
- Write a backstory, goals, and lifestyle
Buried in this character is a burning desire to fix a problem. These are the customer pain points you intend to solve through your content and products.
Consider the benefits and solutions for consuming your content:
- Save time, money, or energy
- Delivering a better experience
- Filling the gaps left by competitors
You can now craft better content given you identified the audience and their issues. How so? Because you found a direction for your content vs appeasing search engines or quotas.
You now have a reason for content creation: your customers.
Part 2: Effective Content Means a Variety of Formats
Do you write long-form blog posts covering a big topic? Do you shoot and publish video on your site and YouTube? Do you stream on Twitch, do a podcast, or mostly do interviews?
How you create and deliver content does matter:
- Satisfies the user intent and problem(s)
- Offers the best way to deliver the message
Try a bit of everything until settling in on what works for your production:
- Blog posts
- Interactive media
- Case studies
Start by blogging about your industry and its interesting topics. Exhaust topics you encounter every day in the workplace. And, respond to questions as a blog post, just as you would an email or talking over the phone.
Repeat your content creation for 3 – 6 months until you’ve built a foundation.
The foundation you’ve created should include:
- Utility — Content like FAQs and tutorials providing helpful solutions to specific problems and questions
- Personal — Content letting visitors get a view behind-the-scenes, letting them connect and identify with your brand
- Industry — Content including white papers and case studies that define your expertise in the industry
These content types begin showing content marketing benefits. Over time, you’ll gain valuable feedback and data from visitors and site analytics (hint: don’t forget to properly set up Google Analytics, as well as Google Search Console). It’s with this feedback that you can start making data-driven decisions.
Quick Guide: 3 Simple Steps To The Google Analytics Audience Explorer
Step 1: Login at https://analytics.google.com
Step 2: On the left-hand panel once you’re logged into the dashboard, click “Audience”.
Step 3: On the left-hand panel once you’ve clicked on “Audience”, click on “Demographics” and begin exploring!
Once you’ve found a direction, it’s time to begin expanding your content marketing strategies.
You could explore:
- Omni-Channel Opportunities — This could include bridging your content to other mediums besides online. You could attempt local ads, print media, word-of-mouth marketing, events and more.
- Distribution and Networking — Using your connections and tools to extend the reach of your content. Try working with influencers, PR tools, and outbound services to get content everywhere.
- User-Generated Items — Opening your platform to users and customers. This lets them share their experiences in ways you couldn’t craft. It builds tighter communities while giving followers a voice.
The point is to let your content marketing strategies evolve. And, using feedback and site data to drive efforts forward.
Do this and you’ll produce great content using formats people love, respond to and share.
Part 3: Retool and Remix What Works
You should see your content as a product.
Shifting your mindset to appreciate content efforts does a few things:
- You’ll support the work
- You’ll promote it well
- You’ll learn from it
Supporting content efforts adds to your long-term SEO efforts. It lets you build upon what works versus endlessly reinventing the wheel.
Consider the two options:
- Option A: An evergreen piece that defines your business and industry
- Option B: A news piece replaced within the week as the story changes
The scope of a topic will change as time goes on. An evergreen content piece isn’t truly evergreen if you let it become outdated.
You need to swing back to your best pieces. And, update content with fresh information and elements– like:
- Add new sections expanding the sub-topics
- Update screenshots, data, and ideas
- Rework the call-to-action for a recent promotion
- Remove parts that are no longer relevant/useful
Look for those posts with good traffic, social shares, and keywords. Find new takes on the topic and expand its scope. This lets you maximize the return on investment you placed into the content. And, benefits greatly as time goes on.
Amplify Your Blogging and Content Marketing
Blogging and content marketing works best when it’s crafted from authority. It provides real answers from an experienced person or professional. This, in turn, boosts brand image and value — often leading to more sales and satisfaction both on your end and your customers’.
…many of those creating great content will have it lost to the ether.
Let us apply our SEO expertise to your content to give it the boost it needs. Our content creation and optimization strategies deliver real results. Just ask our clients. We’ll help your solution-driven content rank well. We’ll boost your efforts so it can shine.
How will we apply our SEO strategies? Learn about our process, then get in touch.
President, Direction Inc.