“Content is King” was the title of an essay written in 1996 by Bill Gates. His brilliant essay created the catch-phrase that’s still in use today after 20 plus years.
In the essay he talks about the Internet as a marketplace for content. He opens it with, “Content is where I expect much of the real money will be made on the Internet, just as it was in broadcasting.”
He accurately described today’s Internet marketing landscape.
Quality content gives customers real value in exchange for the opportunity to market to them. It’s a way to engage with people, drive conversation, create trust, and turn readers into buyers.
Benefiting the marketer and consumer, a content marketing plan is a must as your business moves forward.
Why is Content Marketing Valuable?
Over the years, consumers have changed. At one time, traditional advertising like serving up ads was the primary method to turn a profit online. That’s not always the case anymore.
People want and expect more value from their online experience. Content marketing creates the value that you deliver to your target audience.
Every piece of content you write should be focused on building relationships with your audience and providing them with the best information to answer their search queries.
With a well-planned purpose, content creation is an important strategy for your business growth.
According to the Content Marketing Institute, “After reading recommendations on a blog, 61% of U.S. online consumers made a purchase.”
Your company’s content and the value delivered through it is how people get to know, like and trust you, a MUST in today’s competitive online market. Content marketing helps build trust with your readers and inspires them to take action.
How to Create a Content Marketing Strategy
Creating a content strategy requires a well-thought out plan. The value your content brings to the marketplace highlights your company’s expertise and shows who you are.
For every piece of content you create, regardless of medium, ask yourself: how valuable is my content?
You can keep these steps in mind as you create your content marketing strategy this year:
1 – Know Your Audience
One main purpose of creating content is to give value to your audience and help them make purchase decisions. While some of your content might be aimed at generating traffic or getting likes, that might not convert to sales or leads.
Knowing your target audience is a must. It helps you know exactly who you are writing for so you know what to write.
When you have a clear focus on your who your target market is, it’s easier to create content that helps your audience in some way.
Meeting the needs of your audience is crucial to your content marketing success. If you were to just overlook this step and buy some cookie-cutter content to slap on your website, it likely wouldn’t be appearing in news feeds anytime soon!
If you are delivering your message to EVERYONE …
EVERYONE is not your audience.
If you want people to be interested in your content, write content that interests them.
You can only do that if you know your audience.
2 – Do Keyword Research
Leveraging the Internet is a powerful marketing method because people search for information 24/7.
If your content matches up with a person’s search query, you get more traffic to your content assets.
The key is understanding exactly what people are searching for. You do that with keyword research and understanding the user intent behind it.
User intent is a person’s reason for performing a search query in Google or social media. With voice search becoming the preferred search method, people are asking more questions.
- What do they need information about?
- What problems do they need solved?
- What questions are you do they need answered and to what depth?
When you understand the type of information your audience is searching for, you can better focus your content on their needs.
3 – Every New Piece of Content You Create Needs a Goal
The most important part of your content plan is to have a goal for each piece of content you create.
If your goal is to convert readers into buyers of a product, then that content will highlight and provide information aimed at people who are ready to make a purchase.
If your content marketing goal is to convert readers into subscribers, then your post will be persuasive as to why a person should opt-in to your offer. You may have an irresistible offer for a free download or giveaway.
Your content should be congruent with whatever you offer is.
Before you write that piece of content, decide what your goal is.
- What do you want your audience to do next?
- What should they take action on?
4 – Write a Persuasive CTA that Inspires People to Take Action
Here’s a practical tip that you can use to convert more users into customers or subscribers:
CTA [Call to Action]
What do your readers do after they read your content? Do they know what to do?
Do your readers know what to do when they finish reading your post? If you don’t tell them, the won’t do anything.
That’s how low conversions happen!
Moving people to take action is crucial. They may decide not to, but you should give them the option to do so.
Your CTA can be whatever you want, based on the purpose of your content:
- Subscribe to your email list
- Download an eBook
- Buy something
- Contact you
- Leave a comment
- Something else
This is where you move them through a process that eventually converts them into a buyer.
What do you want your reader to do?
5 – Create High Quality Content
Let me ask you a question: If someone find your blog content, will it be so good that they need not look elsewhere?
Or, do they hit the dreaded back button?
As of 2018, there were about 505 million blogs. So much information! Oh my!
Unfortunately there’s a lot of low quality content. Don’t be a contributor to the sea of mediocrity.
Taking the time to produce high-quality, long-form content will be well-worth it for your business.
If you are buying content from some Internet “content generating” site, you won’t get the content marketing results you are after. Think about this: how many other companies are buying the same content?
Be original! Address YOUR audience needs and desires. Write content that is so good your audience will keep coming back for more.
If you are writing blog content, be detailed. Here’s a statistic you can’t ignore.
Longer, in-depth blog posts generate 9x more leads than short ones. (Source: Curata)
Plus, once you create amazing content, you can repurpose it to other media channels!
Having a content marketing plan in place is a must for any business. Take the time to put a solid content marketing plan together to drive traffic to your content and convert readers into buyers.
I hope you got some value from these content marketing tips.