The No-BS Content Strategy that Gets Results
Have you ever heard the phrase, “content is king”? This is a popular saying among marketing professionals who understand the value of a digital content strategy as part of their overall marketing strategy.
And it’s not hard to see why so many small businesses are investing in a digital content strategy. According to DemandMetric, content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing tactics, yet it generates about 3x as many leads. Not to mention, conversion rates are 6x higher for those who use content marketing than those who don’t.
The affordability and effectiveness of content marketing makes it the perfect tactic for brands that want to make an impact with a smaller marketing budget. In fact based on a report by CMI this 2019, 65% of marketers state that they have a documented content strategy at hand. And the other 32% didn’t document it. So you see, we’ve got 97% of successful online marketers who really strategize their content.
But if you’re just getting started with your digital content strategy, you may be wondering, where do I begin? Below, we’ll guide you through the steps to develop an effective digital content strategy that drives real results. Don’t want to wait long enough to read this article? Then just contact us to schedule a call as early as today to get your digital content strategy plan started!
Creating Buyer Personas
The first step in developing your digital content strategy is developing buyer personas. Before you can start creating content that engages your audience, you need to get to know who they are and what is important to them. The buyer persona is a generalized profile of your ideal buyer that you can use to better understand what makes your customers tick.
It’s important to note that you may have more than one buyer persona. In fact, most brands have 2 or 3 ideal customers that they are trying to reach with their messaging. Though these personas may be very similar, it’s important to create separate profiles so that you can create content that speaks directly to each buyer’s needs and challenges.
To get started creating your buyer personas, you’re going to have to do some research. This will consist of both general market research as well as research on your current customers. You can gather insight from a variety of places:
Once you have the information you need, you can work to create detailed profiles for each customer persona. Here’s an example of what a customer persona might look like for natural supplement company:
Name: Stephanie Supermom
Location: Metro areas
Education: College or Graduate School
Income: 150,000 to 200,000 (combined family income)
Description: Stephanie is married and a mother to one or two children, living in a major metro area. Though being a mother is important to Stephanie, she also values the other parts of her life, including growing her career and staying fit. Stephanie is a proponent of healthy living and aims to stay healthy through staying active and eating organic or wholesome foods. It’s important for her to be able to set a positive example of a healthy lifestyle for her children.
Interests: Fitness, Family, Career, Healthy Living, Latest Health Trends
Challenges: Making time for what’s important, staying on track with healthy living, balancing work and home life
Information Spots: Social Media, Healthy Living Blogs, Fitness Publications
As you can see above, the customer persona helps you create a more complete picture of who your ideal customers are and what they find important. These profiles will help guide you when you are planning and creating content to ensure that you stay on track and tailor your messaging to the right audience.
Remember, you can tailor the information that you include in your personas to what is important for your brand. For instance, if your business provides B2B services, you will need to include information about the buyer’s education, company, and job title. Whereas if you own a lifestyle brand, this information may not be as pertinent to your customer persona as income, hobbies, and family are.
How to Develop Content Topics
The next step in your digital content strategy is to develop content topics. Now that you know who you are trying to reach, it’s time to decide how you will reach them. There are a variety of different types of content that you can use to reach and engage your audience, including blog content, eBooks, videos, and infographics. However, before you decide on the best medium, you’ll want to consider the topics that this content will cover.
There is no right or wrong way to brainstorm topics for your digital content strategy. But here are a few things that you should keep in mind along the way to ensure that your topics are effective for your target audience:
Identify your audience’s needs and challenges. Use your buyer personas to really get to know your audience and better understand their needs and challenges. Then, use these insights to create content topics that speak to these challenges. This is one of the best ways to ensure that your content is providing value for readers.
Do your keyword research. In addition to considering what topics your audience is interested in and finds most valuable, it’s also important to consider how they search for these topics on Google. Conduct some basic keyword research to see what search terms your audience is using to find brands like yours. Once you have a list of SEO keywords, consider what types of content you can build around these important topics. And when searching for these keywords, the trend these past few years is using long tail keywords. Just in case you don’t know what these are, long tail keywords are composed of 3 or more keywords. Be sure to look for those with low competition but still relevant to your brand.
See what’s trending in your industry. Another way to find new topics for your content is to see what is currently trending in your industry. Then, you can take advantage of the visibility of these topics by joining the conversation and creating content around these topics. Social media and industry publications are a great place to start looking for popular topics that might impact your business.
Think of ways that you can provide value. In addition to the tactics above, you should also just consider what ways your company can provide value for your audience. For instance, if you have experience or expertise in a particular topic, that might be a good place to start in creating content. Each piece of content you create should provide some type of value for the reader.
4 Tips for Writing Effective Blogs
Though there is a good chance that you will create a variety of different types of content as part of your digital content strategy, your blog will be the cornerstone of your content creation efforts. In fact, according to HubSpot, 53% of marketers report that blogging is their top content marketing priority.
And for good reason! Not only does consistent blogging help increase the amount of indexed pages on your site (which is good for SEO), but it can also help you improve revenue over time. According to HubSpot, marketers who prioritize blogging are 13x more likely to achieve an effective return on investment than those who don’t. Need help with keeping your blog updated consistently?
Below, we’ve put together a few tips to help you create more effective blog content:
1. Pay attention to formatting.
Did you know that 43% of people admit to just skimming blog post content? The main reason for this is that consumers are busy and their attention is often pulled in a number of different directions. Your blog visitors often read content while in between projects at work or on their mobile device during their commute. That’s why it’s vital that you format your content in a way that’s easy to skim.
Easy-to-read formatting includes using subheadings that clearly identify what information will be presented in each section. You should also use short paragraphs with terms and phrasing that is easy to understand. Bullet points and numbered lists are also a great tactic for organizing information in a way that’s easy for the busy reader to skim. Make sure your digital content strategy includes your formatting preferences.
2. Spend some time on your headline or title.
Your blog title plays an important role in engaging your audience. Many readers will choose whether to read a blog post based on the title alone, so it’s important that you spend some time crafting an effective blog title.
You want to make sure that the title is enticing, yet still relevant to the content provided within. If you opt for a sexy title that has nothing to do with your blog post, this could turn readers away from your blog altogether. You should also be sure to include any important SEO keywords or phrases within the content to help drive more organic search traffic to your post.
3. Appeal to your audience’s human side.
Your blog is not the place to use “marketing speak” or directly advertise your products. Instead, your blog offers you the opportunity to engage your audience and build relationships with readers by providing interesting and informative content that adds value. Your blog presents the perfect opportunity to appeal to your audience’s human side by evoking emotions and addressing their greatest challenges.
Remember, your blog content is also a great place to show your brand’s personality. You can differentiate your company from others that sell similar products or services by engaging with your readers on a personal level.
4. Use a conversational tone.
Though you want to create intelligent and informed blog content, that doesn’t mean that you need to dress up the language. It’s important to consider your audience and speak to them in a way that they can understand. This often means using a more conversational tone in your blog content that helps to establish a friendly and encouraging atmosphere on your blog.
If you are in an industry that uses a lot of jargon, you may also want to consider whether your audience will understand the terms and phrasing associated with your business. For instance, if your business is in the technology, finance, or medical fields, there may be some complex ideas or concepts that you will want to break down for your audience. Rather than using jargon-heavy phrasing in your blog content, use a conversational tone that makes the concepts easier to understand.
Top 4 Ways to Promote Your Blog
Once you have created and published your blog content, you then need to make sure that these posts are visible in front of the right audience. No matter how well-written your posts are, they will not be successful if you don’t promote them. Here are the top 4 ways that you can promote your blog posts to help boost visibility and maximize impact:
1. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
By doing your keyword research ahead of time and optimizing your content for the search engines, you have already taken an important step in making your content visible for your ideal buyers. Search engine optimization helps drive organic traffic to your blog posts from the search engines. When you use relevant SEO keywords in your content and optimize your blog formatting for the search engines, you are helping bring in more potential customers who are searching for these relevant keywords and phrases.
However, search engine optimization takes time to work its magic. You don’t just publish the content and expect to see hundreds or thousands of new visitors to your site. Search engine optimization is just one piece of your digital content strategy, you’ll also need to focus on other promotional strategies if you want to get the most out of your blog content. The other tips below will help you see more immediate results.
2. Social Media
One of the easiest and most popular channels to promote your blog content is social media. Every time that you create a new blog post or other piece of content, you should be sharing this content on your social media channels. In addition to sharing the link, you should create an engaging and enticing lead-in that lets the reader know what the post is about and how it will provide value. Don’t be afraid to share the post more than once as many social media channels like Twitter are fast paced.
You can also use social media to connect with industry influencers and other important people who you think may find value in your content. If you have referenced an influencer or publication in your blog content, you can reach out to the individual or company on social media to let them know that you have shared their information in your content. That way they may be more likely to share the post on their own social media channels or link to the post in new content. Building relationships with influencers on social media takes some time, but it more than pays off in the end when they share your content and expose your brand to a whole new audience of active users.
Advertising is another strategy that you can use to promote your blog posts and other pieces of valuable content. There are different types of advertising options that can help you improve visibility. In addition to organic social media posts, you can also use social media ads to drive more traffic to your site. Social media channels like Facebook have updated their algorithms so that users are seeing less organic content from businesses. Social media ads are an effective way to supplement your social media promotion strategy. The ads can drive traffic to important content pieces like gated eBook content or popular posts that have the potential to go viral.
Your brand can also take advantage of search and display to find a wider audience for your content online. Search ads allow you to advertise your content to people who are searching for related keywords on the search engines. This can be a great complementary strategy to trying to boost organic search through SEO. Display ads allow your content to appear on relevant websites where your target audience might be. This allows you to reach your ideal readers where they are across the web.
4. Email Marketing
Email marketing is another effective way that you can promote your blog content. It is an important element of your digital content strategy. Those who have signed up for your marketing emails have already shown that they are interested in your brand, so they are the perfect target readers for your blog content and other content assets. If you already have an email marketing list, you can send out notifications when a new post is published. If you are publishing content more than once a week or want to limit the number of emails you send, you can also just send a monthly digest of new blog posts and other content to your subscribers.
If you don’t yet have an email marketing list, it’s time to start! You can promote sign-ups across your site and even in your blog content. For instance, you might put a sign-up form in the side bar of your site so that visitors have multiple opportunities to sign up for your marketing emails. You may also want to include CTAs in some of your blog content, asking readers to sign up for your email list if they want to get updates about your brand and be notified when new posts come out. Not only is email marketing a great way to promote content, but it’s also essential to building relationships with your leads and customers.
Need Help Getting Started with Your Digital Content Strategy?
If you’re new to content marketing, you may find the process of developing and implementing a digital content strategy to be quite challenging. That’s why it is helpful to partner with a digital marketing agency that knows the ins and outs of digital marketing content. At LYFE Marketing, our team of digital content experts can work with your company to develop effective digital marketing content that drives real results.
Contact us here to schedule a call to plan your digital content strategy.
Disclaimer: Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Zinora Media.