Content is king when it comes to website marketing. In fact, it’s how we convey our message to the world, so naturally, we want to be sure we’re sharing killer content that meets the needs and expectations of our readers.
If you’re a seasoned website marketer, this isn’t news to you. You’ve heard this countless times, yet I would venture to say, you still struggle at times with this facet of inbound marketing. I know I do. And, if you’ve just boarded the inbound marketing train, read on because this is the best advice you’ll get as you begin your great adventure.
In times past, marketers would only have to create content to suit the internal needs of the company ie., brochures, flyers, newsletters, etc. but because of the shift in the marketing landscape and how everyone gets their information, content creation has become (or should be) a full-time job for just about any type of business. So now, whether you’re a small home-based business or a large corporation, there’s this whole new learning curve that must take place to stay competitive in the virtual world where we now live.
And here’s where the rubber meets the road…
Content is the golden ticket that will take you to your destination, but, this is where you have to understand, it isn’t just content. It has to be relevant, remarkable content. Killer content is what makes all your website marketing more effective. Without it, even if you draw visitors to your website, you won’t keep them engaged and you won’t differentiate yourself from your competition.
That being said, trying to come up with remarkable content that’s fresh and relevant is hard work. Taking a break from blogging is tempting, however, if you do this, it’s like turning off a major source of new traffic and leads. Conversely, if you do it just to go through the motions, you might put content out that is stale or dry and just plain boring.
Think Like a Publisher
It’s been said that to create killer content, you should think like a publisher. But what does this mean? Well, there is a strategy outline you can follow and in doing so, you’ll be well on your way.
Know your audience: Like publishers, inbound marketers must have a detailed persona(s) of their target audience in order to create relevant content that appeals to them. Asking questions such as, who are your ideal customers, what are their biggest concerns and interests, where can you reach them, and what types of content do they prefer, will assist you in developing content that speaks directly to them and not to the masses.
Conduct a Content Audit: After you’ve identified your target audience and gained a better understanding of their needs, it would make sense first, to take stock of your previous efforts and do a formal content audit. Not only will you identify great pieces that you can re-purpose, you’ll also identify gaps that might need tweaking in order to have a more targeted impact.
Map Content to the Buying Cycle:
When generating awareness about your company right from the start through to the conversion process, there are typically four stages to a buying cycle, so key is to offer remarkable relevant content every step of the way. While your prospects may engage with certain channels throughout the buying cycle, studies have shown that certain types of content play particularly important roles at specific stages of the decision making process. By mapping your existing content to the buying cycle, you’ll again identify gaps you’ll need to fill in order to have the most intentional impact. Here’s a suggested mapping of buying stage to content type:
1) During Awareness, your prospect becomes acquainted with your brand or realizes they have a need for your product/service. Daily blog posts and social media engagement are great ways to share your story.
2) Through Research and Education, your prospect identifies the problem and researches potential solutions, including your product/service. eBooks, webinars and industry reports allow for greater depth of the solution you offer.
3) It is then by Comparison and Validation, that your prospect examines the options and begins narrowing the list of potential solutions. Case studies and customer testimonials at this stage provide validating evidence of why they should by from you. Demos are a great way to present a hands-on, try it before you buy it experience.
4) The prospect decides from whom to buy and Purchase occurs.
If you’ve effectively conveyed your message at each of these stages, no doubt you’ll be the one versus your competition that gets the sale. By creating killer content at EVERY stage of the buying process, you’ll position yourself as a leader in your market and set yourself high above your competition. And this, dear reader, is why content is king.