One of the big mistakes that organisations make when creating content for their website is to talk about themselves and their products/services rather than the things that their readers actually care about. What’s the point of writing content that you like but that your audience won’t to read?
Many marketers aspire to publish more content but this in itself shouldn’t be your only goal. I heard a great quote recently: Creating more content isn’t better. Creating more content that is better is better! Which inspired me to write this article about the things you should consider when producing content for your audience.
Why are we publishing content?
This will depend on your sector and your business and marketing objectives. But could include:
- Page views
- Social shares & interaction
- Email sign up
- Product/service enquiry
- Simply adding value
- Increasing product knowledge
- Because everyone else does (this is not a good reason)
At this point it’s worth mentioning that if you write original content, search engines will help your site get more exposure. It’s well documented that Google penalise sites with poor or duplicate content and reward high quality sites with fresh original content. Not only does excellent content achieve your marketing objectives but it also helps improve your website’s rankings, getting your site in front of people searching for you.
Who is going to read our content?
As a creative digital marketing agency for us this is quite simple:
- Business owners
- Marketing executives and managers
- The professional community
But for your organisation this might include a variety of segments which could consist of a specific gender, age, geographic location, religion, marital status etc. Take the time to profile your customer and from there consider…
What does our audience care about?
To demonstrate this these are some of the things that our audience care about:
- Making profit
- Growing their business
- Engaging with their audience
- Brand recognition
- Brand loyalty
- Deciphering the minefield that is the online presence
- Keeping up with new digital/design trends
For you this will be the benefit that your product/service provides. It may help to conduct focus groups and get right to the heart of what your customers care about and what makes them tick.
What problems do we solve for our customers?
This leads on nicely from what your audience cares about and here is where you’ll consider how your content can go beyond your competitors. Consider top tips, new uses for the product, cost saving advice, something that appeals to their ego and anything at all that adds value to the user and gets them engaged with your brand.
What are our competitors doing?
Look at their titles, subject, length of content, keywords, tone, design, audience, messaging and consider: what value can we add, what gaps are there in their content, what can we do that is different and better?
Develop a content plan
Once you have a break down of your customer and the opportunities that exist in the market it may help to define themes that you can focus on. For us this is the four key areas to our agency:
Brainstorm topics within these themes with your research in mind. Think about the time of year and what is relevant to your reader. It can be helpful to rank topics according to importance to your readers and also a ranking factor for your product or service i.e. what are your core products, what are those products that you want to promote, what are your best sellers etc.
Consider where along the buying funnel the reader will be: solving a problem, researching the alternatives, ready to purchase, post purchase etc. Prioritise your content based on what sells and where the buyer is on their journey.
Ask yourself how creating the content will help you achieve your marketing goals and how will it engage your readers better than any other content?
If you’re serious about your content strategy you really need to develop a process. Here’s what we find works for us:
- Generate ideas
- Target a keyword
- Think of a headline
- List key points to include – plan
- Write a first draft
- Source images/graphics
- Proof and final edit
- Publish post
- Promote post: social media, email campaigns etc.
- Monitor engagement
- Monitor keyword rankings
- Review and emulate what works
If you’re posting regular content from multiple departments create a content calendar. This is easy to do using a spreadsheet and helps you to:
- Identify content that’s unique and will connect with your audience at the given time of year
- Define team roles and responsibilities for producing content
- Set a deadline and stick to it
- Assign workflows: what’s due, when and by whom?
- Provide a brief: including information like a suggested headline, the focus keyword, key points and most importantly the goal
- Select appropriate channels to share the content
- Monitor keyword rankings and other KPIs to monitor your success
Review what is and isn’t working by making the most of free tools like Google Analytics and Google Search Console. Then invest in SEO software such as MOZ to monitor mentions, keyword rankings and any other relevant metrics to aid your success.