If you want to increase traffic in your website, you need a strategy that will attract your target audience and keep them engaged.
You need content marketing.
By consistently creating and sharing relevant content, you can drive your target audience to your website and hopefully turn this traffic into sales.
But there is a challenge. You just don’t create any content and promote them anywhere and anytime. There has to be a way to get things done.
The content marketing process
Content marketing usually involves the following process, but you can always modify:
- Identify your content marketing goals.
- Know your target audience and their interests.
- Plan how to make your content relevant and unique.
- Create valuable and optimized content.
- Promote content in different channels (blogs, social media, email, etc.).
- Generate and analyze reports.
- Go back to planning.
- See what can be done to improve results.
- Identify contents that are generating the most responses or sales so they may be amplified.
- Incorporate new ideas.
Here is a simple diagram to show you how content marketing strategy is usually done.
Let’s dive into the details.
Identify your content marketing goals
Your marketing goals determine what outcomes you want for your content marketing strategy.
They serve as the foundation of your strategy and your guide all throughout the process. With clear goals, you will have a way to assess your content marketing process and your results.
Your goals must be clear, specific, and aligned with the main marketing goals of your company. To guide you, here are some examples of content marketing goals shared by Content Marketing:
- Brand awareness – being discovered by your target audience;
- Audience engagement – earning the interest of readers and turning them into subscribers;
- Lead generation – knowing readers who can become prospective customers;
- Customer trust and loyalty – retaining customers through customer satisfaction and positive brand image; and
- Sales and profitability – getting more sales conversions; minimizing costs; and finding new ways to earn.
Do you know your target audience? The target for your content should be the people who could potentially become your customers.
So who are they?
They are the ones who may be directly interested in your products or services or related to what you are offering. For example, if you are selling gardening tools, your target audience will not just include gardeners or landscapers, but also homeowners, plant lovers, green living advocates, and even environmentalists.
Once you have identified your target audience, you need to know their interests. Learning about their interests will help you develop the specific topics for content creation. It will also help you develop keywords you can use so that your content will show up in searches.
Plan how to make your content relevant and unique.
Since content creation is made for your target audience, you should aim to provide them with relevant content. Relevant content simply means the content they are interested in. It contains the information they need and want. Relevant content is something that your audience will really read about.
What if everyone else in your industry is doing the same? How do you make your content stand out?
Assuming you are going to make a really informative and relevant content that will be free from grammatical errors, your content may still get less attention if it is not unique enough. If you will provide the same great information as your competitors, your content can stand out with the following tips:
- Create a relevant and striking headline. Make sure your headline is interesting and it reflects what the post is really all about.
- Make use of original stories. No one wants to read content that one can find in other sources.
- Use images, infographics, videos, and other visuals. These visuals will make it easier for your audience to understand the information you are communicating.
- Utilize proper headings, subheadings, and lists. These will make your post easier to read and follow.
- Get rid of long paragraphs. They are obviously boring to read.
- Include overviews or key takeaways for longer posts. Some readers skim over the post to see if they will be getting the information they really need before reading the entire article, so make sure you make it easier for them to see what you have.
Create valuable and optimized content
This is now the step that you create content that is relevant, unique, and of excellent quality. Part of content creation is also making sure you have a Search Engine Optimized content. An optimized content is one that has the capacity to reach its target audience as widely as possible. You can optimize your content by using keywords, inserting relevant links, as well as adding tags and meta tags.
Promote content in different channels
Once you have already created and posted valuable and optimized content in your blog, you should now be ready to promote these content in different channels. These channels include the following:
- Social media
- Email campaign
- Online communities like QandA sites
- Paid media (including social media)
- Own blog or website (through feature posts or internal linking from a related blog post)
- Other websites and blogs (through link outreach, guest blogging, etc.)
Generate and analyze reports
Promoting your content is not the end of your content marketing strategy. It is important to know how your content is performing against other content and other websites on the Internet.
Here are some metrics you need to look into:
- Website Traffic
- On-site time
- Audience engagement
- SEO Performance
- Returning visitors
Go back to planning
Once you have generated and analyzed applicable reports, it’s time to go back to planning. In this stage you do not need to start from scratch or go back to square one. Here’s what you can do:
- See what can be done to improve results (especially with content creation and promotion);
- Identify contents that are generating the most responses or sales so they may be amplified; and
- Incorporate new ideas.
The content marketing strategy is a cycle. It does not just follow a straight-line process, but a cycle that allows you to improve your tactics and become more effective over time.
When it comes to content marketing, you just don’t create any content and publish them when you have the time. We have to remember that content marketing involves “making and sharing relevant content consistently”.
“Relevant content” means posts that interest your target audience. These are valuable posts that are informative, that answers their questions, and that pays attention to the needs and wants of the target audience. Being able to provide relevant content will help you connect and build productive relationships with your audience by giving value to what they are reading and learning from you.
“Consistently making and sharing” means implementing a schedule for your posts. Part of your planning should include the following:
- the number of deliverables or posts (pillar posts and blog posts) per month or per week
- when to create these posts;
- when to share the posts;
- Where will they be shared (channels); and
- who will be in charge.
All these have to be consistent in order to be effective.