If you are a marketer, you need to be producing content.
Maybe you've already had this conversation with your clients. But it doesn't hurt to reiterate: you also need to have a content strategy to take your content marketing to the next level. Without a strategy you will not be able to continually produce quality, relevant content.
There are four techniques that your clients can use as part of their content marketing strategy to ensure success.
#1 Create buyer personas
You need to know your target audience – it’s the basic premise of any marketing plan and it’ also the basic premise of a content marketing plan. You need to know:
- Who your ideal customers are
- Your customers’ biggest concerns
- Where you can find your customers
- What kinds of content they prefer
To help you address these questions, you need to create a buyer persona for each market segment.
A buyer persona is a representation of your ideal customer based on the answers you collect to the questions above. The place to start your persona research and development is with your current customer base. You will likely have several different kinds of buyers and, therefore, several different personas.
Based on the profiles you create, you will be able to understand their biggest problems, their needs, what they are searching for and what influences them.
#2 Audit Your Content
Once you gain a better understanding of your content, you need to ensure you are providing the kinds of content they want. Before you rush to create new content, you need to know how well your past content creation efforts addressed your audience’s needs. You can answer this question by conducting a content audit.
A content audit will explore the types of content and ensure you have a proper diversity and the topics you write about to ensure you are targeting the correct keywords.
To conduct the audit, collect and analyze the information you’ve created – you need to go back at least one year. On a spreadsheet, list all of the content you’ve created and include everything – ebooks, blog posts, newsletters and videos. List the content and note:
- The type of content
- The persona it appeals to
- The date created
- How many leads and its conversion rate
Once you’ve entered the data into a spreadsheet, analyze it for patterns and note the types of content you are light on, the topics you haven’t covered well enough and the personas you are ignoring.
#3 Don’t Forget Mobile
The number of iPads and Android tablets is exploding – more and more people are adopting this new technology. Tablets are changing the way people consume content – your content marketing strategy needs to address this change.
You need to change how you distribute content. For example, people are using mobile apps, like Flipboard, to discover more content. Design your content with this in mind and you will be more likely to get tagged, shared and found. Also, you can combine multiple content streams into one to make it easier to find and read your content.
You can also make changes to the content you produce. People using tablets are more likely to read longer blog posts and watch longer videos – there’s no reason to be afraid of producing long form content.
#4 Editorial Calendars Are Key
If you’ve completed steps one through three, you will know your audience, what they want and you know the gaps between the content you have and the content your audience wants.
You know what you need to create – now you need to outline how and when you will publish it.
An editorial calendar is the content marketer’s roadmap, but it won’t be entirely filled – there will be gaps. Having a few holes in your calendar will give you the flexibility you need to address issues that arise from time-to-time.
Successful content marketing efforts are more complicated than merely crafting and publishing content. Consumers have become more sophisticated and you need to adapt. These four steps will help you take your clients' content marketing efforts to the next level.