Content marketing isn’t a new term or practice. Brands have been telling stories about their products and services for centuries, but interest in this area has significantly increased in the last year. Specifically, this interest has heightened around the creation and quality of website content.
So, you know it’s important. Here are our simple steps on how to get going.
Get your head in the game
“You can redesign a home page. You can buy a new content management system. But unless you treat your content with strategic consideration, you can’t fix your website.” Kristina Halvorson, CEO, Brain Traffic
Quality content should come first when you’re thinking about improving your digital presence. Today’s standards for what ‘quality’ looks like have changed and it’s time to start thinking about your content from a different perspective. Your audience’s perspective.
When you’re considering a new content strategy, get your head in the right place by starting with the following:
- Look at what you’re currently producing
- Find out where all your existing content came from and who’s responsible for it
- Discover what your current content lifecycle looks like
Listen to the people who matter
The ability to create content is largely determined by how well a brand understands the following:
- Who their customers are
- What their customers want
- How their customers want it
- When their customers want it
Answering these questions gives brands an insightful foundation for their content strategy. Gathering this information can be achieved in a number of ways:
- Look at any existing persona material you may have on file
- Undertake an updated persona research exercise with your current customers, either over the telephone or though an online survey tool
- Examine your current website Analytical data to determine what type of content performs best
- Talk to your sales team about what they know about your customers as they speak to them regularly and will have additional insights that could help
Create your dream team
Once you’ve completed your research, it’s time to assemble your content team. Putting someone in charge of your content is an important part of the strategy as it’ll be their responsibility to liaise with all the relevant parties and keep everything moving forward. The ideal content team might look something like a magazine:
- Publisher – in charge of overall content strategy
- Editor – signs off pieces of content
- Online Editor – amends content inline with SEO plan and uploads to website and distributes through social media
- Sub-Editor – checks facts and compliance
- Writer – writes the content
- Subject matter expert – contributes to the content
We look to a publishing style team as it successfully creates quality content that is aligned to a primary business objective (i.e. increase sales). Editors and writers create content with an editorial rigor, while the Publisher ensures it meets the commercial needs of the business. This dual insight is essential as while we want content to be what the audience wants, without being aligned to business objectives, the content is only half way there.
Determine your objectives
You know your audience, and you’ve got a team you’re confident can deliver the what they want. Now it’s time to plan your strategy.
As with all marketing activity, you’ll need to define your objectives before you do anything else. Common objectives for content are:
- Increase engagement
- Increase traffic to website
- Increasing conversions
- Raise brand awareness
- Generate leads
All next steps follow on from your defined business objectives, so make sure you get the input of the whole team. Different people may have different priorities when it comes to what the most important objective is, so try and create a balanced list that represents your shared goals.
Plan your content
Once you’ve defined your audience, assembled your team, determined your objectives – it’s time to start planning your content.
This stage of the process involves getting your whole team together and sharing all your ideas about the types of content you should be creating based on your audience, objectives and resources.
Don’t be afraid to think big. Yes, case studies pages are useful – but would your audience find the information more engaging in a short video? You’ve got to display some statistical data about your recent growth in a particular sector to your stakeholders – would an infographic be more shareable than the same old pie chart?
Here are some things to think of when you’re planning your content:
- What key events have you got coming up over the next 6 months? (new product launches, sale, discount on services etc)
- Will you content need to respond quickly to events/seasons? (bank holiday sale, current news, industry developments)
Create your content and get it out there
Now you know what you’re doing, who for, and why – it’s time to get writing. Here are a few tips to help you along the way.
- What are trying to say? Whenever you start writing, take a few moments and jot down a bulleted list of what you want to say. Don’t worry about structure just yet, they can be organised later.
- Remember your audience. Once you’ve got your ideas down, think about whom you’re writing for. What level of technical language should you use? How busy are they? What do you want them to do with the knowledge/information you’re giving them?
- Create a structure. Now this will change depending on what you’re writing, but being lead by a ‘Beginning, Middle and End’ structure is a good place to start. Stick to short sentences and try to convey one ‘idea’ in each paragraph.
- Use headings. Help your reader along by breaking up text with headers summarising what they’re reading. This is great if your audience is busy people who value plain-speaking approaches.
- Start. You know what you’re communicating, who it’s for and how it’s loosely going to be structured so just start. Follow your structure but don’t be afraid to let the ideas flow. If your first draft is rubbish, don’t worry – even the greats had to start somewhere.
Measure, measure, measure
Once you’ve created your content, put it on your site and shared it via the relevant social channels – give it a week and then start to look at the Analytical data around what you’ve produced. Make sure you record all the data you receive around your content so you can feed it back into your strategy.
For more information about content marketing support, get in touch with our team by calling 01787 388038 or send us an enquiry today.
“Content marketing requires investment, yes – but it needn’t be something organisations should shy away from. By setting clear objectives, using the right resources to plan and create, and then measuring the performance against original goals companies can get their content marketing moving.” Natash Clarke, Communications Lead.
Call 01787 388038
to speak with a senior member of our team to discuss your requirements.
Alternatively, simply fill out our enquiry form for a priority response.Make an Enquiry