Adding depth to your digital content isn’t rocket science, but it’s also not something you can do overnight. It takes thought, a bit of time, and a plan to ensure it’s effective and nets the results you want to achieve. Here are some tips to get you started.
DEVELOP YOUR CONTENT STRATEGY FIRST
I once had a boss who lived by this mantra: plan the work and work the plan. This extremely simple statement has served me well in many aspects of my life, including the creation of web content. It might seem obvious, but the initial process of taking a step back and writing down what you want your content to achieve (and how) for your brand is often overlooked in the rush to get content out the door and on your site.
Starting with the big picture, what do you want your content to do for you? We know you want to increase traffic and generate leads, but how does your content do this in a way that is unique to your brand? Taking the time to brainstorm and think through your audience, their needs, why they’re likely looking for content like yours, and the kinds and volume of content you can reasonably create is critical.
Once you’ve determined the purpose of your content marketing and can articulate how it’ll provide a unique draw for your audience, you need a deployment plan. Think through your year, and a typical year in the life of your audience. Think about your marketing channels – specifically web and social media – and analyze past traffic patterns and what worked. Put together an editorial calendar based on not only this data, but also your experiences and what you have coming up in your business for the year.
A good starting point for this is taking a look at one of our previous blog posts. This gives a variety of tips related to the implementation of a content strategy. Consider what others have learned as you develop your own strategy.
iT'S STILL ABOUT PERSONAS
Know your audience, know yourself. You want to increase traffic and ultimately turn your website into a lead generation machine. But you won’t do this by appealing to anyone and everyone (which, by the way, is impossible). You want to attract a specific type of buyer, and those buyers are looking for a specific type of solution when they search online.
If you read the blog post linked above, you got a few tips on getting to know your audience, for the express purpose of tailoring your content to their needs. Your goal should be to help your audience improve themselves or their brand – whatever you’re offering should add value to their lives, and you want them to find you through compelling content that speaks to their pain points.
At the same time, the content of your content marketing should very specifically play to your strengths. Audiences will quickly recognize if it seems like your knowledge on the subject isn’t very deep, or if you really don’t have what they need. They’ll also recognize and skip content that isn’t well-done, even if it’s very knowledgeable.
To get started, read our post about writing your brand story. This exercise is a great one for pinpointing exactly what you’re all about and what you’re trying to solve for your buyers. Write it down, finalize it, and then stick to it as you move forward with content creation. Specifically – read on:
maintain a consistent and real voice, coupled with a strong SEO understanding
Google. Like it or not, Google plays an important role in whether your site is highly ranked – their content rules matter. And not only do they matter, their rules are thoughtful and aimed at making your site a better lead and traffic generator. In other words, you don’t just HAVE to follow them, you SHOULD follow them. You can read all about it in our search engine optimization post from May 2017.
But Google rules aren’t what we’re talking about today. Less about algorithms, more about the rhythm. What makes your audience’s heart beat a little faster? What’s at the core of your brand? What knowledge and experience do you and you alone have that your audience needs to know? The first step in any content creation isn’t reading the Google SEO rules – it’s figuring out how to create experiences that enable your audience to connect with your brand on a very real level.
This means being authentic. It means creating content in your real voice about topics on which you are an expert. It means that you create all types of content – written or other – that consistently reflects your brand and what you’re all about. It means telling the stories that only your brand can tell. If you’ve followed the strategy advice, and you know yourself and your audience, then your voice will resonate. Don’t be anything but yourself – consumers are smart and busy. They can tell when content isn’t deeply rooted in a brand, and they’ll go elsewhere.
Being authentic and maintaining a consistent and real voice in your content, coupled with a strong SEO understanding, will get the results you’re looking for. At the same time, you’ll be building a wealth of rich content that keeps your audience coming back for more.
It’s easy to get started adding depth to your content. We have the tools and expertise you need. Start today with our Content Mapping Template, and give us a call.