Creating content which engages and helps to grow an audience should be at the top of every brand’s to-do list. The content that your brand shares, whether it’s across social media or on your website, is what will attract your audience’s attention, get them talking about the brand and ultimately boost brand awareness.
When it comes to developing a successful content strategy it’s all about achieving a balance of quality and quantity, something that can be accomplished easily with research, planning and a little help from some handy tools. So what steps should you take to ensure your content marketing is most effective?
Set Your Marketing Goals
The first-step to creating engaging, SEO friendly content for your brand is to think about exactly what you’re trying to achieve. Take into consideration your overall marketing strategy and link this to what you want your content to do for your brand.
It’s important to identify your key goals, whether that’s driving traffic to your website, increasing sales or simply increasing brand awareness. Once you’ve determined your overall objectives then you can ensure that every piece of content that you post helps to achieve these overarching business aims.
Get to Know Your Audience
Before you can start creating content for your brand it’s important to work out who you’re creating it for. Decide exactly who you want your content to target, investigate how they’re responding to your existing content and use these results to shape your future content strategy.
Begin by identifying your core target audience and identify your brand’s ideal consumer. By considering demographic factors such as age, gender, job type and values you can begin to build core buying personas. These personas should help you to better understand the preferences and behaviour of your audience meaning that you can create content which they’ll find engaging.
Google Analytics is a great free tool for learning more about your audience and how online users are responding to your existing web content. Dive into your website’s analytics and take a closer look at the where your traffic is coming from – this could be organic searches, direct searches or referrals.
Be sure to identify your most popular pages – this highlights the content that is resonating well with your audience. Use your successes as inspiration for future content and consider ways that you can improve on the content that didn’t perform as well.
Keyword research is the next step towards getting inside the mind of your online audience and working out how to align your brand’s content with topics that people are already interested in.
Online tools such as Answer the Public and Google Search Console allow you to delve deeper into the behaviour and interests of your audience. Once you’ve done your research create a list of key words and terms that can be used to help shape your content plan.
Answer the Public is a really simple way of seeing how people are searching for key terms. Simply enter your chosen key word and the results will pop up in visual form, giving you a ‘wheel’ of question keywords linked to your topic.
Google Search Console is another free tool that anybody with a website can use to track performance. It’s a good way of checking how the keywords on your site are performing, which keywords are bringing traffic to your site already and identifying any areas that need attention.
Brainstorm Content Ideas
Now that you’ve identified your audience and understand the topics that they’re interested in, it’s time to put pen to paper. Drawing ideas from your keyword research, note down different questions and topics that would appeal to your audience and which you want to be found for.
Split your ideas into different topic groups which each link to a keyword. This will help to ensure that your content is covering all your keyword bases. For each of your topics start by brainstorming a longer piece of content, such as a detailed blog or guide, and then plot in shorter pieces of content that align with this such as infographics and social media posts.
To get your creative juices flowing consider getting inspiration from other industry experts by reading relevant books, content from competitors and news articles.
Create a content schedule
Once you’ve got your ideas nailed down it’s worth drawing up a content schedule. This will help you to stay organised and ensure that your content is posted out regularly and consistently – which is rewarded by search engine and social media algorithms.
Keep your channels varied by spreading out the topics and types of content in your schedule, as this will help to keep your audience engaged.
Consider how your content will link to key dates and make sure that you stick to these timings to maximise interest and reach. You can also maximise the reach by scheduling for optimum times, something you can find in your analytics.
Although it’s important to have a structured schedule it’s also worth remembering that a responsive approach is the most successful. Keep an eye on what’s going on in your industry and be sure to create reactive content to keep your brand’s content fresh and relevant.
As soon as you know what content you need and when you need it for, creation is the next step. Our creative services team are always excited to take on a new brief, whether it’s for video, graphic design or photography and we’d love to hear from you!