In order to create effective content for your website and social media accounts, you need a plan. You wouldn’t try to launch your business or open a new store without a solid plan in place: a schedule of when you need to accomplish specific tasks and how they relate to your overall business goals. Unfortunately, many people approach content marketing without an effective plan.
You know that you need to produce content. Content builds trust, increases search engine ranking, and helps target keywords that might not otherwise appear on your website. Without a plan, however, your content marketing efforts might fall flat, leaving you without the advantages you had hoped for. Try these tips for creating a more effective content marketing architecture for your business.
Tip #1: Seat Clear Goals
Whether you adhere to SMART goal-setting frameworks or you have another strategy that works better for you and your business, start by setting clear goals for your content marketing efforts. What are you actually hoping to accomplish through your content marketing strategies? What’s the real goal of all that content you’re creating? Do you want to:
- Increase brand loyalty?
- Improve brand awareness?
- Improve search engine ranking?
- Guide customers effectively through the sales funnel?
Before you create your content marketing architecture, make sure you fully understand exactly what you’re trying to accomplish with your content marketing efforts. Ideally, you want to create measurable goals that you can track over time, giving you a better idea of exactly what you’re moving toward and how close you are to reaching your goals.
Tip #2: Get to Know Your Audience
The audience for your business isn’t quite like the audience for any other. Your industry is unique. Your position within your industry is unique. While there are plenty of basic guidelines that can help you develop an understanding of how you should handle your content marketing efforts, your audience may be very different–and you may find that general recommendations don’t quite follow the exact format your customers are really looking for. In order to develop an effective content marketing architecture, make sure you have a solid understanding of your audience, specifically. Ask:
What are your customers’ pain points? What do your customers struggle with? What do they really need to know about your company, your products, or your industry? For example, if you have a customer who needs to choose a security solution, you might find that they need to understand more about how to increase personal security online or what security measures the business needs to take in order to keep it more secure. When you understand what your customers really need to know about your industry, you can use your content marketing plan to answer those key questions, which can in turn help build brand loyalty and awareness.
What type of content are your customers looking for? Today’s customers want skimmable content that they can easily digest. In some industries, however, customers may need longer-form content: more detailed explanations that will help them better absorb the concepts you’ve presented. Likewise, more people than ever are turning to video content both for entertainment and to help better their understanding of specific types of content. By evaluating the type of content your users want most, you can then shape your content accordingly.
Where are your customers? One of the best things about inbound marketing is that, rather than casting a wide net and hoping it drums up a few customers along the way, it connects with customers exactly where they already are. You aren’t choosing your content platforms based on arbitrary guesswork. Instead, you’re looking at where your customers can already be found. You may:
- Evaluate the social platforms your customers are most likely to use.
- Check out how your competitors are reaching their audiences.
- Consider how often your customers are already using your website (or other, similar websites).
- Take a look at the keywords your customers are already searching for.
Tip #3: Consider Your Schedule
Part of your content marketing architecture isn’t just about what you post. It’s also about when you post. Customers are more likely to visit your website and social media pages consistently when they have a solid idea of when you’ll next post your content. If, on the other hand, your customers never know when you’re going to post next, they may not visit your website as often. As you put together your content marketing schedule, consider:
- Who is providing your content? Are you putting it together in-house or relying on freelancers or a content writing service to take care of it for you?
- How much time to do you have to dedicate to your content? Keep in mind that even if you use the best possible content writing service or a small army of freelancers, you will still need to check over that content for accuracy.
- How often will your customers check in to view your content? You don’t want to overwhelm your customers with content, but you do want to ensure that there’s always plenty of new content for them to explore.
Develop a consistent, predictable posting schedule, and do your best to stick to it. While it’s not unusual to need to adapt your posting schedule occasionally, you want your customers to have a solid idea of what to expect.
Tip #4: Establish Your Brand Voice
No matter how your customers connect with your business, they need to have the same experience. Establishing your brand voice–the tone you use; the type of information you will provide–can go a long way toward providing that consistent experience regardless of how your customers connect with you. As a result, they’ll be more likely to trust the content they get from you.
Tip #5: Check Your Existing Library
Your existing library is an important part of your content marketing architecture, too. What type of content have you already created? Carefully consider how it has performed as well as what holes there are in your existing library. Often, you can also recycle that content to help improve your current library.
Developing your content marketing architecture sets you up with a clear plan of action: the guidelines that allow you to determine what you’re going to do next and how it impacts your business as a whole. Need more help with your content marketing plan? Contact us today to learn more.