5 Tips for Creating a Content Strategy That Works
by Monica Mizzi
One key way to know you’ve “made it” in business is when people talk about your brand. After all, if people are taking the time to discuss your products or even a campaign you’re running, you have effectively piqued their interest. And, with interest comes a greater likelihood that they’ll look into your offerings and eventually, make a purchase.
How do you get people talking? There are no shortage of ideas; however, an underrated but relatively straightforward approach is to create a killer content strategy. A robust content strategy not only broadens your brand’s social footprint, it also drives conversions.
Here are five simple tips for creating a content strategy that actually works.
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- Identify Your Audience
If you don’t know who your target readers are, the chance that your content strategy will end up targeting the right people is dramatically reduced. While this may seem like an obvious tip, target audience identification is a surprisingly undervalued process. Many businesses simply assume they know their audience, without conducting any methodical research into the matter.
How do you identify your audience? Conduct market research and dive deep into the data you already have. You don’t necessarily need fancy programs to gather data, either. Google Analytics provides rich demographic data, and statistics are available about your audience on any social media networks with which your business is connected.
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- Understand What They’re After
Once you’ve identified who your audience is, it’s time to develop an understanding of what they’re after. What we mean by this is understanding what makes them tick. Ask yourself questions like: what are the objects/issues/people/activities that make them joyful, and what are those that disengage or anger them? What are they discussing with their friends on the weekend? How does your product link with these concerns?
To find out this info, do a bit of digging. Take advantage of several sources of information. For example, trending social media topics relevant to your audience will inform you what your audience is concerned with in general, while your customer feedback forms will tell you what your audience really thinks about your offerings.
After you have worked out what they’re after, organize the information. A great strategy is to create buyer personas. These provide a rich reference point about your target audience and what they’re after. This in turn helps guide the direction of your entire content strategy.
- Post Meaningful Content
Posting meaningful content is essential if you want to broaden your brand’s social footprint. If you want your posts shared on social media, give your audience content they can not only relate to, but also feel inspired to share with others.
Meaningful content starts with creating content about topics your audience actually cares about (see Tip #2). Of course, the topics you choose to feature in your content strategy must be relevant to your brand as well, if they are to drive conversions. Determine how to connect the the topics your audience wants to read about with what your brand offers.
An excellent example of this is The Barbecue Bible’s blog, which is filled with engaging BBQ recipes, tips and other tidbits. It strongly complements the company’s assortment of barbecue products, and therefore encourages people to both share the posts and buy their products. Your goal is to naturally incorporate your brand’s offerings and voice with what your audience wants to read.
- Make Your Content Interactive
Remember that content should be meaningful? What better way is there to ensure your content connects with your audience than to make it interactive? Most people know that a content strategy should encompass the standard types of content such as blog posts, whitepapers and ebooks, but interactive content serves a powerful role in many of the world’s leading companies.
For instance, consider the interactive content we help companies create at Insticator. Using our service to create custom-made interactive quizzes, polls and contests, we’ve helped brands like Ancestry, TMZ and Warner Bros. to engage their target audiences in ways that standard content simply can’t offer.
Someone taking a quiz is far more involved and engaged than someone passively reading an article. Interactive content brings a whole new level to content experience by encouraging the reader to actively respond.
So, if you’re after an easy way to form connections with your audience and get them talking, interactive content is the way to go.
- Tweak Your Strategy to Perfection
Let’s end with one of the most important tips for developing your content strategy: don’t be afraid to keep revising it. There’s a reason why companies undergo rebrandings and product formula changes—to stay relevant and to keep growing, you need to keep pushing your brand.
The same goes for your content strategy. Just because listicles worked for your company in ‘09 doesn’t mean they’ll work a decade later. Your audience may have changed (see Tip #1) and perhaps their interests and priorities have, too (see Tip #2). As such, it’s essential that you are consistently working on your content strategy—using market research and data, as well as trial and error—to ensure that it’s strengthening your connection with your audience as well as encouraging conversions.
Creating a killer content strategy takes some effort, but the rewards are innumerable. Effort, however, doesn’t mean you need to complicate the process. If you’d like to learn about how our experts can help, talk to us today.
Monica Mizzi is a digital marketer who has worked with a diverse range of clients including airline magazines, national newspapers, lifestyle and tech publications, and blockchain companies. Her experience with leading on-page SEO fixes, link building, and content creation efforts has helped successive clients to rank on the first page of Google, as well as strengthen their online reputation and web presence.