Did you know that Google conducts over 3.6 million searches every minute? Did you also know that Amazon rakes in over $258,000 in sales in that same minute?
Now, imagine all the local business searches and online shop sales that occur at the same time.
Needless to say, we as modern consumers are constantly shopping online. And we also make most of our buying decisions based on the content we come across online.
That makes marketing strategy development a pretty powerful thing. It’s the difference between good content and bad.
But what works for one company may not work for another. That’s why it helps to know which content creation strategies yield the best results.
Are you ready to kick-start your content creation strategy? Here are 5 tips you’ll want to know in the development stages!
1. What Are Your Goals? Define Them!
As the mastermind of your own business, you may already have some awesome ideas for content. And that’s great! Approaching the development stages with ideas makes for a strong foundation.
But even if the content is unique and buzzworthy, that doesn’t make it successful (yet).
Successful content has a purpose. It needs to convey your goals before it can actually achieve them.
Brainstorming Your Goals
Ask yourself what it is you’re looking to achieve.
Are you a new company that’s struggling to take off and needs to boost brand awareness? Is your company struggling to convert its web and social media traffic into actual sales? Do you want to appear first in local business searches?
If you’re a brand-new business, your website may still be in the works. Now is the best time to lay out a strategy so that your company hits the ground running.
If you already have an online presence, determine what you’re already doing right. Then, focus on which areas need improvement.
2. Identify Your Audience
Your content is only effective when it resonates with your audience. If you don’t know your audience, how can you create content that’ll influence them to buy your brand?
Take a product that’s geared towards baby boomers, for example. They’d likely prefer content that doesn’t incorporate millennial slang. If it did, they’d feel disconnected from the content and lose interest as a result.
This same audience is more likely to email and use Facebook. So, the content targeted towards them should use these mediums.
By the same token, content for millennials would be more useful on Instagram and Twitter. They’d also connect more with content that uses the everyday language they use.
Chances are, you already know a lot about your audience based on your existing customers. But there’s still more you can dig up on them.
Gauging Your Audience
Understanding where your audience “hangs out” online is key.
It’s important in the same way companies decide when and where to air TV commercials. They know what programs their customers watch and air their commercials during these times.
So, which social media platforms do your customers use? Which websites are they visiting in addition to yours? There are a few ways you can obtain this information.
Google Analytics can provide the demographics on your website’s traffic. You can research industry case studies or relevant online forums. You could also reach out to your mailing list and ask your existing customers to answer surveys.
Brainstorming the content is the next step. Not only so you can develop your brand, but attract your audience once you know where to target them.
3. Create Valuable, Unique Content
There’s always intention behind a search for a particular product or local service. Search engine optimization can get online consumers to find what they’re looking for. But if the content they find is uninteresting or doesn’t serve the right purpose, they’ll move on.
With that said, the content you create should always be relevant to your business. As obvious as that may seem, some companies veer away and create irrelevant content. Or, they’ll spin content that doesn’t serve any real value.
So, what will keep your audience on your website and social media pages longer?
Of course, the content needs an engaging hook that entices the audience. But what they’re really looking for is to see that your company is a big player in the industry… A true expert.
Shine a Spotlight on Your Niche
The majority of the content you create should be specific and relevant to your niche. The more consistent you are with this, the more credibility you’ll have behind your brand.
Your audience should not only be able to find the answers to their questions but also new information they weren’t yet aware of.
Anytime you have something fresh and informative to say, create content–whether it’s a blog post, tweet, or an Instagram story.
Let Your Audience Inspire You
At times, your content creation strategy may feel dry. Writer’s block happens to the best of us.
For inspiration, it helps to keep tabs on your audience.
What other pages are your social media followers reading? What are people talking about in relevant discussion forums? Then, brainstorm how you can create a content strategy that addresses their questions and interest.
It’s also important to build relationships with your customers. Of course, you can do this when they walk into your brick-and-mortar. But you can also establish lasting relationships online.
Respond to people’s questions, concerns, and even their negative feedback. These are all things you can do to solidify your content in people’s memory with good impressions.
4. Use Web Analytics to Your Advantage
There are lots of ways companies can track the progress of their marketing efforts. With Google Analytics, for example, you can track your highest frequencies of traffic. You can see which pieces of content on your website are most popular.
Then there’s social media, which can also help you gauge how well your content performs. An Instagram or Facebook post with hundreds of likes and positive comments is an obvious hit. When people share your content, it means that they find it useful enough to recommend.
More importantly, tracking your marketing progress can help you make improvements where necessary.
If a blog post or social media post doesn’t perform well, you can then look into where you went wrong. Let’s say a piece of content seems to cause viewers to leave your site completely. With this information, you’ll know the content may have been to blame.
You can also see what they searched for after leaving your website. This can tell you what’s on a consumer’s mind after seeing your content. You can then create a content strategy that addresses their needs, interests, or desires.
Always Track Your Progress
Investing in an analytics tool may seem unnecessary, but it will go a long way in the long run. Google Analytics isn’t the only tool you can use to track your progress. There’s an entire market for these analytics tools, with some cheaper than others or even free.
It’s important to implement an analytics tool from the get-go. Not only so you can track your progress right from the beginning but so you have an easier time doing so. If you don’t analyze your web stats from the beginning, you’ll find the data can be a confusing mess.
5. Broaden Your Influence
It may seem like old marketing platforms, like email, for example, have fallen by the wayside. But it’s important to target your audience from all angles, even if it seems futile.
Broadcasting your content on platforms your audience uses will drive the most results. Still, you should work on getting better at marketing on those off-the-beaten-path platforms. You never know who you could target and sell to – even if it’s just one person.
At the same time, it’s crucial to stay on top of emerging forms of content. Video marketing, for example, will likely replace long-form written content in the near future.
Build Relationships with Other Companies & Individuals
Creating content that goes viral is a sure-fire way to succeed. But building rapport in your industry will help enhance your brand’s influence.
Guest blogging, for example, helps you get quality traffic from big, high domain sites. It not only increases brand awareness but helps you build your authority. If big websites feature your company, it’s a positive sign in the eyes of online consumers.
You can also partner up with other companies that your audience has interest in. Social media shout-outs and cross-promotions will not only direct more traffic your way. You’ll also develop your credibility with influence from other industrial players.
Kick Start Your Marketing Strategy Development Plan
Bill Gates coined the famous phrase: “Content is King.” And there’s a reason why the phrase has been so popular in the world of digital marketing for the last 20 years.
Online content is continually evolving with the Internet. And so are people’s preferences as modern, digital-savvy consumers.
A good content marketing strategy is the difference between a successful business and an unsuccessful one. Because content is always progressing, companies need to stay in the loop. Years – even months from now – one form of content could take precedence over all the others.