In order to create appropriate content for your audience's consumption, there are certain factors one needs to know and consider. Stated in this article are some of them.
Know your audience
Building a content strategy is more than considering what type of content you want to create. You first need to know who you’re speaking to, how you want to speak to them, and where to find them. Basic questions or statistics (age, interests, education, location, buying habits) go a long way, and you can branch out from there. What does my audience care about, what don’t they care about? List and identify what your audience cares about. The key to creating successful inbound content is to make each reader feel like you’re speaking directly to them.
Perform a Content Audit
A content audit is simply taking inventory of the work you’ve already done, then organizing it to fit under your new content plan. The process might involve some re-writing, or it could reveal gaps that need to be filled with content that appeals to your persona and their journey stage.
You need to use analytics tools to measure the effectiveness of each piece of content you put out into the world. This will not only show you what you’re doing right but also uncover opportunities for improvement. You can always revise and re-optimize until your content performs as expected.
There are several data points you could track when analyzing your content, so use your goals as a guide to set some parameters. Whatever you want to accomplish with your content will help you choose your metrics. Examples of metrics to track: page views, organic traffic, bounce rate, conversion rates, engagement rates, audience growth, time on page, paid campaigns.
Here’s how you can perform your content audit:
Gather all of your content in a spreadsheet. Create columns for target keywords, buyer persona, format, and the main topic, then fill these in for each content piece. Add columns for your key metrics, like page views, shares, engagement, etc. Finally, categorize each post (using highlights or another column) by those that are doing well, need improvement, should be rewritten or can be merged with another post.
What good is it to create all this great content if no one sees it? Especially when you’re just starting out, you need to get people to consume your content and even lead them to your online space. Hence why content promotion is as important to your strategy as any content you create. You can do this through a variety of media, including social media, email marketing, and even pay-per-click advertising.
When promoting your content, consider the channel your audience is on. Are they on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube? Wherever it might be, it's important to meet them where they are and promote your content on that medium. Also, partnering with influencers or other brands will help you promote your content and reach more people.
Set Up Your Editorial Calendar
Consistency is key to any content marketing strategy. The rate at which you publish content will depend on your brand and your audience’s expectations. If you have committed to a regular publishing schedule, like delivering a new post every Wednesday, your audience will expect to see posts published on Wednesdays. Something else to keep in mind is to publish according to trends or time-sensitive events. For example, if you create content about national holidays or current events, then you’ll want to publish those at specific times.
Once you've settled on a rhythm, you'll want to create an editorial calendar. Your calendar will help you visualize your schedule so you can accurately plan each stage of the creation process. At a glance, your calendar should provide you with essential information such as:
- Content titles.
- Content types.
- Publish dates.
It's a good idea to mix evergreen and timely content so you don't have to always struggle to keep up with the news cycle. For example, you can create evergreen content ahead of time and publish it later.
Review your goals
Always use your business goals to frame your content ideation process. Return to them frequently throughout the process. Revise and optimize your content. If your content isn’t performing up to your expectations, perform an analysis to determine what you need to do to improve it. You might need to answer more questions, cover more topics or use more relevant keywords.
Request feedback for an outside perspective on your content to see if a.) you still have your core audience in mind, and b.) if you are still on message with the content marketing goals your business created at the start of the project. Also use feedback in the form of comments, web traffic, or lack thereof.
Content Creation Tools and Templates
With the right resources, you can conduct better research and develop high-quality content. There are several types of tools to consider: content research tools, SEO tools, planning and management tools, analysis tools, social media tools, writing tools, image tools, design tools, video tools, email tools, etc. These tools can help you create better content and save time.
Content creation is an iterative process that can bring huge returns to your audience. Analyze your content creation process and identify your biggest obstacles. Once you have completed the content creation process, you will be able to create creative works that not only delight your audience but also grow your business.