Content Marketing is at the top of your online marketing strategy – but you’re not sure where to start or how to create a foundation for success. That’s where we come in! If you haven’t already, we suggest starting with Part 1 of this series: Ultimate Guide to Web Content Part 1: Simplifying the Writing Process. If you already have, then let’s get moving…
Successful Content Marketing will engage your audience(s), create brand affinity/loyalty, and compel them to follow you, buy your goods or services, recommend you to others, etc. Following are some tips for creating content that appeals to your audience:
- Know Who You’re Writing For: Content is not one-size-fits-all. For each piece you create for your website, your blog, your partners, your social media, etc., know exactly who you are writing for. Which contingent of your audience, what are their interests, what is their knowledge level of the topic, etc.? Think about it: you can write about the same theme from numerous perspectives just based on knowledge level and audience demographics. Take a broad example like “health insurance” – this could be a B2C or B2B theme that takes on many granular forms, like:
- Health Insurance 101 – The Beginner’s Guide
- Health Insurance – Affordable Care Act Changes Your Clinical Staff Should Be Aware Of
- Health Insurance – Tips for Marketing and Selling
- Health Insurance – How to Compare and Choose Coverage
- Health Insurance – Rights & Legal Protections
- Discover What Interests Your Readers: You may formally or informally survey your audience (a great informal survey is to check data in Google Analytics related to usage of your onsite search functionality, if you have one – whatever folks on your site are searching for, GA data helps to indicate some of their interests), or you may use research tools to identify what they care about most. This chart from Google Trends demonstrates historical trending of “health insurance rights” with monthly projections for future interest:
- Fulfill a Need: The best content answers questions, provides useful information, and is a resource for its target audience(s). Whether your readers know they have that need or you preemptively solve a problem for them with your content, it’s critical that before writing you can answer a simple litmus test of value / quality: What purpose does this piece serve and what user-need will it fulfill? If you’re not sure, the topic may not help your readers and may be worth skipping.
- Deploy a Cohesive Channel Strategy: Your B2C audience(s) may be interested in a Beginner’s Guide to Health Insurance. By creating that content, you are fulfilling their need for an introductory understanding of how to select and procure the plan that’s best for them. That said, in order to have the most value for users, the content has to be accessible in terms of publishing channel/medium and format. A thirty minute DVD slipped into each sales packet you mail to prospective clients isn’t necessarily the best medium for that content. Instead, you might write a blog post, create a white paper or ebook you promote on your website and in your social media content, develop an interactive infographic, create a two-to-four minute ‘splainer video you post on YouTube, etc. On the other hand, if you’re a healthcare consultant targeting a clinical audience and developing a piece like “Health Insurance – Affordable Care Act Changes Your Clinical Staff Should Be Aware Of”, LinkedIn could be a great place to promote a link to an onsite, gated ebook or whitepaper, or you might consider writing a brief blog post with a link to a longer format piece of content available for download. Ultimately, whatever you publish – you should wonder: Will my audience be able to find this content? Is this content published and formatted in a way that will satisfy my audience?
By following these tips, your audience-centric Content Marketing is far more likely to be successful and generate business growth. Keep a close eye on these reader-based considerations to earn a greater return from your efforts.