Did you know that content marketing costs 62 percent less than outbound marketing, yet generates more than three times as many leads? It’s hard to argue with those numbers. Any business that isn’t using content marketing to drive leads is missing out.
But what if you have no experience with content marketing? Don’t worry. Following the simple steps below will help you to create a solid content strategy which will perform well from the start and make your content great again.
Create a Visitor Persona For Your Content Marketing
Who’s your ideal visitor? Creating a detailed visitor persona helps you to answer this question and keep your content marketing blog posts targeted and useful.
Your persona should include details like:
- Problems and challenges
Get inspiration for your persona by looking at your current audience. Google Analytics can provide insights like age, gender and browsing habits. Sending surveys to your mailing list via Typeform can help you dig deeper, and interviewing previous customers lets you get into even more detail.
You can create multiple personas, but be wary of going overboard. Your content marketing strategy requires a clearly defined audience to work well.
Write Blog Posts That Solve Your Persona’s Problems
Now that you’ve got your persona, you need to create content that he or she is dying to read.
Here’s an example. You run a parenting site, and one of your ideal personas is “Single Mother Sally,” a working mother whose biggest challenge is balancing her job and her family. Knowing this, you can write blog posts that cater directly to her, like, “Easy Weeknight Dinners for Working Moms.”
Plan posts in advance and create a content calendar to make sure that your posting schedule stays consistent. Try to include a wide range of post types to appeal to your persona. These could be quick Q&As, in-depth skyscraper posts which explain a topic in detail, tutorials showing the reader how to do something or listicles, like “Top 10 XYZ” — think about what will work best for your audience.
Building a network of core topics and sub-topics that allow your readers to dive in deeper to specific topics is a great strategy. This is known as Topic Clusters and it is an emerging new trend in the content marketer’s toolbox.
Optimize Posts for Search Engines
Make sure your posts are found by optimizing them for search engines. If you are using WordPress, install the Yoast plugin to see an SEO “score” for each post, and get tips about where to include keywords and other data.
As a general rule, you should choose one keyword for each post and aim to include it 2 – 4 times, as well as in your title, introduction, and at least one subheading. Make sure all images include alt tags and captions, and when sharing video content, always include a transcript. These simple steps will make your content much more search engine-friendly.
Carry out keyword research by looking at the terms you currently rank for, analyzing which keywords competitors use, and using keyword research tools like Google AdWords. The right keywords can help drive organic traffic by targeting people just as they’re searching for a solution to their problem. Other research tools include SEMrush and Buzzsumo among others.
If you are confused when it comes to SEO, The Pony Group is available to help guide you through the process, or check out our basic SEO guide for creating search engine friendly content.
Market Posts on Social Media
Once you have a clear content plan, you need to make sure people are actually reading your posts. Use scheduling tools like Hootsuite and Meet Edgar to post automatic social media updates whenever you publish blog content.
You could share snippets of posts to entice readers and promote engagement, or create graphics that are designed to be shared. Interacting with others is a great way to build up an organic following, and could open up opportunities for cross-promotion.
Now that you’ve begun your foray into content marketing, ensure that you post quality content regularly to keep your visitors engaged. It helps to build your calendar and set aside time each week or month to ensure you adhere to a schedule.
If you’re not completely confident in your ability to execute a successful content marketing strategy, consider getting in touch with The Pony Group and requesting our complimentary consultation — we will be able to guide you through the entire process and ensure great results.
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