Be Edgy & Solve Problems via Content
It’s true, content is king. Thanks to an onslaught of recent updates to Google’s search algorithm, companies need to be in tune with the need to produce high-quality, reader-friendly content. It needs to meet the needs of readers and actually add value to their lives. Not all content is created equal. So don’t approach your content marketing strategy with a one-size-fits-all approach.
Here are some tips to help develop an effective content marketing strategy:
Know your audience
Don’t just post articles and other content because it relates to your industry. Create and distribute content that effectively solves problems that are plaguing your target audience. And don’t be afraid to target more than one audience.
Breakdown your audience by the following factors:
- Demographics – Are you appealing to 18-24 year old tech savvy college kids or are you more likely reaching 35-55 year old professionals? Maybe you are reaching both. Your content can appeal to different demographics, so make sure you are aware of each and craft your content accordingly.
- Psychographics – What characteristics do those in your target market display? What values and emotional motivators trigger a response from them? To find out more about this, conduct a survey. You might even find out that you gain so much insight you can create a white paper or eBook to present your findings and get some good old thought leadership brewing.
- Habits – Are your readers checking out your content on their phone or at home on a desktop? Are they more active at night, or do they sneak a peek at your content midday when they think their boss isn’t looking? Ask these types of questions and you will be surprised what you find. EnVeritas Group recently conducted a survey regarding the digital media usage habits of college age students as they searched for schools to which they might apply. The results provided insight into what social media channels the students were using, the types of devices they were using, what motivated them to apply to certain schools, what times they were most active digitally, and much more. You can see some of the results here.
But don’t stop at just knowing your audience. Once you are aware of who you are trying to reach, you need to take a step back and see what you already have existing.
Conduct an audit
Now that you know your audience, it’s time to conduct a thorough review of the content that already exists on your website, social media channels, and other digital platforms. Dig down deep and analyze whether you are meeting the requirements of your audience.
And by “deep down” I mean you need to go further than just reading the content and ensuring that you have the “right” keywords included in the body of your webpages or blog posts. Thanks to Google, you might find that “not provided” is your most popular search anyway.
You need to look at links, structure of your pages, ease of navigation, and a number of other important factors. If you think you might not be qualified to do this, you are probably right. So consider hiring a professional to do the work for you. It might cost a bit more, but the info you retrieve will be far more accurate and effective.
Don’t be afraid to push the limit. Instructional, thought leadership pieces are great, but readers can get bored with them. Spice up your content now and then with a little controversy. Find a topic out there that is stirring things up. Write a post about it and don’t hold back on taking a stance. This is the type of content that invites comments and engagement.
Don’t cross the line into offensive though. It’s important to be constructive and add value to the reader’s experience, not just present a controversial opinion just for the sake of stirring the pot. Be sure that your stance invites constructive engagement and doesn’t create animosity. There are certain topics that are taboo. If you have any inkling that the topic you plan to write about might be labeled as such, don’t write it. Be controversial, but don’t be a jerk.
What other tips do you have to ensure that you aren’t just creating content for the sake of content? We’d love to hear your ideas.
Anthony Gaenzle – Director of Marketing – EnVeritas Group