You've probably heard it over and over, that your content marketing strategy is becoming ever more crucial to your brand's success. This means that with the right content, you can achieve the attention of potential leads, keep your current audience engaged, and ultimately drive business.
Sounds a little bit easier said than done, right? It's especially true if you're new to digital marketing and have no idea where to start, or what kind of content you should be focusing on to guide your audience to your website.
Here are three simple considerations to help get your wheels turning:
1) Where is your user in the buying cycle?:
As you could've guessed, you can't treat your entire audience on one, level field when your audience is multifaceted. For instance (unless you are just starting out), you probably have long-time or returning customers. In this case, you aleady have an audience that has made it into the funnel, but might still be contemplating purchase. And finally, there are those who need your services but haven't heard of you - yet. Even within those general audiences are different age groups, demographics, etc.
This means that the content you create should be refined to meet one of these audience's needs. When a consumer doesn't even know that they are ready to buy yet, they are typically in the research stage - asking questions about how to solve a problem. On the flipside, a returning customer may be more interested in industry trends, or new deals. In either case, your content isn't going to look the same because it should be catered to these differing needs. Ask yourself first who you are targeting before deciding what you want your content to say.
2) Answer Your Audience's Questions:
This leads into the next strategy, which is how you can answer your audience's questions. This is crucial in bridging the gap between you and an entire client base out there that doesn't know you exist. These are the people that are searching for things like:
"Why is my sink leaking?"
"How come I have so many box elder bugs?"
... You get the idea. This is the audience who has a problem, but aren't yet searching for "plumber near me" or "pest control services" - start going after them before they enter that phase to remain top of mind. And if you decide to incorporate these types of search queries, make sure you are actually following through and creating content that answers the question. Users will quickly realize and click away if they don't see a straight answer.
Remember, SEO and Content Marketing are not mutually exclusive - make sure your content is optimized for discovery by understanding what your audience wants to know and doing the necessary keyword research to find out what they are searching for.
3) Create User-Generated Content:
One of the best ways to generate leads is the participation of real, past or future, buyers. These are the people that your prospective audience will find the most relatable, and therefore trust.
Creating content that is easy to share and participate with obviously means you need to have a platform to do so - one of the many beauties of social media. At the same time, you should be making content that people actually want to share - so try to avoid too many posts that are just sales pitches. For instance - curate your social sites so that they offer information that is informative, and if you can, highly visual.
Another great way to get your audience to generate content is by hosting online events or contests that require your audience to submit their own content. Say you own a hair salon, an example might be: "Tell Us Your Best Salon Horror Story, and Enter to Win 20% off Your Next Visit!"
The responses will allow you to understand your customers even better, while giving you the ammo for what kinds of content you should be creating to help appeal to this consumer's curiosities.
Each of these strategies should help give you the direction you need to start coming up with some killer content ideas that will actually drive results. You'll find that there are endless opportunities to explore and new ideas to test out!