What is content marketing? Delivering quality content to its users is certainly on the top-of -mind for every SEO. Many of them believe that they are already acing this by driving their content strategy by the virtue of keywords research alone. However, this strategy is lopsided due to the fact that, all of the audience’s needs are not captured in the search. Many a time, keywords can tempt you into building content that your brand doesn’t actually need, as you don’t have anything unique to say about it. This way you can certainly increase organic traffic, but the chances of them converting into customers are dicey.
Make a shift from keyword-first-driven content strategy to audience-centric one; doing this will help you create the SEO content that converts. Keyword search definitely holds a prominent place, but it should come later in the process. This is the approach that the best content marketers employ.
On what basis is the audience-centric content strategy different from the keyword-focused content strategy?
The primary aim of a content marketing strategy is audience understanding. It starts with the target audience and then dives into a deeper understanding of your brand’s expertise and unique value proposition. While keyword research can help you uncover how people talk about topics relevant to your brands, it limits when it comes to audience understanding.
A content strategy will answer the questions like:
- Who is the brand’s audience?
- What are their needs, questions and pain points?
- These people want to consume what kind of content?
- Where are they having conversations? Both online and offline.
- What unique expertise is offered by the brand?
- How can the brand match their expertise with the needs of the audience?
Identify your unique content angle.
First and foremost, your content should connect with the audience. The key to achieve this is by developing your unique content angle that intersects between your brand’s expertise and your audience’s pain points. This is referred to as ‘Content Tilt’, as it involves undertaking a larger topic and then tilting it in the way you like. However, identifying your brand’s expertise is not an easy task. If the manner in which you claim your products to be unique is shared by a competitor out there, then your products are not unique.
Does that mean you should only write within your tilt? Will that not be limiting?
When you start developing your content, you must be very clear in the head about your larger strategy perspective. SEO’s find it really tough to let go of the keywords that have the potential to boost your organic traffic. But, if it does not fit into your content strategies they have to be truncated. All the efforts regarding the keywords will be futile if they do not meet your audience’s needs and your brand’s expertise, and in the meanwhile not converting those people into customers.
Parameters to build your content strategy:
Set your goals.
Start with the end. Setting up your goals beforehand will give you a better picture as to what content you want to create. This can range from increasing leads, increasing sales to driving more subscribers to the newsletter, etc. Your content can be gated or have room for deeper dive depending on the nature of your business and goal.
Identify your target audience and their pain points.
It is now time to identify whom you are targeting your content at. For this, you can take the aid of the departments – customer service, sales, technical support, product management, product marketing and social media marketing; as these people usually interact with the customers. You can then decipher what they are struggling with and create content which could help them. You can also do some research and look up for some questions by yourself. (LinkedIn and Facebook are good platforms).
What unique expertise is offered by your brand?
Dig deeper this time and find out what are the aspects that make your brand stand out from the cluster. You can think about how your products are developed, who your subject matter experts are and how they contribute to the organization. An expertise that seems boring on the surface level can be actually interesting, don’t let it vail away.
Figure out your content tilt.
You can figure this out by putting together the answers you got for #2 and #3 pointers. Do that and you are good to go.
Develop content topics based on the content tilt.
Brainstorming! All that is left now is to think about your potential topics in the arena of your content tilt. You can also get people involved from other departments collectively come up with relatable topics.
With your topics ready in hand, it is time to dive in the long-tail keyword research and 0 down on the best keyword targets. You can take the help of Moz Keyword Explorer, Keywordtool.io, Ubersuggest.io.
Make an editorial calendar.
After you are done with the keyword research, develop an editorial calendar for your content. Be sure to include all the target keywords in it, this would be helpful when someone else will be developing the content so that they know what is important and what should be added. You can use – Hubspot’s free calendar templates (Google sheet or excel) for this purpose.
Determine parameters to measure success.
Depending upon the nature of your content, you should develop means to measure your success. You can focus on measuring leads to your gated content. You can measure organic entrances to your ungated content. You can also take a look at individual pieces of content to know exactly which ones are converting well and which ones aren’t, and then make changes accordingly.
This is the last piece of the jigsaw. Now that everything else is in place, it is time to do the creation work. This is the most fun part! With the help of the content tilt and the keyword research, jot down the outline for your content. After you have created and launched it, like with every other SEO work, this too will see a lag before you get any results. Be sure to build a report to keep a track of the performance on a regular basis. After several months, if you still do not see any growth, it is best to go back and re-track the content tilt.
That’s all folks! We hope this blog helped you. See you next time!