When it comes to your websites you put a great deal of time and effort into getting them to look good with great graphics and images and you try to make it as easy as possible for users to navigate with no more than 3 clicks to whatever topics you want people to find. And those things are important because the look and feel of a website plays an import part in whether a visitor moves deeper into the site or bounces out.
But’s there’s a tendency to forget the main purpose of your website
And that main purpose is to hold all of the relevant, compelling and valuable content that you’ve created, content that you want your audience to find, content that you want your audience to read, consider and share, content that can make the difference between winning and losing business.
Why is content marketing so important?
- Because content drives search
- Because content drives lead generation
- Because content drives social media
- Because content can raise your head and shoulders above the competition
Without the hook of great content it’s difficult to engage with an audience. Great content acts like a magnet and pulls people towards you and the search engines love it.
But there are many things to consider when you’re creating your content and sometimes that can make decisions a little tricky. You need to get the right balance between short form and long form content, perhaps a 1000 word blog post will hold the interest of visitors who are viewing on a desktop but what about a mobile user? You need to understand your audience, how they search, what they’re interested in, whether they use a mobile, tablet or desktop, how long they spend on site, what content are they accessing etc. and your web analytics package will help you here.
Your web analytics package can help guide decisions and determine the content format your audience prefer but you need to have a thorough understanding of the impact you want your content to have on the audience and an expectation of what you would like them to do next.
We’ve put together a list of some of the factors you should consider before implementing your content marketing plan.
1. Your content needs to support your business plan
That sounds logical enough but I often see a disconnect between business objectives and content creation. How many of you have sat down and planned and written content that supports your overall business plan? Not too many I’d say. But it stands to reason that if a key part of your strategy is to generate leads then you need to create great content with hooks, landing pages, calls to action and lead capture mechanisms in place to help you do so. Similarly if you want to become a key source of knowledge in your marketplace, you need to build and invest in a content hub and the content you produce needs to reflect and support that plan. Your content needs to highlight to your audience that you understand their problems and issues. And more importantly, that you can help them and you can add value.
Remember it’s about your audience, not you
2. Your content needs to match the buying cycle of your audience
Unless you have an ecommerce site it’s unlikely that first time visitors will make a purchase because they’re invariably at different stages of the buying cycle. So you need to ensure your content caters for visitors who are researching the marketplace and looking for answers to their questions, you also need to provide more in-depth information to engage those visitors who might be interested in buying your product or services but might also be considering your competitors and you need content that helps validate a decision, reduces perceived risk and eliminates the post-purchase blues. Your content needs to tell a story to move visitors along that cycle and persuade them to make a conversion, which is the ultimate aim.
3. Your content needs to be optimised for search
There’s no point in creating great content if no one can find it so you need to give it a leg up. Your content needs to be optimised for search and share, you can find out more on this subject in this previous blog post 6 steps to improve your chances of getting found online. And it’s not just about your website, there are plenty of social media sites that your audience visit. You need to have content good enough for others to feel happy about sharing with their friends and colleagues and you want to make that as easy for them as possible by adding social media share icons and forward to a friend links to your content.
4. Your content needs to be able to be repurposed
Right from the off you need to start thinking about where you can re-purpose that content in as many ways as possible to ensure you get the best ROI for your efforts and again, you post that content where your audience are active. Your blog post can be promoted via Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter etc. You can link to it through your regular enewsletter and through your email signature. You can collect a series of blog posts and create an ebook but it helps to plan this in advance.
5. Your content needs to be targeted to your mobile audience
Up until now everything I’ve mentioned is critical for your main website and search in general, but mobile users need to be treated differently because we’re living in a wireless world and mobile platforms are the future. You need to understand their usage and your audience and it’s not just smartphones, you also need to consider Tablets and eReaders. This is where headlines, formatting, font size, text layout and visual elements become critical.
Why has mobile technology become so important?
Mobile platforms are now mini computers with GPS capability, Wi-Fi, NFC, Bluetooth and other sensors, all ideal for location based services applications. And 4G or LTE or wireless broadband is already here. The critical point to note is the speed of the take up of this technology.
- Globally more people have a mobile phone than a bank account
- In many markets mobile searches now exceed searches on desktop devices
Almost everyone you know has a smartphone, for many that smartphone is with them 24/7 and never gets switched off. It’s often the first thing to be checked when people wake up in the morning.
So mobile users need to be treated differently, why? Well because they’re mobile, active, on the go and viewing content on a smaller screen. As they move throughout the day they’ll probably encounter slow networks, patchy coverage and their time may be short. All of this has got to be considered when you put your content plan together.
At Rame Marketing we understand marketing strategy, content marketing and technical marketing. We provide a number of content marketing services including:
Many people I speak to claim to be “doing” content marketing but they’re not doing it correctly. If you’d like some more information on how we can improve your content marketing activities and help you raise your head and shoulders above the competition, get in touch. call 01803 413481 or firstname.lastname@example.org.