2014-07

Content Marketing Tips For Success

by Aidan Sheerin
 | 
21 July 2014

After working in the content marketing space for a few years, I’d like to share some simple tips I've learnt along the way, that can help companies about to embark on a content marketing strategy.

1) Audit your existing digital channels

One of the first steps should be to conduct an audit of your current digital channels. This gives you deeper insights into your brand's digital presence as well as an overall picture of your most popular channel.

Start with your earned, owned and paid media channels.

Earned media refers to channels where your content is shared as a direct result of your brand name being discussed outside of traditional advertising. This could be through social media or word of mouth.

Owned media would be a channel which you are in control of such as a blog. This could also include your YouTube channel or Facebook business page.

Paid media is a channel that is paid for, such as your Google adwords, content distribution platform or third party site sponsorship.

It’s important to recognise that with any channel comes a cost — either time, money or both.

Start producing content on your owned media channels and then branch out to your paid and earned media channels.

2) Define your most important channel

When it comes to distributing content it’s important to know where the majority of users are visiting. In most cases it’s your website or blog, which then branches out to social media channels like YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and Twitter.

Your website or blog is your most valuable asset. This is where you want to put your most important messages. This encourages natural linking to your website and encourages shares across your social media channels.

3) Provide content that answers your clients’ questions

Are you using the data from your analytics to drive the type of content you're creating? Content should answer and address questions your target audience is asking.

A good place to find out these questions is in your Webmaster tools account

Within your Webmaster Tools account click ‘Search Traffic’ > ‘Search Queries’.

Here you can find a list of search terms that users typed in before visiting your website.

Filter this spreadsheet so it only shows the most important details.

Avg. position of two and above. These are keywords that you appear on page two and above for in the Google SERP.

CTR above 30%. This will give you keywords with a received click through rate above 30%.

As an example from our own Webmaster Tools account we now have the terms:

  •     ‘voice biometrics banking’
  •     ‘what is catalogue distribution’
 

These terms are being used by people who click on our website. By addressing these questions in the form of a blog post we're providing answers to questions our potential users have.

You can find a much more detailed post on how to do this here

4) Which audiences are engaging with your digital channels?

Step 1 talked about auditing your digital channels. The next step is to define the type of audience per channel. For instance, your Facebook business page will have an audience different to your blog. Your blog audience is more readily able to view longer detailed posts, whereas your Facebook business page audience would rather see snippets of easily digestible information.

For example, let’s say your business has just added a new service to its portfolio.

You should let clients know by creating a blog post which gives a detailed overview of the new service. This is your owned channel so you can be as detailed as you like.

Your earned channel will be your Facebook, Google+ and Twitter feed. The audience here doesn't want to read a detailed post about your new service, so you might want to give a brief overview with a link back to your blog post in case they wish to read more.

You can leverage your paid media channel to amplify your content via a content distribution platform. This could include LinkedIn adverts sending users back to your initial blog post.

5) Align company branding and tone

This is simply the personality of your brand expressed through the written word. It’s important that all the messages your company sends out are unified across all methods of communication.

Start by categorising your company's personality in three words.

You can also ask yourself some other questions:

  • If your company was a person what would they be like?
  • If your company was a car which car make would it be?

Once you have your tone of voice keep it consistent across all your media channels.

6) Have clear objectives

Without purpose and planning it’s just content. Ask yourself the following questions before embarking on a content marketing plan:

  • How will we measure the success of a content marketing campaign?

This could be on page conversions, traffic or page views.

  • Who will be writing the content and who makes up the editorial team?

This one may sound obvious but I've seen it happen many times when a company gets half way through the second month of their programme and they've run out of resources.

  • What problem are we trying to solve?

Dwindling sales, poor customer retention or lack of product awareness may all be causes for a new online strategy.

7) Decide on a mission statement

Before you embark on the content marketing journey try and spell out your company's mission statement. This should include what you’re trying to do and what makes you different from your competitors. Anytime you lose focus, refer back to this statement.

To help with the statement answer the following questions.

  • What is the Purpose of Your Content?

  • Are you selling a product a service that you need to promote?

  • How will your content help a user?

  • What would the ideal outcome be from your Content marketing?

8) Creating audience personas

It’s important that at this stage you have a clear understanding of the kind of people that are using or looking for your unique product or service. The research done in the previous stages will really help you create a clear and concise picture of exactly the kind of person you’re trying to communicate with.

A persona is a fictional person who represents a specific user group for your site.

For an eCommerce website your users could be any of the following personalities:

  • Product focused - This kind of user knows exactly the product they are after.

  • Researchers - This user is still thinking about which product they should buy.

  • Bargain hunters - A user who is looking for the best possible price for a product.

  • Smash and grab - This person just wants to buy a product and leave. They will probably never visit your website again.

  • Time rich - This is someone browsing your website on their lunch break. They may never buy anything from your site.

Conclusions

Content marketing is now part of the course for most businesses. The process can be easy to start but keeping up the momentum can sometimes be challenging.If you do lose momentum remember to read your content mission statement, check out the competition and look to larger companies for ideas that can be used in your own content marketing strategy.

Find out more how we can help you reach more customers and increase conversions with content marketing. Call us today on 1300 725 628.

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About the author
Aidan Sheerin
SEO Consultant

With over 5 years of experience monitoring and reporting on Search Engine Algorithms, Aidan is responsible for the research, development and implementation of clients' SEO campaigns. His main aim is increasing the quality and quantity of traffic to client websites, with a strong focus on content, bespoke reporting and client ROI.