6 Steps to an Excellent Content Marketing Strategy

Devising an effective content marketing strategy is very important for the content of any website to get the recognition it should get. Just churning out great content is not enough, but marketing such type of great content to fulfill the goals of the website in terms of user experience (UX), user engagement and conversions is also an important factor. However, devising an effective content marketing strategy is not an easy task. It consists of various number of steps such as market research, site audits, content audits, customer surveys and interviews to enlist just a few of the steps. Below a six step content marketing strategy framework is presented to give a comprehensive idea about the process involved in devising an effective content marketing strategy.

Effective Content Marketing Strategy
Devising a comprehensive and an effective content marketing strategy is not an easy task.

Step 1: Comprehensive Research of the Company Involved

One should have a fundamentally strong understanding about the company for which the content strategy is to be devised. The entire working of the company is to be understood like the back of one’s hand in order to devise a good content marketing strategy for it. Hence, in this process a lot of questions need to be asked to the client. These questions may include but not be limited to what is the business model of the company? How does the company bring revenue? What specific products or services of the company bring in the most revenue? What is the reason for that particular product or service in netting the most revenue? Why and where are the other products or services lacking?

Then after these fundamental questions have been answered, the questionnaire moves to the sales section of the company and you may ask questions like how is the sales team structured and on what metrics are they measured by? Then comes the turn of knowing about the existing customer base of the company and how does the company attract their customers? What kind of methods they use to attract customers and how do they stack up against each other? Then, the last part of the questionnaire is devoted fully to understand the existing content generation process of the company. Questions have to be asked like are there any editorial guidelines that are being followed currently? What is the internal process to get the content approved? What kind of content is being produced currently? What kind of branding, if any, is the company engaging in?

Effective Content Strategy Model
Both the company and the customer have to be researched comprehensively for devising an effective content strategy

Step 2: Data Collection

After getting the information about the company, next step is to get comprehensive information regarding the content and the website of the company and the type of customers it is targeting and attracting. The more the type of content produced currently and the customer are understood properly, the more robust will be the outcome of a good content marketing strategy. It is also important to understand what type of content we want to produce and for this it is imperative that the customer be understood in detail. This can be done in a number of ways, and one of them is competitor analysis. You need to research aspects like and gather data on what types of content are your competitors producing and how much traction are such type of contents gaining in terms of user engagement? Are there enough comments on their blog posts? How many shares their Facebook posts have got?

After this comes the keyword research. One needs to understand what kind of keywords are we targeting and what kind of keywords are needed to be targeted to bring traffic. What and how are the landing pages for such keywords? What kind of viewership and user engagement does the current combination of keyword and landing page bring? Then comes the role of market research and customer surveys. At this stage, the surveys may vary depending on whether the company is B2B or B2C. Some of the questions that may be asked to your B2B clients include demographic related questions like occupation, industry, job, title, age and gender for any particular customer. Then you have to probe the customer more regarding how long you have been a customer for that particular company? How likely are you to recommend the specific product or service of the company to others? Then specific product or service related questions should be asked.

Step 3: Preparation and Assessment

After all the necessary data has been collected from various sources, it is very important to assess the data that has been collected and correlate with the data that you already have on hand. Meaningful interpretations have to be obtained about the company and its services, the services it is offering and the kind of customers it is targeting. In addition, in depth information should be available regarding the customers it is engaging with and the type of content this is being produced currently and the future targets thereof. In the world of measurable metrics and analytic s, you should take care to measure the following analytic s before and after the creation of the content.

There are traffic, page views, pages per visit, average time on website, entrances/exits, conversion rate, bounce rate, page authority, rankings, etc. Once such type of metrics have been established, it is time for carrying out a comprehensive content audit. The purpose of content audit is to evaluate how the previous content on the site has performed and as well as to determine the future direction of the website in terms of the content.

After going through this comprehensive and research intensive process, the company gets a clear idea regarding what opportunities are present in the website content and how it can be leveraged in order to get the maximum viewership and conversions. During this research process, not only the content is audited, but the process involved in the generation of such content is also audited and evaluated and recommendations are made right from the stage when the content is conceived in the mind of the owner or writer to its execution stage where that particular piece is uploaded on the website. The tone, voice and the style of content is also studied and improvements are made.

Step 4: Prospecting

During this process, the channels through which traction for the content that has been produced are studied and various refinements are made on the type of content to be generated so that it suits the particular traction method that has been chosen for the promotion of the content produced. Also, during this stage, it is important for the company to keep itself abreast of the specific industry news it is involved in and keep on top of the content that its competitors are creating. This will give a streamlined approach and will help in identifying clearly the strengths and weaknesses of the company’s own content produced and the kind of traction method that is to be used in order to stay ahead of its competitors.

Step 5: Creating and Promoting the Content

Now, the process of creating the actual content after all the above listed processes is started and care is taken to ensure that the content created follows both the internal protocols and processes that were established in the step three of the process. In addition, whosoever is responsible for the content produced has to take care that editorial standards are being followed and assess that content that is being creating is actually doing the job it is supposed to do. The content that has been created has to confirm to the checklist of is the content credible? The content has also be informative and should be easy to understand. The content has to be useful and something must be in the content to make it exceptional to the customers.

Promotion of the Content Produced Through the Right Channels
Promotion of the content produced through the right channels is very important part of content marketing strategy

Step 6: Assess the Performance of Content

After the content has been uploaded on the website following all mentioned above processes, it is not time to evaluate the content produced and promoted. Now it is time to answer that how a particular piece of content has performed, what teachings did that particular piece of content give to the company editors and are there any changes to be made in the process. In addition all the data that has been received in the form of website analytic has to be assessed concerning that particular piece of content.

The long term goal of the editor or the content writer should be that the content produced is able to fulfill the original goals of the content marketing strategy. Over a passage of time, producing such type of engaging and informative content should become easier, more clearly as leanings are developed and iterated every time. Even though the process seems to be resource intensive in the beginning, as time progresses, the goal is that producing effective and meaningful content for the company becomes a norm rather than the exception. The other aim is to significantly up the quality of the content that is produced through the process mentioned above and the audiences should be able to lap up the content produced.

The Best Content Strategies to Attract Quality Traffic

Quality content creation is really the only important strategy your business needs to attract traffic to your website or webstore. You cannot get your writers to create a load of mediocre content that runs into hundreds of pages and expect visitors to come and read through all those pages.

All strategies you can think of beyond that single most important strategy follow from the assumption that you have invested resources into ongoing content creation.

Content Strategy
The Best Content Strategies to Attract Quality Traffic

Such content has to be:
Original: There are a lot of people writing about a lot of things they do not really know. Every writer cannot be an expert at everything, but then every writer must make a genuine attempt to first understand the topic and write on it from an informed perspective.

Useful: Primary school teachers are brilliant at re-purposing toys and objects to teach new concepts and ideas to the toddlers. Content on your site should give your audience ‘something to do’. It should be useful. Every site cannot offer rare insights into the stock market, but it can certainly talk about its own products in ways nobody thought of before. That’s useful.

Easy: Uncomplicated, easy-to-follow content works best on the web. Anybody and everybody should be able to put your information to good use. That will be difficult to achieve on a website about rocket science, of course, but you get the drift.

What can you do with your own content to attract traffic?

Keep tabs on quality write-ups and their authors. Good web content writers are indeed hard to find in the haystack of mediocre wannabes. Grab the good ones before the competition does. Finding quality and catchy content for your web pages can get unbelievably hard.

Give your audience some fun with your offerings. Contests, surveys, reviews, how-to blog posts, e-books, whitepapers, discounts, deals, and bundled offers are the stuff of pure online fun! Free downloads, giveaways, and even virtual gifts work quite well.

Use innovation to ensure that your offerings always look new. Your new products or services need not – and cannot – be altogether ground-breaking. You should be able to present the old wine in new bottles, however.

Diversify your content with infographics, audio, video, slides, cheat sheets, lists, how-to instructions, diagrams, and so on. Readers love these because they give them a break from row after row of textual content and make it easier to understand.

Experiment with pricing. Offering special pricing to special customers has its merits. Rewarding regular or registered customers and frequent shoppers will help you attract a very important segment of your customers.

In retrospect, providing great value at all levels to customers is the only REAL strategy open to a business that wishes to get a steady stream of traffic to its website. The best websites with the highest traffic volumes do that perfectly. Their content, products, services, image, perception, social media efforts, marketing efforts, public relations, and consistent performance are all examples of the best strategies to attract traffic.

And we are not talking about only the Apples and Ferraris of the world. Any business can re-invent, re-invigorate their content strategies and attract massive traffic.

How to Secure the Best Content for Your Site

So you think the content on your website will get you the traffic and sales you want? Think again. Such content will need to be different from the run-of-the-mill content you generally find on ordinary websites. While the exact parameters for defining quality content will vary by site and purpose, some generic hallmarks of quality content writing are as follows:

Write for the audience: Writers who simply insert keywords cannot deliver engaging content. They write for the search engines, rather than for the reader. If your site figures on several first pages of search results and does not provide engaging content, what’s the use of showing up on the first pages? Write for the people who will read and benefit from the content.Content Strategy

Take good care of the flow: Content should flow well – from sentence to sentence and paragraph to paragraph. Nobody likes content that rambles on – the kind that gets written when keywords are given undue importance. The content should be easy to read aloud.

Grammar is important: Apart from the occasional typo in blog posts, you cannot afford to neglect grammatical accuracy. Grammar is what makes your content easy to understand. Faulty grammar makes it difficult to communicate effectively with audience or business community.

Provide useful information: Provide useful information through your website pages, product descriptions, reviews, blog posts, how-to articles, e-books, and whitepapers. These are some good ways of offering such information. It should be information that your customers will lap up eagerly and come back for more.

Retain originality – always: Your content writer will need to look up diverse sources of information to create quality content. Provide clear instructions that he/she is not supposed to ‘lift’ even two words from other websites and sources. Also provide for the diverse sources of information. Great content comes straight from the heart – and brain.

Learn how to use keywords: Keyword stuffing worked earlier when Google and other search engines were not as smart as they are now. You can nevertheless use keywords to good effect. The thing to do is to write for the audience and then use a few good keywords in just the right places. Your content writer will know how to do that, if he is any good.

Brevity is the soul of wit: This is the mantra for writing successful content, not just good or great content. The ‘keep it simple and sweet’ principle (K.I.S.S.) works like nothing else. If your site’s content delivers maximum information in minimum words, nothing like it. Again, your content writer can do that.

Finally, make sure your content writers are just as integral a part of your organization as your developers, designers, and other staff. Quality content – more than anything else – will make people notice your products and services. Writing quality content requires loads of inspiration, information, and a writer’s desire to contribute to the business effort. Make sure you make those available to your best writers.