Serving Your Web Visitors Ace Content
Long summer evenings, freshly mowed lawns, a crisp set of whites, strawberries and cream, and unwavering support to Andy in his pursuit of his 1st major. What better time to put a content marketing plan in place to serve up the freshest content and whip up your online exposure, leads and sales?
Here are our 10 steps to becoming a content champion:
1. Put a Plan In Place
Even the simplest of plans will do to establish who you are talking to, what you are saying and what you want to achieve. Common goals include brand awareness raising, increase web traffic, leads and sales and don’t forget those KPIs (clicks, enquiries, follows, likes etc.). This planning extends to a content plan and a good place to start is around significant calendar dates to boost topical interest.
2. Research = Knowledge = Power
Make things easier by knowing who you're targeting and what you're up against. There's no shortage of easily attainable, demographic data to find out where your customers 'hang out' to ensure your content ends up in the right place at the right time. Blogs, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest are just some examples. Research extends to your competition - find out what they are saying and establish ways of getting ahead - there is after all, enough competition to fill Centre Court, SW19.
3. Memorable Content
Interesting blog categories, tempting newsletter titles, regular features are some examples of rolling out a successful content marketing plan. Also try interviews, reviews, guest bloggers, tip of the month, 'ask the expert' a 'hot topic' or even a quiz or poll. And don't forget Friday fun to ease your audience into the weekend.
4. Good Content in Good Places
A lot has been written about Google's latest updates and the need for a regular supply of great content to achieve decent rankings. Google should be treated like another customer, all be it a rather important one. So let your passion, knowledge and credibility shine through and make sure this great content is easily accessed (by Google and customers) so that in the event of a tie-break, you always edge it.
5. Google Link Bait
Some content will be outright link bait (tasty titbits for Google, Bing and Yahoo!) and there is nothing shameful about that! You want Google to bite, not to call fault on your content and there is a list of best practice tips to keep you on the ball - we’d only be too happy to share our experience with you.
6. Encourage Feedback
Allowing user feedback is a great way to engage with your customers, build content, online authority and confidence (which is usually the biggest hurdle to overcome in content marketing). Prospective customers may well test your levels of response and customer service so make sure that someone is in position to field all feedback and enquiries.
As well as identifying a content champion, try to involve more than one person to contribute to your content creation and distribution – can you think about a guest blogger? Marketing by definition relies on self-confidence in putting yourself and your brand forward. If you have online ambition you have to get out there and a collaborative approach will give you strength in numbers.
8. Mix it Up
As well as a range of content themes and platforms - try different types of content, e.g. images, infographics and video to visibly stand out from the competition and keep more customers satisfied. This ‘blended’ approach to content creation is also a widely accepted and expected part of search results.
9. Give your Content Wings
One content piece: numerous destinations. Going back to your planning, remember to fire out all this valuable content across all channels for maximum exposure and ROI potential. This not only extends the visibility but the shelf life of your content too. And with Google looking increasingly to social signals and quality content your search profile will be boosted too.
10. Practice (and Measurement) Makes Perfect
Only through a regular supply of content and the ability to measure all activity will you ensure a healthy ROI. Traffic to your website ticks one box: the real returns come from the right target market with a low bounce rate and healthy conversion rates. It also helps to know what success looks like which underlines the importance of setting and watching your KPIs closely.
"As a luxury brand online, we need to continually update our content to add value and offer our customers the best possible advice. We promote the personality of the brand through detailed product descriptions, style tips and a personal shopper service and ensure this valuable promotional material is pushed through our site and social media channels.."
Shona Bain, MD, www.sheenashonajewellery.co.uk
Read more tips about starting an online business from Shona
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