The IT Marketing Agency's Joss Spinks shows resellers how to get more traffic to their websites.
It’s safe to say that content marketing alone won’t deliver amazing results. It’s content marketing employed strategically and repeatedly that will deliver the best results – from greater organic traffic to higher SEO rankings or more prospects to a higher blog rank.
I’ve created a three-step guide to creating an effective content strategy - by engaging in this process, then repeating it – you’ll be able to develop a powerful approach that will provide your audience with valuable content; engage these audiences, raise your online profile and produce healthy amounts of organic traffic to your website.
Step 1: Understand Your Audience
There’s really only one place to start in this entire process – researching and understanding your intended audience. This will help you get to know your audience, what their problems or needs are, what they need to help solve these problems and how to make sure they know that you are the person to help them sort these out.
It starts with building out your buyer personas - before you can start creating content, you need to figure out who your target buyers are. What sort of person do you want to be reading your content? The best way of understanding your audience is by creating these buyer personas.
So what do you need to map out?
- Background – basic details about your ideal customer
- Job Details – key job responsibilities, common challenges
- Education & Hobbies
- Gender, Age, Income, Geographic Location
- Decision-Making Ability
By analysing the path your customers take, targeting new prospects becomes more accurate and ultimately, much more effective. Don’t forget to use demographics to gain a better understanding of whom you are pushing content out to!
Read Forbe's take on understanding your audience here.
Step 2: Identify the Buying Cycle
When making a purchase decision, the typical buying cycle follows four steps:
Certain marketing channels will play a role throughout the entire buying cycle – blog posts or social media for example. But prospects are searching for information at varying stages within this cycle and the types of content you are pushing out need to suit these different stages – different content for each stage in other words.
It’s important to create the right type of content for every phase of the buying cycle – this is why you’ve understood your audience in step one!
Circle Studio has a helpful way of creating content for every stage of the customer cycle, which you can read here.
Step 3: Create an Editorial Calendar
You’ve spent a lot of time planning your audience and content type, now it’s time to execute this properly – a daunting task.
To tackle this phase of your strategy, you’ll need to rely on an editorial calendar, a tool to manage the process of creating, publishing and planning your entire content marketing strategy. Luckily, it’s the easiest part of the process to start, but requires on-going dedication to get right.
Once you’ve selected the type of calendar you’d like to use (outlook, Google, online etc) follow these steps:
- Place goals and work your way backwards
- Work out how much content you need to create
- Fill out the calendar with specific dates
- Sync with major events or existing content you’ve already built
- Find opportunities to repurpose and reference other content
- Start publishing and keep doing so
Start now by creating a free editorial Google Calendar using HubSpot's step-by-step guide.
That’s it – three easy-to-follow steps that will help you to create your best ever content marketing strategy – it doesn’t seem that daunting after all, does it?
Now that you have taken the time and gone through the process, go through it again, and again – you’re not going to get hundreds and thousands of visitors and downloads after a couple of weeks of content marketing.
This process takes time, dedication and regular influx of new content. Keep creating, keep engaging, keep refining and most important of all, keep doing it.
About the author
Joss Spinks is account manager at The IT Marketing Agency.