Content: digital marketing’s secret weapon

News: content marketing

August 29, 2014

Posted in:
News
Small Businesses

Content has cemented itself as a critical part of any digital marketing strategy.  Why? Well, publishing unique, quality content on your website looks great in the eyes of Google and provides you with a bank of updates to post on your social media accounts. And then, of course, there’s all the benefits of creating an engaged community that sits around your brand and products. Now, it may seem daunting to think about a content plan, and many an ‘expert’ will over-complicate their advice with one too many buzzwords. In reality it’s a case of sitting down and thinking about the types of content your customers would find interesting.

Here are some top tips to get you started on your content plan:

Consider your topics

Thinking up topic ideas is definitely not just the preserve of the big boss, or the marketing team. Get everyone involved in thinking of new ideas, ask your friends, ask your customers. Look at what others companies are doing; very often they’ll inspire you to get creative.

Do your research

Who is your target audience and what are they searching for? You can find this out by reading popular industry blogs to see which topics are the most popular (a good indication of this is how many times it has been shared on social media).

Ask your support/customer service teams to send over any common questions your prospects and clients are asking and turn them into ‘best advice’ or ‘top tips’ pieces.

Use Twitter to see what’s trending and use the search function to type in some of your keywords to see the questions people are asking.

Who will be writing your content?

If you have the time to write it in house then great, because who knows your company and its tone of voice better than you? If you do however decide to outsource it you need to put some clear guidelines in place that cover tone, style, voice etc. Consistency is key. It’s also a good idea to supply detailed briefs to make sure that the message you want to deliver comes across right.

Produce a variety of types of content

There are varieties of ways in which you can present your content – don’t be limited by a traditional blog post. Use a mixture of articles, infographics, videos, surveys and white papers.

Establish a content schedule

Put together a content schedule to outline a ‘to do’ list for each month. Which pieces need to be written that month? Remember to consider seasonality and any calendar events that happen to be relevant to your product. Who is the owner of that piece? What is the deadline and where is it being distributed? This way everyone is on the same page and knows exactly what they need to be doing.

Format your content

Make things easy for the reader. Ensure you lay your content out so it’s easy to read, for example, user sub-headers, images, bullet points etc. If you can say something in fewer words, then do so.

Make your content easy to share

Sharing is one of the great joys of life! Add social buttons to each piece of content you produce for your website, it makes it easier for people to share your content on social media and should hopefully increase page views. If you produce an infographic then make sure you add an ‘embed code’ so others can add the infographic to their website.

What works? Do more of that!

Once you’ve set a few pieces of content live take a look at the page views in Google analytics or if you include them within an e-campaign/newsletter take a look at how many clicks each article has received or see how many social shares each article has had.  This way, you can produce more of the content that works.

Proofing – this may sound obvious, but it’s important that you get every article proofed by at least one person.