Content marketing strategy is crucial for business today. If you don’t have content on your website about what you do and what problems you solve for people, you won’t show up on Google when your ideal prospect is searching for.
That’s why when you search for fishing gear you never get a site in those search results that is about bowling balls. Because bowling ball websites don’t have content about fishing gear.
The point is, you need to have content on your website that talks about what you do if you want to show up in the search results.
Here’s how to build a content marketing strategy that drives business.
1) Make Sure Your Audience Targeting Is On Point
Before you dive into content creation, you need to know who you’re creating content for. Often, businesses have multiple audiences for the same service. For example, an architect could do commercial or residential work. Those audiences are vastly different.
You also could have a business where your prospects are more broken out by their interests. A divorce lawyer could have people who are mostly concerned about divorce and children and other who are focused on divorce and finance. Those audiences will respond to and interact with different content.
When your content matches the needs of your ideal prospect, all of your marketing works better. By targeting, you have a smaller pool of people to market to but you get MUCH better results.
2) Make Data-Driven Content Decisions
It’s a really bad idea to make assumptions about content marketing strategy. Because if you think you know the best strategy without checking the data and you’re wrong, you will invest a huge amount of time creating content that no one is searching for.
Data-driven content decisions point you in the right direction. You still need to test and evaluate your results, but again, you will use data to do that as well.
So what kind of data are we talking about? Let’s start off with keyword research.
The goal of keyword research is to see how people search for what you do. You’ll be able to see the data about the keywords so that you can evaluate the best opportunities to get your content more visible in the search results so more target prospects come to your website.
There are many tools you can use for keyword research. Tools like SEMRush and AHrefs offer free versions but their paid versions give you complete data. The tool that is completely free is Google’s own Keyword Planner.
The Google Keyword Planner is a part of Google Ads. So you need to make a Google Ads account to use it. You have to put a credit card into Google Ads to use the Keyword Planner. You don’t have to run ads to use the planner, but you will get more complete data is you are spending money on ads.
The keyword tools allow you to enter a few started terms and they will return many other search terms that you may want to consider. Once you see the various ways that people search for things, you’ll start to understand that many search keywords are related and have the same or similar meaning.
We like to group keywords by subject and consider each subject for content creation. Then you can create multiple pieces of content around a subject using different keywords.
You should consider the number of searches per month and the competition for that keyword when picking your targets. Keywords with thousands of searches are not always the best targets because they are usually less targeted and everyone is trying to rank for them.
3) Research Content Marketing Examples
Content marketing isn’t new. It’s been a strategy that some early adopters have been using since the late 1990’s. So there are plenty of examples of content marketing that you can find with a simple Google search.
This article on Content Marketing Institute has some great examples that you can check out.
Here are our favorite content marketing examples and how they coincide with the buyer’s journey:
- Targeted Blog Posts – Blog posts can be targeted to keywords that you want to rank for in the search results. More importantly, they can mirror the awareness stage of the buyer’s journey.
Your content at this stage should be helpful and educational. Do not turn your blog posts into a sales pitch. People at this stage are looking for answers and help. They are not ready to be sold. If you try to sell before they are ready to buy, you will lose them forever.
- Informational E-books – These stalwarts of content marketing also fall under the awareness stage of the buyer’s journey and are often your prospect’s first interaction with your website.
Don’t think that you can just slap an e-book together. You need to produce content that has a lot of value for your prospect. When your content has value to your prospect, they will give up their contact information like their email address. Personal data is currency. If you ask for someone’s email address, they know you will email them and they weigh that versus the value they feel they are getting from your content.
- Case Studies and Testimonials – Awesome content for the consideration stage of the buyer’s journey when your prospect is evaluating vendors. This content is a great way for you to identify when a prospect has moved to this stage. We often use this type of content in marketing automation workflows.
The case study or testimonials content doesn’t have to be super fancy. A nicely branded one or two page PDF will work just fine.
Once someone downloads this content, you can assume that they are at the consideration stage of the buyer’s journey. You next content offering to them should be something for the decision stage.
- Content Around Pricing or Other Late Stage Questions – When you are trying to use content to identify when someone is ready for a sales discussion, the decision stage is what you want.
Price is always the last decision a prospect makes before a purchase. I love this fancy new sports car. I want to buy it, but can I afford it.
So if you offer up content around pricing when someone interacts with that content it’s very likely they are a qualified prospect.
Your pricing content doesn’t have to be a price quote. You can talk about a range of prices and why certain services may be more or less expensive. There are many ways to create this kind of content.
As an alternative to pricing content, you can think about common questions that your prospects ask right before they make a purchase decision. These questions and their answers can also be effective decision stage content.
These tips are the basis of getting started with a content marketing strategy that will drive business for you. If you have questions or need help building a content marketing strategy, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at (973) 770-4668.