Simply put, content marketing is the technique of creating and publishing, valuable, relevant and unique content on a regular basis for your target audience. This audience needs to be clearly defined, and the content marketing tactics can help to attract and retain this customer base, ultimately helping you generate more online sales or increasing your leads.
Content marketing and SEO
One of the main ranking factors for SEO is content, and as such it’s vital to have an effective content marketing strategy in place to help drive your SEO efforts. Search engines crawl the content on your website to understand what it’s about and then show it, when relevant, to a user searching for something in their browser or app. Search engines like Google want to reward users with the best possible search results and the content on your website plays a big role in how you will rank for these queries. A good content marketing strategy is central to this.
Developing a content marketing strategy
Below is the 7-step process we work through here at The Tomorrow Lab to create and implement an effective content marketing strategy.
Objectives – we begin by outlining the core objectives of your content marketing activity. If you want more online sales or business leads, this becomes the focus for which all content will be created.
Research – this is where our team carry out detailed industry and competitive analysis to see what type of content works well with your target audience, and what we need to focus on to ensure the content marketing efforts can boost your online visibility. We use a number of industry tools to gain better insights into your target audience (we’re creating content for them after all), your competition, and the market as a whole.
Ideation – with the research done and the objectives clear, we begin to create content ideas using a number of idea generation techniques. We can work with you on these, and begin to evaluate the ideas before beginning to create the content and subsequent content calendar.
Creation – here we will begin to develop the content ideas and turn them into content. From short and long-form articles that can feed into your blog or become downloadable guides, to more visual content like infographics and video content, we create and monitor the content we think will work best in attracting customers to your website. There is no ‘one size fits all’ approach here, and the creation phases will constantly be evolving to meet the needs of the changing media and content habits of your customers.
Plan – with the content created, we begin to plan the calendar of activity. Where will the content be posted, who will we ‘reach out to’ and which online channels will be used to maximise the potential of your content.
Promotion – one of the most important stages, and also the most overlooked. We work with you to develop a promotional plan for your content. With millions of pieces of content shared every day, we need to ensure your content gets noticed by your target customers. Our mantra is simple – treat your content like a product! You wouldn’t invest time in creating a product without promoting it, so we adopt the same approach to promoting content online.
Review – perhaps the most important stage of our content marketing process, the review stage is where we look at what worked and what didn’t (not everything works). From providing you with reports and insights to evaluating content efforts and campaigns performance, the information gathered at the review stage feeds into future content marketing efforts to ensure we are always tweaking and improving your strategy. The objectives will be important here as we review whether or not the content marketing strategy helped you achieve your online objectives.
Content marketing beyond your website
Content marketing is also about building relationships – relationships with online publications, press (local, national and trade), bloggers and social media influencers. These key online influencers can help place your content in front of your target audience, and we have a proven process for positioning your content in front of these online audiences.
These groups can help you amplify your content, putting it in front of your customers, allowing you to build awareness, and visibility in the process. Adopting a multi-channel approach to content is crucial. Content can’t just live on a blog post on your website; it needs to hit many channels and many people in many formats.
We create and help you create content – blogs, news stories, videos, images, infographics, ebooks… anything that can sit on your website or other online channels to drive traffic to your website. This content sends out signals to search engines to tell them what your site is about, providing relevancy for your website within search engine results pages. If you sell ‘red shoes’ the content you create needs to tell search engines, and indeed your customers, that your website is relevant for ‘red shoes’.
Need help with your content marketing efforts?
Do you want to find out more about how content marketing can help you grow online? Get in touch today and we can grab a coffee and talk about your business challenges and the role that content marketing can play.
You’ve seen our content marketing process above, does it feel like a good fit for your online challenges?