No doubt you’ve heard the phrase, “content is king,” coined by Microsoft’s Bill Gates back in 1996, and it still applies today. Content truly is the backbone of marketing because it’s what you present to your audience that makes them take an interest in you. That’s why good quality content goes a long way toward building your brand and business, but knowing what to say is only part of the process. If you want your content to really make an impact, you have to develop a strategy to get it to strike where and how you want it to. That’s why we’ve outlined the 4 steps to making a killer content strategy that will pack a punch with your readers.
First and foremost, your content needs to educate, so write what you know. We know marketing because it’s what we do, and we know people have questions about marketing, so we provide content to answer those questions. Whether it be articles, blogs, videos or whatever it takes to educate people on what it is you or your organization does.
Writing what you know is also more honest because people trust that you know what you’re talking about. If we knew pools, we’d talk about pools, but we don’t, so we stick to marketing, and if people are trusting what they read from you, they’re more interested in what you have to say.
Where is all this educating leading? To more traffic. The more you educate and interest people, the more you’re going to get noticed. People consider you an authority on your subject matter, people like Google, who will then grant you higher organic rankings based on that authority. Higher rankings equals more traffic, so it pays to know what you’re talking about.
Post, post, post. Content that educates is the basis of your strategy, but if you want people to notice it, you’ve got to post it and post a lot of it. The idea is to build a library of content giving you more opportunities to be discovered. Starting out, we recommend posting at least two pieces of content per week, whether you create it or not, as long as it has substance and is relatable to what you want to talk about.
The whole idea behind frequency is creating opportunities to be found by users and keeping a fresh flow of content on your site for search engines. You can have a great blog about social media marketing, but if you only post once a month, you aren’t going to be found because you’re not staying fresh in people’s minds. Additionally, you aren’t staying fresh in the engines minds either which will count against your search ranking. This goes back to the idea of being an authority on your subject matter because the more you post, the more likely people are going to see you and see that you have a lot to say. The more you talk to and educate people, the more likely they are to know you exist and the more traffic you will get.
3. KEYWORD PLANNING AND TRACKING
Knowing what to say and how often to say it will definitely help get you traffic, but you also need to make sure it’s getting you the right kind of traffic and enough of it. That’s where keyword planning and tracking fit into the content strategy equation.
Researching keywords and phrases helps you understand your target audience and what they’re looking for when they search. If your business is selling coffee, then your content should use words and phrases people are using when they search for coffee. Makes sense, right? There’s a lot of competition when it comes to search results pages, and utilizing the right keywords and phrases makes it easier to find your content by getting it to the top of those search pages. It’s why we use research tools to take a good look at our business, industry, and competition so we can determine what words and phrases are going to get us the most attention and traffic while still being relevant to our content.
Keywords and phrases can certainly help propel you to the top of organic search rankings, but once you’re there, you want to stay there, and tracking helps you see what kind of traffic your content is bringing in and how much of it. Using tracking methods to look at information such as page views, general traffic, and bounce rate helps you see what your audience is interested in when they look at your page. By tracking how visitors react to your content, you get a better idea of what works for you and what doesn’t. The more you know how your content is performing the more you can stay on top in search results rankings and the more traffic you can bring in.
4. GIVE IT TIME
We’re all about instant gratification, so of course we want to see results right away, but as the saying goes, “good things are worth waiting for.” You’re not going to see results overnight, and you’re definitely not from just one piece of content. Which is why we tell clients that you are going to have to wait to see an impact from your content strategy.
You still have to post quality content and do it regularly, but don’t expect an immediate return just because you started this strategy a week ago. Typically, it can take anywhere from 3 to 6 months before you begin to see an impact. Content strategy is all about building, and it takes time to create and distribute enough content for people and search engines to start paying attention to it. You’ll see results…eventually, but you have to be patient and understand that a content strategy is a lot like planting a tree: you have to make the effort to plant the seed and wait for it to grow, only your content tree will grow a lot faster.
There may not be a lot of steps that go into a killer content strategy, but there is still a lot of time and effort that does. If you want your content to really work for you, you have to educate your audience, post frequently, use keyword planning and tracking, and give it time to see results. It won’t be overnight, but using these 4 steps will grant you more opportunities to be noticed so you can go from making a slight impression to making a dramatic impact.