You’ve got a smart website design and some great ideas. Now what? It’s time to put together a content strategy — one created with clear goals and a purposeful direction. Without that, your website won’t attract the right audience; and, even if it does, it won’t keep them.
So what do you need to do?
Define Your Audience
Nothing about your marketing and content strategy will work if you don’t know who you’re trying to reach. Truly understanding your target audience will give you the insight you need to determine the most important subjects to cover, the voice you need to adopt, and how to frame your content. You’ll even have a better idea of where your audience is hanging out, so you’re not dumping great content into the internet-ether, wondering why no one is reading or engaging.
One of the best ways to narrow your audience down is by creating a buyer persona. This takes a little work, but the end result is priceless. Some of the most common techniques for gathering the info you need include:
- Reviewing your current contact and customer database to identify trends (ie. age demographics, geographic locations, etc);
- Adding forms to your website that require the user to submit demographic information you can use to better understand who is visiting or looking at what you have to offer; or
- Interviewing past customers and referrals, both good and bad, to find out about their personal backgrounds and other key points related to your product and their buying power.
Taking the time to analyze some statistics or interview a few people from each of your known audience groups will give you the data you need to write up a fictitious buyer personal. Once you have this “bio” written out, you’ll have a clear, usable guide your marketing team can use to target future content creation.
Figure Out Your Goals
Creating content for the sake of having something to put out there is a waste of your time. You need to have S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Based) goals for your marketing strategies to work. Are you looking for new customer leads? Email newsletter sign-ups? Product orders?
You need to know exactly what you’re striving for. Don’t be vague, either. You have to attach numbers to your ideas. You want 1,000 (measurable) new email sign-ups (specific)? Are email sign-ups what you really need right now (relevancy)? How long will you give yourself to achieve this goal in weeks or months (time-based)? Is your time frame really realistic (achievable)?
Concrete answers to these questions will help you determine what type of content you need to create. Website content, social posts, infographics, and any other type of content you create should be designed with a clear goal: feeding into your S.M.A.R.T. funnel.
Okay. You know who you’re trying to reach and what your goals are for those people. Now how do you make sure they see what you’re creating? It’s time to promote. You’re going to need to look back at your initial target audience research for guidance on where to spend the majority of your time.
Let’s say, for example, you’re marketing a beauty product designed for teens and young adults. Content marketed on Instagram is more likely to gain attention, receive engagement, and drive the results you’re looking for, than say for instance, content marketed on LinkedIn. Developing a skin-care line for more mature adult women? That demographic is still hanging out and interacting more on Facebook.
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t market or cross-promote on other platforms. It does mean you may need to adjust your content-delivery strategy on each to make sure you’re making the best impact.
Of course, your marketing team will also need to explore pay-per-click marketing platforms, retargeting tools, and the myriad of other paid promotional options out there.
Remember to always ask yourself these questions:
Plug those answers into your content creation and overall marketing strategy and you are bound to see a transformation in your results.