Content marketing creates organic traffic, but it requires sound strategy. Separating the two is like going hunting blindfolded. You aim in a general direction, pull the trigger, and hope you don’t do too much damage. In those circumstances, hitting what you are aiming for is a bonus.
To employ an effective content strategy for websites, you must know two things: your goal and your audience. Use these creative solutions to get a better feel for your purpose and your client base.
Content Development Through Storytelling
It helps to think of your marketing strategy as a work of fiction. Every good story has at least five elements: the hero, the setting, a central desire, an antagonist to overcome, and a plot that ties the other elements together. Each of these elements of fiction has a counterpart in creating a content strategy.
The heroes of our story are the brand and customers. One approach to content marketing strategy is through the tale of a brand’s journey to form a relationship with their customer. Another angle might tell the story of a customer’s search for the right brand to meet their needs.
A good story doesn’t have much going for it without a good background. Background encompasses more than a physical setting; it’s also the situation the hero is in when the story begins. Whether you are conducting audits, content inventories, or stakeholder interviews, understanding your brand’s landscape is vital to your web management content strategy.
The Central Desire
Every hero has a driving purpose that motivates them throughout the journey. Knowing your brand’s purpose opens up a world of opportunities to implement strategies. You should have an idea of overarching goals for the brand as well as content-specific goals. The former helps shape the latter.
For content marketing purposes, the antagonists are your competitors. A word of advice: don’t try to slay the dragon. Instead, visualize yourself and your competitors as running a race. You don’t have to tear down another brand to excel.
Now that you’ve defined the central elements, the only objective that remains is tying them together with a sound strategy. Consider how your heroes will interact, what obstacles they face, and how your brand will rise above the competition to craft your website content strategy.
Developing a Content Strategy with Character Sketches
Every good story needs solid, dimensional characters. It is the same with content strategy for the web. You may know everything there is to know about your brand, but how well do you know your customers?
Buyer personas are a creative way to visualize your target market. Use this basic outline to build one or more personas that represents your ideal customer.
Shakespeare once famously asked, “What’s in a name?” It may be tempting to overlook this detail, but giving your persona a name makes it easier to see them as a real person. Avoid generic names like John Smith in favor of a name with more character.
Key details such as the persona’s life role(s), their company, education level, hobbies, and interests all help develop a marketing strategy that will attract this type of individual.
Decide the persona’s gender and age range. Note household income, including spousal income if applicable. Also, consider geographical location. Does this persona live out in the country, in the heart of a bustling city, or in idyllic suburbia?
Every individual has quirks and habits that make them unique. What catch phrases does this persona use? What mannerisms help define them?
Using Personas to Create Content Strategy
Now that you are acquainted with the persona think about what terms they regularly use for online searches. Use these keywords to create longer keyword phrases and web content that immediately sparks the interest of your persona. Build social media and blog posts around these long tail keywords. Since the subject is something that lights up this persona, you can afford to spend time fully exploring options that center around it.
Once you know the direction your content will follow, put yourself in the persona’s shoes. Is this a busy person who appreciates the brevity of Twitter, or an adventurous shutterbug who prefers Instagram? Focus on two or three platforms this persona is most likely to use rather than attempting to cover all bases at once.
A fresh perspective can give new life to routine tasks. Use these creative ideas to write your brand’s story, and live an adventure through the process.