Anyone can put a billboard up on the freeway. But can they guarantee it will be effective?
“Being seen” doesn’t equate to effectiveness when it comes to content. Views and clicks are just the beginning of the journey down the funnel. To make it all the way to the end, you’re going to need messaging that resonates with your audience on a deeper level — one that builds a relationship with your audience.
How? Start with the basics:
Define Your Goals
Figure out why you’re interested in creating content in the first place. If it’s simply to get words on the page and hit a certain word count because you heard that Google looks favorably on sites with a lot of content, that approach could be detrimental to your long-term goals.
Yes, writing a plethora of keyword-rich content will garner you some clicks, but in order for those clicks to buy your product, visit your organization, or sign up for your service, your readers are going to need to see a larger inherent value. If they don’t, those clicks will end up being only clicks — and no conversions.
Ask yourself, “What are your content goals?”
Do you want to blog to fuel content on digital marketing channels? Or do you only care about SEO ranking? Are you flooding social media to keep your brand relevant, or do you want to use its audience insights to bolster other marketing initiatives?
Ultimately, what type of relationship do you want to cultivate with your audience?
Know Your Audience
This is easier said than done. Defining your audience(s) is a process that requires solid market research and testing before you find a message that resonates. Who are you speaking to? What do they respond to? What drives them to make decisions?
Even if you don’t know all the answers to these questions, testing out different types of messaging AND analyzing the data from this content can provide useful insight. If a user clicked on your blog post from an organic Google search, what keywords did they use to find you? Did they click elsewhere on your website after reading the post? Did they read the full post? How far down the page did they scroll? (If they didn’t, take a look at our tips to optimize your landing pages)
Or, if your brand is active on social media, which posts get the most engagement? Which lack engagement? What are your competitors doing? Where do they see the most likes? What are the untapped opportunities?
All of these questions provide clues to help you narrow down your target audience.
Quality vs. Quantity
So, you have a goal in mind, you’ve defined your audience, how do you determine your content plan?
The quality of your content is going to be key. It’s better to have a few solid pieces of content that actively contribute to your brand’s overall goals as opposed to pages and pages that only serve to fill space. Yet that doesn’t mean your content should be sparse — you’re going to need more than just a few pieces of content to keep your audience satisfied and acquire new users in the process.
Again, it all comes down to your audience analysis. What trends are you seeing in the data? Do your emails have higher open rates on certain days and times? Do you see social engagement fall off after a certain number of posts per week? Or do you see it pick up? On your website, what is the average number of pages that users view before they bounce? How much time are they spending on those pages? These are the types of questions that will help you determine a good balance.
We all know there’s plenty of noise out there — plenty of mediocre content, but also plenty of great content, too. The trick is to ask the right questions and cut through the noise. At Lifeblue, we love doing that and we believe in empowering you to do the same. A lot of us are former journalists, after all ;p