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How to Create an Effective Content Marketing Strategy

The ultimate aim of any marketing strategy is to attract an audience, engage them and convert a user’s interest into a sale. However, with the incredible popularity of social media as a theoretically high ROI commercial tool, it is easy to forget that a content strategy based solely on Facebook likes and Twitter followers may well be adding to the fan base, but it is unlikely to have any measurable impact on the actual conversion rate. For that, you will always need effective, targeted website content

Why content marketing is more than social media

Of course, a social media fan base is an invaluable resource when assessing brand image, likeability and demographic, but to build a solid relationship with your chosen audience — one that will supersede the next wave of virtual social communication services and actively impact conversion goals — it is vital to create a content marketing strategy that offers more than 140 characters and a picture of a kitten.

Essential content marketing strategy tips

Although your industry should dictate the tone and style of any content piece, preferred audience demographic and ultimate conversion goals, there are three essential points that can help any business plan an integrated textual strategy that is specific to its needs.

1. Make a list and use it wisely

By making a list of your target audience’s interests, you are well-placed to plan out a content strategy that entertains and informs, as well as offers significant scope for assessment. By picking a core theme and then providing regular articles that deal with it, as well as any peripheral interests for a bit of variety, you can be sure that you are accommodating your audience’s needs in a focused and engaging manner. In this way, by presenting your website as a valuable and informative resource, you will be able to build customer loyalty and retain user interest whilst positively affecting conversion.

For example, suppose your core subject matter is the process of conveyance. In that case, peripheral articles may deal with mortgage documentation requirements, maintenance legalities or any other issue that might interest your target market. By offering insight into new laws or legislative amendments, you are providing the kind of content that your audience wants. You will then be directing traffic and increasing SEO rankings whilst assessing your success via enquiries and conversions.

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2. Write for your audience, not search engines

The phrase “Content is King” has become ubiquitous when purporting to offer advice on the best way to build a content-driven SEO strategy, but it is rarely explained in terms of a textual plan. For example, the use of keywords is widely thought to be the most important element when trying to increase SEO rankings. However, you are rarely warned that focusing on keyword repetition rather than overall readability will actually be more damaging than helpful. So, if you attract a visitor by the promise of engaging content but only offer a densely packed, unreadable and uninformative article instead, the visitor is unlikely to return, let alone convert into a sale or recommend your website or service to anyone else.

Instead, make a short list (say, three individual keywords or three repetitions of one keyword per 150 words) instead of filling any specific article with a disproportionate number of keywords. This way, you will keep your audience engaged, and the search engines will have what their algorithms demand: natural traffic that shows relevance and popularity.

3. Use your social media feeds tactically

As was noted earlier, Facebook and Twitter are considered handy tools, but due to their nature, the content they deliver is often unfocused and reactive. For a marketing strategy to be effective, it should always be proactive and driven by projected goals. So, the benefit of well-thought-out website content is that it can be used to populate social media feeds with a core theme while allowing the reactive nature to gather more followers.

By considering an article as a ‘product’ to be advertised and integrating social media feeds tactically — as a tool to inform followers of a new offering — you can direct these particular fans to your website, where you are more able to convert interest to sales. Additionally, by regularly assessing your analytics, you will be able to see not only where the traffic is coming from but also what’s inspiring users to visit. With that in mind, if a particular theme is not receiving appropriate reactions, it may be wise to find a new topical focus. On the other hand, if a certain subject is garnering more attention than others, then efforts should be made to maintain traffic. This can be done by continuing to provide new content based on that high popularity.

Ultimately, an effective content marketing strategy recognises the importance of consistently fulfilling audience expectations. That means you must be sure that yours is designed to regularly and reliably engage your target demographic — no matter where they came from.

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