According to a recent survey, 72% of B2B respondents look at blogs at some point while making a purchase. Another survey noted that 61% of respondents are more likely to buy from a business that provides consistent, high-quality content.
Consistent. High-quality. There’s a lot at stake if you get this wrong.
Let’s take a look at 5 essential elements that should be included in your content marketing strategy.
High performance doesn’t happen by accident
Mediocre performance: that’s what you get without clear goals and precise guidelines. It’s the same with your content. In fact, a weak content marketing strategy (or, worse yet, no strategy at all!) can have a negative impact on your results.
Besides wasting time and resources on creating content, here are some of the other valuable things you could lose:
Find a better way – with a little help
Given the many risks that providing inferior content on your website can pose to your business, it’s essential to have a clear content strategy when creating your online presence.
A strategy ensures that your content is clear and purposeful and that you don’t have to worry about producing content that is unoriginal, irrelevant or over-optimised.
5 Essential elements to any successful content strategy
When creating a content marketing strategy, you must have clear goals and a way to reach them. This means devising a framework to follow before you start creating content – and there are certain elements that all good content frameworks should have.
- Market Analysis
Does your offering have any chance of succeeding in the busy, noisy marketplace of the Internet? You won’t know unless you examine what is happening in your niche, and how to take advantage of any opportunities.
You should also analyse your prospective audience in this step. If you don’t know who you’re selling to, then your content will miss the mark most of the time. Secondly, if you don’t know where they hang out, you’ll be putting your content in all the wrong places. And thirdly, if you’re sending out generic content then customers won’t be interested in it.
- Competitor Analysis
Aside from analysing the market as a whole, it’s also essential to focus on more detailed competitor analysis. This step will allow you to understand what type of content marketing is working for other brands in your niche. Competitor analysis (from keywords through to trending content) can give you a head start.
It will also allow you to better understand the gaps in the market that you had identified in the first step. For example, is there a reason your competitors are choosing not to take that route?
So: shortlist all the companies that are selling similar products that meet the same need. Then read their newsletters, their blogs, their tweets, their podcasts or webinars, their videos and even their social media pages!
- Internal Linking
Internal links are hyperlinks that take your readers to other parts of your own website instead of linking them to outside sources. These links play a significant role in SEO marketing, especially in terms of how Google passes authority throughout your website.
Internal linking is a well-kept secret that most large firms with big brands use for organic SEO content. Internal linking helps establish your website as an authority: which helps it rank higher on search engines such as Google. It’s simple: When we give you five briefs for content around different services/products within the same brand, we find a way to link one to the other. This establishes presence, and for Google: Authority.
- On-Page Optimisation
Every content marketing strategy needs to include on-page optimisation. On-page optimisation is a catch-all term for all measures you can take within your website to increase its SEO ranking. So: what are you doing to make your content more attractive to Google?
Content optimisation doesn’t just focus on the text; it also focuses on optimising videos and images, meta-tags, structural elements of any blog post, and more.
- Existing Content Review
Unless you’re starting a completely new website, there’s a good chance your website already boasts a significant amount of content. It’s essential to make sure that this content is doing its bit: is it converting?
Poor content might be holding you back and you may not even know it.
In order to check this, identify and analyse all existing pieces of content on your website. Some pieces of content may only require minor tweaks as opposed to complete overhauls, which should be completed as far as possible.
In a nutshell, your content marketing strategy informs how you will create and disseminate actionable content that will turn readers into customers. Before you even start producing content give some real thought into what you want to achieve, find out what your competitors are doing and why, define your ideal customer and where you’ll find them online, and learn how to optimise your content so that Google will rank it.