First things first. Let’s assume you have gone through a process that has helped you define your audiences, find your voice and put a stake in the ground as to your brand’s relevant differentiation in the marketplace. Now it’s time to pull it all together with a content strategy that’s actually going to help you reach (and delight) your audiences. Regardless of your background or industry, it’s time to make your content work for you.
So let’s talk about working smarter by optimizing your content strategy for both search and conversion.
Think like Your Audience: Optimize Your Content for Search Visibility
You’ve likely already prioritized the audiences who are critical to your brand’s success. Now it’s time to learn how to speak their languages. Keyword research is a great way to align your corporate goals with the interests of your audiences. We prefer using a combination of technical and conversational keyword aggregators but tend to focus our efforts on Google’s AdWords Keyword Planner because it gives you specific data regarding search volume and competition while narrowing the results to your target location.
Once you’ve identified all of the different ways your targets are searching for a solution, you can build content around that language to gain visibility in the search engine results page (SERP). During this process, we like to answer the following questions:
- What is the conversation surrounding your industry? How does this conversation vary depending on the level of awareness?
- Which of the keywords or phrases being used in the conversation have a low level of competition? Which have remarkably high search volume?
- Which key phrases likely match our ideal audience’s intent?
- Which conversations do we want to own?
- Where is our audience currently accessing information on this topic? How can we provide a better alternative?
Be a Thoughtful Engineer: Develop Informative Content That Leads Your Audience to the Promised Land*
This is a great time to pull members from the sales team into the conversation. Their insights will help you more effectively develop strategic content focused on the intent of your audience. What are some common questions that arise during the buy cycle? How are you currently addressing these questions? Ask yourself:
- Where is the majority of our audience landing on our site? What actions are they taking once they get there?
- Is the information architecture of the site laid out in a way that users can easily access the information and take the next step to learn more?
- Are there any steps missing or questions unanswered? Can we serve more specific content that speaks directly to our audience’s search query?
- How are we going to move our audience from one level of awareness to the next? From knowing there’s a problem to identifying solutions and deciding that our solution is the best solution. But even more than that, how do we continue to feed these new followers to build an army of brand advocates?
Build an Army of Brand Advocates: Continue to Delight
Now that we’ve developed a content strategy to deliver appropriate, relevant content exactly where our audience is searching, it’s time for the difficult part: getting to know the individuals within our audience.
Not only is personalization critical to the evolution of our content strategy, and creative execution, but it’s also infinitely valuable in building a relationship. Consider the following:
- What happens to our leads or prospects after they convert? Have we provided a means for collecting feedback? Are we continuing to provide relevant, helpful content?
- If so, how are people responding? Can we test or change our process based on these post-purchase interactions?
- Is there anything operationally that’s getting in our way of providing a consistently delightful experience?
- Are we providing a platform that enables brand advocates to spread the positive word to others?
Now that you are armed with the right questions to strengthen your content strategy, you can begin unearthing the nuggets that will lead your audience members from awareness to advocacy – the promised land.
What strategies are you implementing to make your content strategy work for you? Tell us in the comments section below, or feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, if you’d like to chat with us about our THIRST® process that helps brands relevantly differentiate themselves in the marketplace, we’d love to chat. Give us a holler at UVP@rmagency.com.