Content marketing is an incredibly important promotional tool that every business should be using. It’s the process of creating interesting and helpful content in order to help people learn about your niche, build brand awareness, and ultimately grow your sales.
But, in order to reach your ideal clients and build your business, you need to develop a robust content strategy that works. In this article, we’re going to outline how you can do just that.
Let’s get started.
First, define who your ideal clients are
In order to attract your ideal customers, you first need to have a clear understanding of who they are—this will help you guide your content strategy. This means you need to define who you want to draw towards your business based on their gender, age, occupation, hobbies, and the like.
Here are a few different types of questions you should answer when defining your ideal clients:
- What is their demographic information? (age, gender, location, etc.)
- What are their biggest problems and desires?
- What websites and social media platforms do they frequent?
- Where do they like to shop?
Once you have these questions answered, you can create your own buyer personas — these are profiles of buyers that represent your ideal clients. You can give them a name and sum up some of their basic information, generalizing the type of customer that you’re looking to attract to your business. Different people will be attracted to different forms of content, different styles of writing, and different social media platforms, so you can use your personas to work out where you should be focusing your efforts.
Use keyword research to work out what people are searching for
To find out what kinds of content people are looking for, you’ll need to conduct a bit of keyword research. Keywords are the words and phrases that people plug into search engines in order to find information. When you incorporate the most appropriate keywords into your content, you’ll be more likely to rank highly on search engine results pages (SERPs) for queries related to your business or niche.
To conduct keyword research, head to a tool like Google Keyword Planner with a list of words and phrases related to your business. Insert them into the tool, and you’ll be provided with different keywords that people are searching for on these topics. Many of these keywords will work as content topics on their own, or you can use them as a starting point for brainstorming. Choose keywords that are extremely relevant to your business, or you’ll risk drawing the wrong people to your website.
Additionally, when looking for keywords to incorporate into your content, make sure you’re focusing on informational phrases. These are keywords that people use when they’re doing research and looking for information, as opposed to when they’re getting ready to make a purchase. You can tell which keywords these are because they typically contain question clues, like “how” or “why”. Targeting these keywords will help ensure you reach people who are actually interested in reading what you have written.
Finally, once you’ve chosen the words and phrases you would like to target with your content, be sure to weave them in naturally. Essentially, you won’t want them to stand out. So, don’t worry about using the exact phrasing when targeting keywords — Google knows to consider variations when deciding which queries to rank your content for. Plus, if you incorporate too many keywords into your content and it’s written in a way that doesn’t read very well as a result, this will provide a poor experience for your readers, and search engines will dock your rankings.
Let’s take a look at an example of a website with content that ranks well for relevant keywords to give you some inspiration.
Sage, a company that specializes in integrated accounting, payroll, and payment systems, has a ton of great content on its website.
One particular article, a step-by-step guide to making tax digital for VAT, does a great job of targeting relevant keywords, helping them rank highly on the SERPs as a result. The article addresses how VAT-registered businesses can submit an MTD, and targets keywords in the headers, and throughout the article. And their strategy clearly works—the piece ranks in the top 10 for relevant keywords that have a collective monthly search volume of 4,700, which is a fantastic result for a relatively niche topic!
For your own website content, be sure to utilize keyword research and weave the relevant results into your headers, body copy, and titles of your articles—it can produce excellent results, as you saw with Sage!
Cover the topics your competitors aren’t
It’s a good idea to take a look at the content that your competitors are publishing and see if there are any gaps you can fill. If you’re able to do this, you’ll reach people and target keywords that other companies in your field aren’t, giving you an edge over the competition.
One fairly straightforward strategy to find these topics is to check out your competitors’ blogs and see if there is anything that’s consistently missing. If you cover these topics, you’ll be more likely to rank on the SERPs for related queries, and won’t face much competition.
You can also use a keyword research tool like Ahrefs. Enter valuable keywords into the Ahrefs Site Explorer to see who ranks for them—if very few of your competitors are covering something in your niche that people are searching for more information on, it could be worth focusing on this area with your own content!
If you fill these gaps with your own content, you’ll be more likely to rank highly on the SERPs over your competitors for queries relevant to your field. This means that your ideal audience will be more likely to be shown your website and visit it in order to find the information or products they are looking for!
Aim to answer common questions your target clients have
By anticipating common customer questions and answering them on your website, you can show that you really understand your target audience. This will help you drive more traffic to your website and lead to more sales.
To identify what questions you should be answering, you can start by conducting some question keyword research. Head to a tool like AnswerThePublic with a list of words and phrases related to your business. You’ll then be provided with a series of questions that people are asking on these subjects through search engines.
Let’s take a look at an example of a business with great question-based content and FAQ pages as inspiration.
Keeping, a company that provides tools to integrate existing workflows into Gmail, does a great job of answering customer questions on its website. As you can see in the image above, the company has an article that outlines how you can set up a shared Gmail inbox. The article is very thorough, outlining how Google Groups and Keeping can streamline this system for your employees.
This article can do a lot to attract Keeping’s ideal clients — people interested in its tools are looking to use their existing Google services to streamline their work processes and, if they come across this article, they very well might be interested in the business’s paid services.
Consider writing question-based articles for your own website, just like this. You can even follow the strategy that Keeping has and use question-based articles to provide an introduction to your products or services! These can offer a great way to draw the right people to your website and convince them that your business can solve their problems.
Have a clear content promotion plan
Once you create content, you can’t just expect people to find it on their own. You need to be promoting it in order to ensure that it’s seen. Fortunately, there are a lot of different ways that you can do this.
You can start by promoting your content through your email newsletters—this could simply involve dropping your subscribers an email whenever a new article goes live on your website. To personalize their experience, you could even use your internal customer data to only send customers content similar to what they’ve engaged with in the past. This is sure to make them feel special and will increase the effectiveness of this content promotion technique.
You can also use a similar strategy through SMS marketing. The main perk of SMS marketing is that it is extremely likely your company’s texts will be opened. In fact, some research has shown that marketing text messages have up to a 98 percent open rate. If you’re unsure of how to set up and manage SMS campaigns of your own, you could consider using a text message automation service, such as the one provided by Emotive. The company can support you in promoting your content, as well as help you to have two-way conversations with your customers that convert five times more often than one-way mass texting techniques.
Social media offers another great way to promote your content. But don’t fall into the trap of trying to be active on every platform at once. Rather, you should choose platforms that are most relevant to the products or services that you sell. For instance, if you market mostly to professionals, LinkedIn is your best bet. If you have a lot of visual content, as a salon or retailer would, Instagram and TikTok are great options. If you just want the largest audience base, consider going with Facebook.
Furthermore, it’s important that you monitor your content’s analytics to see how it’s performing. Look at how specific pieces of content do when promoted on different platforms — this will help you tweak your strategy accordingly.
Content marketing isn’t just a trend—it’s a major part of running a successful business today! In this article, we outlined how you can create a successful content strategy by identifying your target audience, utilizing keyword research, and promoting your content through email, SMS, and social media.
With our tips in mind, get to work developing your own content strategy!