So you’re designing your blog, you’re coding your mobile site, you’re stoked to start digital marketing in 2015, and then it hits you. Where are you going to get all of that content? You know, for the launch…and an entire year?
Fear not; you don’t need to gulp at a blank page. Here are six questions to walk you through creating content for digital marketing.
1. What’s your purpose?
First, you need a content strategy. What are your business goals and objectives? Who is your audience? What expertise can you share? What do you hope your digital marketing will accomplish?
For example, suppose your company sells b2b services, such as information technology. Your goal might be to raise awareness of your IT offerings among IT directors and staff in medium-sized businesses.
2. What does your audience want to hear?
With digital marketing, the audience drives the topic. Your audience members are tapping their digital devices to find an answer to a particular question, and they may reach you only if a search engine determines that you have the matching answer.
So you need to know the questions.
A keyword search tool, such as the Google AdWords Keyword Planner or the Hubspot keyword report, does the trick. Brainstorm the words you think your target audience will type into their searches, then check the keyword planner to see how often people actually search for those words. You’re better off using more-specific search phrases than a general, heavily searched keyword. For example, “top IT firms for network support in DC” will send you more qualified leads than “top IT firms.”
Seeing what’s popular on your social media accounts can give an additional glimpse into your audience’s interests. Reviews of queries to your email and call centers provides insight into their needs.
3. How will they try to find you?
Knowing the right questions is golden. But where will they go to look for that information?
Consider your audience’s demographics, typical device use, and needs. You can start with published study data, but audience surveys, interviews, and/or focus groups provide even better feedback. Do your potential customers do in-depth research to find a firm, or do they just ask their colleagues for referrals? Do they listen to podcasts?
These answers will help you choose how and where to share your digital marketing content. If your customers want to learn how to beef up their own support teams, consider a blog. If they’re seeking 24/7 support from your team, create a mobile website or an app.
4. What will you say?
Giving a quality answer, of course, is critical to making this all work. Where does your expertise intersect with your audience’s questions?
Create some key messages based on your audience’s needs. From those, list general topics or “buckets” of content. These might be strategic consulting, security, or web development. Within each bucket, develop specific topics that teach something new, inform, or entertain.
5. Where will the content come from?
Actually generating the content on a regular basis is where businesses sometimes trip.
To use your resources efficiently, look at what you already produce. Do you have an email newsletter? A seminar? A slideshow? See if the information in them could be transformed to answer your audience’s questions and satisfy those keyword searches. For example, training resources on your website could be shaped into a “Quick Fix of the Month” blog post.
Curate content from other sources, reviewing what’s out there and sharing what’s relevant: perhaps an informative “Top IT Trends for 2015” article. Be sure to add your thoughts on the piece, tying it to your business and making it more relevant to your readers.
Can your customers contribute? How about your partners? Can you interview a vendor or an industry leader?
Remember to include visuals—video, photos, infographics—and to tap into the reader’s emotions wherever possible.
6. How will you know if it’s working?
No digital marketing strategy is complete without a measurement plan. List out your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), which help you to know how well you are meeting your business goals. These might be website conversions and unique visits, ebook downloads, app usage, blog comments, keyword performance, and the like, viewed over time to see users’ engagement.
If activity is low, review your strategy, your keywords, messaging, delivery mechanisms, and content and adjust as needed. And keep an eye out for trends in your KPIs, which indicate the steps of engagement prospects go through before they decide to buy from you. For example, are more and more people accessing your content on mobile devices? Optimize accordingly.
Now you have a plan for feeding the content beast. Need more ideas? Contact us. Whew. There’s one New Year’s resolution you can keep.