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Is the content on your website not performing with the results you were hoping for? If so, it might be time to revamp your content marketing strategy.
In 2019, the content marketing industry is a $300 billion dollar industry, and that number continues to increase every year as content becomes more crucial for businesses. It brings your website organic traffic which can lead to increased leads, subscribers, sales, and more.
A whopping 72 percent of online marketers consider content creation their most effective SEO tactic. If you struggle to get your content in front of the right audience or to create content that appeals to your readers, it’s time for a revamp.
Here are six simple steps to help you improve your content marketing strategy. Let’s get started.
1. Set goals
The first step of any solid strategy is to create goals. Without goals in place, you won’t know what metrics, or KPIs, to measure so you can determine if you’re making progress. Any solid content marketing strategy comes fully equipped with an actionable plan.
Think about what kind of results you want to see from your new and improved content strategy. Some examples of goals you might set include:
- Generating more sales
- Spreading brand awareness
- Growing your email list
- Driving increased traffic to your site
- Building brand credibility
- Improving social media engagement
Next, you need to specify your goals. It’s not enough to want to increase revenue; you have to narrow it down to a number to see results. If you’re not able to come up with the numbers you hoped for, then you know there’s more work to do.
Whatever your main goals are, keep them at the forefront of your strategy so you don’t lose sight of what you’re trying to achieve. If you steer away from your objectives, you won’t see results.
2. Research your target market
Imagine trying to create content for an audience you know nothing about. It would prove difficult to brainstorm content topics and speak to readers how they want to be spoken to. If you’re going to improve your content strategy, you must know your target audience well.
So, how do you get to know your target market?
The first thing to do is to collect data about the users who engage with your website, social media, emails, and other channels you may use for business. Pay attention to their demographics, buying behaviors, location, interests, and pain points.
Find out more about what they like on your website by checking out your website analytics. What webpages have the most views and the longest engagement? Which pages have a high bounce rate and short engagement? What blog posts resonate the most with readers and which ones barely get a glance?
It’s also crucial to collect customer feedback so you hear directly from the source. Your audience can give you information on what type of content they want more of, what content they don’t need, and what they want to know more about.
This will help you understand them better so you create content that:
- Performs better.
- Users want to engage with.
- Helps you reach your marketing objectives.
From there, you can create buyer personas of your online audience. Buyer personas are profiles of your audience that describe your readers by compiling their information in one place.
Think about it: the more you know about your audience, the better you’re able to cater to their content needs. The better you cater to their needs, the more attention your brand will receive. Knowing their motivations behind visiting your website and consuming your content is the first step to guiding them through the conversion funnel.
3. Perform a content audit
If your content isn’t performing the way you’d hoped, especially after a longer period of time, then a content audit is necessary. An audit evaluates your existing content and creates a new plan for it. If you have a set plan for your content and what to do with it, it makes it easier to improve your strategy as a whole.
You have branded content on your social media, in your emails, and on your website. For this article, we’re going to focus specifically on your website’s content, specifically its blog.
To perform a successful content audit, you must first assess your existing content and its value. Once you see its gaps, it’s easier to determine what to do with it.
When evaluating your existing content via website analytics, pay attention to the following metrics:
- Bounce rate: How many users leave the webpage
- Organic traffic: How many users come to your website on their own
- Length of engagement: How long visitors stay on the page
- Backlinks: Websites that link to your content
- Unique visitors: New visitors to your site
- Conversions: How many users took the action you wanted, such as clicking your CTA button or joining your email list
Create a spreadsheet of all your content so it’s in one place. This includes titles, URLs, and what to do with it.
For smaller businesses and blogs, it’s easier to organize your content because there’s less of it. For blogs with too much to sort through manually, however, you need to create a sitemap. A sitemap is an XML file that lists the URLs and webpages on your site. It contains information about each page so search engines can crawl your website more effectively, but it also helps you sort your content.
If you have too much content to organize manually, you’ll need to use auditing software that scans your site and does the job for you.
When evaluating your content, divide each piece into three categories:
Your spreadsheet makes it easy to see what you’re doing with each post so you can act faster to revamp your blog. It also helps you see which content brings you results and moves you closer to achieving your goals.
It’s also easier to see content gaps that exist in your marketing strategy, which explains why it isn’t performing to standard. Perhaps your posts neglect backlinks or answering questions your target audience wants the answers to. Whatever the case is, having the information plainly laid out in front of you helps you see what’s working and what’s not working more clearly.
4. Establish a workflow
Now that you have an action plan for each post, you can establish a workflow that keeps you and your team on track. Creating a new content strategy takes time and resources, so having a set workflow in place streamlines the process and keeps everything organized.
First, it’s essential to know who’s in charge of what. From there, you can decide when to start, who will handle what tasks, what software you’ll need if you need to expand your team, and more. You can’t move forward with your new and improved content strategy if you don’t work out the fine details first.
Outline the workflow for your new strategy. For example, if you’re repurposing an article, the process might look something like this:
- Creating an outline
- Writing the article
- Sending it to the editor
- Making edits
- Adding visual components if necessary
- Implementing the most recent SEO tactics
- Final overview
5. Create a content calendar
When you’re done fine-tuning the details, it’s time to create a content calendar that puts your plan into action. That way, you know where each step of the process is currently at and when your content goes live.
Whether you use a project management tool or Google Calendar, the setup of a content calendar is the same across the board. So, whether you have a large production team or it’s just you, the same structure applies.
If you have a team, hold a meeting with them to lay out the details about the time frame they need to complete everything by the deadline. Together, you can create a schedule that works for everyone.
When you’re done, your content calendar might look something like this:
When it’s time to carry out your action plan, having a content calendar makes the process easier and smoother for everyone.
6. Measure the results
After you put your plan into action, it’s time to assess how well your new content marketing strategy is performing. Remember the goals you set at the beginning? You’ll use those to identify what areas to pay attention to and evaluate your metrics to determine if there’s a positive change in your conversions.
Use your website analytics to review your KPIs and see where they stand. You may use tools and software to help you evaluate your metrics and search rank your content. Regardless of the methods you choose, it’s important to refer back to your goals to see where progress is still needed and what’s working well for your conversions.
Your content is the bread and butter of your website. If you don’t optimize it for your users, there’s little to no chance you’ll receive the traffic and results you’re looking for. You need to create content for your target audience, evaluate what is and isn’t working in your current strategy, and cater to your readers. If you fail to provide them with what they want, you’ll see a steep decline in your conversions. How will you improve your content marketing strategy?