According to an AOL Nielsen study in May 2011, 53% of all time on the internet is content consumption. Consumers are no longer interested in traditional interruptive marketing. Instead, they want to find valuable, relevant content at ease, then interact and socially share content to interact with others. The content providers that allow them to do this best will create online relationships with those consumers. Content fuels customer engagement at all stages of the customer life cycle and continues to reinforce the relationship, inspiring renewals, upgrades, and referrals. So, how do you create content in an organized, non-hair-pulling-out way? Read on – these four steps will get you well on your way!
Step 1: Plan your content ahead of time
- Stay in the Know: There are always things to say! Differentiate yourself from your competition by becoming an industry expert. Your consumers will view you as a thought leader thus beginning a relationship with them built on trust.
- Subscribe to RSS feeds from relevant bloggers and newsletters in your industry
- Monitor social bookmarking sites such as Delicious, and Reddit, popular questions on LinkedIn or Quora, and of course, utilize the Twitter search and Facebook Interests.
Step 2: Optimize Your Content
- Be Keyword Heavy: Define specific keywords and phrases that you’ll exclusively write content around while still considering topics that will help your audience build trust in you. To start, come up with half a dozen topics that you believe will interest your audience, brainstorming how you might work stories around your target keywords. Make sure to use keywords in your title
- Use every relevant tag you can: Whenever you’re not sure which terms to go with, hit up Google Insights, a web-based tool that compares the popularity of any search terms you want to know about.
- Run a Content Audit – Most companies already have assets that can be made into compelling online content. See what you’ve have already put out there and use analytics to determine your best-performing content. Incorporate past work into your current content and be sure to link back to it. Also, “From the Archives” posts are a great way to highlight your popular past posts on all your social channels.
Step 3: Be aware of the consumer buying cycle and map out content accordingly
The prospect gets acquainted with your brand or realizes they have a need
for your product/service.
Content: Blog posts, social media updates
The prospect identifies the problem and researches potential solutions,
including your product/service.
Content: Ebooks, white papers, webinars, industry reports
The prospect examines the options and begins narrowing the list of vendors.
Content: Case Studies, Demos, Customer testimonials
The prospect decides from whom to buy.
Content: Analyst reports, detailed product information
Step 4: Create a Content Calendar to schedule content out ahead of time: Consistent content development can be challenging – that’s why we recommend using a content or editorial calendar to keep your content organized, consistent, and relevant. This can also help you be as SEO efficient as possible — planning around certain keywords, linking back to past relevant posts. Also, looking at all of your key dates and planned topics, you’ll be able to think how you can re-purpose content in multiple sources. For instance, if you just wrote a blog series, you can combine the posts creating an ebook.
A content calendar is a schedule of: when content should be published based on the organizations activities, who will be responsible for creating that content and where and how it will be distributed. We have found Google Calendar to be the best tool for this. For blogging, the simplest way to do this is to schedule specific post or series on specific days of the week ex: Monday features, Tuesday interviews, Thursday round-ups. You may also want to structure you calendar around instead around topic such as Monday Zombies, Tuesday Cars, Wednesday Superheros. You should always schedule in a brainstorming into your weekly calendar as well.
-Tiffany Stepp, Social Media Specialist