One of the biggest struggles facing any business doing inbound marketing is the need for constant website updates, with content like blogs, videos, or whitepapers. After all, inbound marketing may be inexpensive, but it can ultimately eat up a lot of your time, as well as that of your various content creators.
We've had a number of people asking for tips on how to keep up the constant flow of content, while keeping it fresh and engaging. So, we've broken it down into four basic stages when you're looking to begin a new content creation cycle.
Ultimately, it begins and ends with your clients and leads!
The Four Stages Of A Successful Content Creation Cycle
Build Buyer Personas
The better you know your customers, the more accurately you'll be able to target them with blogs and other content that they will want to read. A good knowledge of the people viewing your material is essential for creating compelling content.
You achieve this through buyer personas. These are fictionalized psychological profiles of your customers, crafted to be as accurate as possible based on the data you collect on them. You'd want to include information like:
What are their goals and values?
What's an average day in the life look like?
What are some pain points in their life?
What sources of information do they use?
What do they expect from products like yours?
Cull the information however you can, or consider a few customer surveys if you find yourself lacking data. Direct observation is also good – find social media networks your customers are on, and see what they talk about.
Create An Editorial Calendar Of Titles
As you get a good handle on your customers' psychological profiles, titles should start to suggest themselves. Look especially for questions they would ask online that you can answer. Also, any connections you can make with them through shared interests outside of work are always good.
As you develop titles, it's best to create an Editorial Calendar to keep track of them. This is simply a database file that contains basic information about upcoming pieces of content: title, author, publish date, keywords, and soforth. Having this information in one place makes ongoing management simple.
Be sure to include a short summary of each piece of content as well, enough so that your content creators could then flesh it out properly.
Focus On Reader-Relevant Material
While a few sales-focused blogs are fine, the majority of your blogs and other content should focus on questions or issues your visitors will be having, with a brief call-to-action at the end. You don't want your content marketing materials to come off as being overly promotional or self-serving, since that undercuts your credibility.
Use those goals and pain points you discovered earlier to create material that's directly relevant to your visitors. The more accurately you target a visitor's own goals or worries, the more likely they'll be to respond to your CTA at the end.
Extend Your Pipeline
Consistency is the key once you launch your content marketing strategies. You'll need to have a continuous flow of materials in the pipeline, while setting a pace you can maintain. You should always search for ways to add more content, and more types of content, to your online marketing strategies.
For example, you could:
Repurpose and cross-post material to your social media outlets.
Read major blogs in your field, looking for hot topics and article ideas.
Respond to other people's blogs, creating a dialogue.
Invite user-created content, like photo contests or top-ten lists.
Variety is the spice of life, and it's good for your blog as well. A mix of sales, audience-interest, and user-submitted content creates a lively, active, and engaging website.
So, what sort of tricks have you discovered to help keep the flow of content going strong? Let us know in the forum below!