Every day, I seem to have more and more tabs open on my laptop and phone. Most of them are articles, blogs and videos that I really want to read or watch. There are so many new trends, and business developments to keep on top of, that if you printed them all off you’d fill a small room with paper in less than a month.According to Hootsuite’s latest statistics, before lockdown we spent six hours and forty two minutes online every day. That’s one hundred days online every year before March 2020. Experts suggest that number could have increased by thirty one percent under lockdown, adding another month to the figure.Statistics also show that eighty two percent of that time online is spent looking at new content. Even when we’re on social media. So it’s not hard to see why content is king in the new digital age.
But is content enough?
It’s all well and good churning out content. Content after all, is what draws users to your site so you can start converting them into clients. However, you need to ask yourself whether your content is right for your target market? Does it connect with what they search for online?You might think you know what your prospective clients are looking for, but you’d be surprised by the number of assumptions we make about our target market. These assumptions can be everything from where potential customers go online, to what they’re looking for in the products and the services we offer.You also have to ask yourself whether you’re just creating content for the sake of putting something up on your blog every week. Even if your content is well written and well researched, if it doesn't engage your target audience, you are wasting time and resources.
Content that works smarter works harder
So, the big question is how do you get the most out of the content you produce, so that it works harder and smarter for you?The answer is quite simple – strategy. But given the title of this entry, you probably guessed that already.When you have a content strategy that is aligned to your business goals, your digital marketing starts to pay dividends. Every piece of content you produce, every post, share or retweet should have a specific purpose that’s all part of a plan to realise the most important goals of your organisation.
So, where do you start?
Every good content strategy starts with research. Once you have a full picture of your market, you’ll know how to tailor the content you produce so that it reflects and responds to the specific needs of your potential customer base. Once you know what your potential customers are looking for and where they’re looking for it, you’ll be able to not only engage them, but to convert them and retain their business.It’s always a good idea to keep an eye on what your competition is doing, but one of the best places to begin your research is with your existing and former clients. Having worked with you already, they’ll be more amenable to answering questions and sharing info confidentially. They’ll also be able to tell you the places they go online and the sort of content that attracts their attention. Not only that, but they may also be very informative when it comes to telling you the things they respond to in the content you’re currently providing and what it is that drew them to your products and services in the first place. Not to mention what you do to retain their business.Our sister company Transform Communications has successfully utilised this process with many clients and the results have often been a revelation. Allowing organisations to streamline their messaging and focus on the things their clients value most about them.
Content you can be confident in
This research will give you the knowledge you need to specifically tailor every element of the content you’re putting out. From the tone of voice you use, to the themes and subjects you address. Confident in the knowledge that what you’re saying will resonate with the very people you want to reach.Research will also inform you where to focus your efforts when it comes to promoting and sharing your content. My colleague, Veronica Hannon’s approach to content is – “create it once, use it multiple times”. This will allow you to generate the most amount of exposure possible, and to really work strategically you have to know where the best channels are to use.For instance, a consumer brand might get a lot of traction sharing images of their products on Instagram. However, a B2B service provider is likely to get a much better response posting their work on LinkedIn.
We all have goals
To fully employ your content strategy effectively, you need to align everything you produce with the long term goals and values of your organisation. The content you produce should be another of the tools you use to take your business where you want it to be.For example, if you want to be seen as an innovative market leader, someone who is one step ahead of the competition, then you might want to invest in a thought leadership campaign. Producing white papers, videos and articles about the future of your industry. Or, if you have a fully formed exit plan, then you might want to produce content that’s focused on increasing your market value and attracting potential buyers.If you’d like to chat more about creating content that makes you stand out from the crowd, and strategy that helps you realise the goals and values of your organisation, please do reach out. I have loads more to say on this subject, and I’d love to share it with you.