If you want to drive more traffic to your website, you’ll need to develop an actionable content marketing strategy. This strategy will help you not just get traffic but promote your product or service more legitimately.
Just imagine when your target audience reads content and realizes that they have some niche-related issues that your services can solve. It can be a turn off and that’s why we need a content strategy. Besides, an ideal content marketing strategy embraces each step of the marketing funnel.
It helps move your leads down the funnel converting them into paid customers.
The only question here is how to create a top-notch marketing funnel?
Keep on reading this guide, and you’ll get step-by-step instructions that will help you come up with a winning content marketing strategy.
Content Marketing Basics
Content marketing is an actionable plan that helps you build awareness around your product and turn random users into paid customers.
Sounds pretty easy, right?
Yes, there is nothing hard in building a content marketing strategy. The main obstacle that you might face is that your content marketing strategy should meet the requirements of your business. Hence, it may include different content marketing formats like blog posts, videos, visuals, etc.
The final goal that your content marketing strategy should accomplish is increasing traffic to your website.
Now, let’s review each step of the content marketing strategy you should follow.
1. Start with setting a goal for your content marketing strategy.
It is believed to be the toughest part of the strategy. Likely, if you have ever worked with concepts like OKRs or SMART goals, you won’t have any difficulties.
Your priority should be to drive traffic from Google and YouTube (if your business needs a video content approach).
Content marketing goals depend on your business requirements. Nevertheless, practice shows that in the world of digital marketing, there are a few fundamental goals that your content marketing strategy should accomplish:
- Attract more inbound leads
- Build more links
- Increase your brand awareness
- Prove that you are a thought leader within the industry
In this post, let’s see how to move your content marketing strategy in the direction of driving traffic to your site.
2. Identify your target audience.
If your first thought was that content marketing serves to attract whatever people to your website – you are wrong. The goal of content marketing is to attract those people only, who might be your potential customers.
You might think that it sounds obvious. Despite the fact, some companies still make a mistake when creating their content marketing strategy by popularizing content among the non-targeted audience.
For instance, assume that you are an owner of a company that sells tools for content visualizing. You are aware that your tools can be helpful for every person who needs to make content visually appealing.
Let’s say, one of your tools helps with employee handbook design. But you decided to write a post that covers the topic “What is employee handbook and why does your company need it?”.
Does it make sense for your business? Nope. Because your purpose is to show how to create a beautiful employee handbook instead of revealing its importance for the company’s culture.
To understand who your target audience is, you should create a buyer persona. To put it simply, create a portrait of your ideal customer with all characteristics that are important to your business.
If you believe that there is no necessity in doing that, you can pass this stage. Nevertheless, make sure you know who your ideal customer is.
3. Decide on a content type to work with.
Types of content vary. You can deal with whatever type of content you like. It can be video, infographic, chart, podcasts, etc. However, the chosen type should go in line with your business strategy.
Don’t try to create general content. It won’t work that way. Instead, try to choose the type of content that you feel would resonate with your audience the most.
First thing first, examine your audience and figure out what type of content your users interact with. For example, if your website is dedicated to the art of makeup and beauty in general, your top content should be of a video type.
Other than that, think about what you are the most skilled in?
If you have a nice timbre of voice, you can record podcast series. Or if you can’t act on camera – avoid video content.
Likely, the best way to start with blogging.
Because the very first place where people search for information is Google. Hence, write SEO-optimized blog posts and your brand will be shown in front of your audience for sure.
4. Explore what your audience wants to find on Google.
You are already aware of who your target audience is. It is time to explore what your potential leads search on Google.
Why do you need this?
These findings will help you create content that people are looking for. And you can create such content, the users will read it that drives traffic to your site eventually.
How to start the ball rolling?
Walk-in your target audience’s shoes. Think about how you would search for your product or service using Google? What search inquiries would you apply?
For example, your website sells martial arts equipment. Your keywords can be “karate belt”, “jiu-jitsu gee”, “boxing gloves”, etc.
Now, take these seed keywords and analyze them using the Keywords Explorer tool from Ahrefs. Pay attention to the report called “Question” that you can find clicking on a “Matching terms” tab.
Run through the list of suggestions and figure out what people are searching for on Google. According to your findings, get ready to create your content.
5. Sort the most promising topics out.
Keep in mind that your content marketing strategy must work on delivering targeted traffic only. Consequently, you should make a prioritization of content topics.
The best way to do this sort of topic prioritization is by applying a “business value” score. Here is how it looks like:
- If your product can’t solve the issue – “0” priority
- If your product can help but there is no point in using it – “1” priority
- If your product solves the problem but a user doesn’t want to – “2” priority
- If your product is the number one solution – “3” priority
Doesn’t matter what kind of business you run – this “business value” score can be applied easily.
6. Don’t forget to create a content calendar.
When you create a content marketing strategy, it should have a long-last effect. In other words, you can’t use this strategy during the upcoming month only. This process must be ongoing.
To be able to produce content regularly, you have to work on creating a content marketing calendar. This approach helps to track a publishing schedule that you will know what topic you’re going to publish, where, and when.
7. Promote your content.
If you want to make your content work to the fullest, you must promote it. There are three basic ways of promotion you can use:
- Send an email newsletter
One of the most actionable ways to promote content. For this, you should work on building your email list. The more people sign up for your email newsletter, the more chances for your content to be visible.
Send an email newsletter following your personal schedule. You can do it whenever you publish a new post or once per week. It is up to you.
- Email outreach
Email outreach is a powerful weapon in building more awareness for your brand and content. But you should use it wisely.
What does it mean?
Use outreach to connect with the niche-related influencers. These people have armies of followers. Their single tweet with a link to your piece of content may result in tons of traffic to your site.
However, it is not simple to reach out to them. You must catch their attention both with your email pitch and your proposal.
To get more chances with influencer outreach, here are two pieces of advice – impress them with some stats or case-study you run. Secondly, mention influencers in your content and notify them about it.
If you have a solid budget and want quick results, paid advertising is what you need. Unfortunately, it has one drawback – if you stop paying, the traffic starts to fade away in a blink of an eye.
8. Monitor the results.
You can’t estimate the results of your content marketing strategy without tracking the progress. Topic trends tend to change from time to time. Hence, you should keep your eye on these changes to be able to provide your audience with content people want to read.
If you want to analyze your content efforts on the blog, you should use Google Analytics. It allows you to monitor content performance and how much traffic each post drives to your site.
For those marketers who stake on video content and publish their content on YouTube, they can review analytics right over there. This report is available on your channel.
Besides, if you are obsessed with tracking the performance of your keywords, you can play with the Rank Tracker tool.
9. Don’t forget to refresh your content.
Content gets outdated with time. Some topics stop resonating with the audience. Your website doesn’t acquire as much traffic as it is supposed to be.
What to do then?
First of all, run a content audit to identify content that you need to update.
How to do this?
There are two ways – you can rewrite your content or repurpose it into other content forms. For instance, you have a series of posts that cover one comprehensive topic. Unite all these posts in one eBook. Or repurpose written posts into videos.
Don’t allow your content to stay old and outdated. Refresh it from time to time.
Content marketing strategy requires your time and effort. You can’t implement it hoping to achieve your goals shortly. It is a stage-by-stage process where each step is important.
Therefore, you should be patient and follow the above-mentioned steps. Eventually, you’ll benefit from it.
If you think this guide lacks some more pieces of advice, feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.
Sergey Aliokhin is a Marketing Specialist at Visme, an all-in-one visual content platform that allows you to create presentations, infographics, reports, and social media images. When not at work, he likes to spend his time with family, read books on science-fiction, practice playing the bass, and visit the gym.