When it comes to content marketing, you don’t want to rely on guesswork to determine what your audience wants. Your guess could be wrong and you could waste time doing work that won’t benefit your website’s reach. Here’s the key: you must market your content with a purpose. You don’t merely decide to keep one page element on your site over another because of a whim, you do so with the hopes that the element you chose will engage with and make a good impression on the audience. The overall goal is to get your audience to convert, so taking the time to gather data with regard to how your audience responds to your content can help you figure out what best leads to conversion, and what doesn’t.
G.I. Joe used to say that, “knowing was half the battle.” When it comes to content marketing, knowing is the battle, war, and everything else including the kitchen sink. You cannot effectively market anything if you don’t know who you’re marketing it toward. Good marketing strategies should bring your content closer to its target audience. Once you know things about your target audience you can create content to engage with them. To know your target audience inside and out, you should ask yourself questions like:
Answer these questions for yourself and then use those answers to identify criteria that reflects your audience’s behavior. Once you have these you can fine tune your content toward your audience’s preferences.
Content discovery can be pretty hard if you sit staring at a blank word document pondering what amazing content you could create. You don’t get anywhere without a starting point, so to start content discovery you should take a look around the web and get data on current content. The old idiom commonly attributed to Pablo Picasso goes that good artists copy; great artists steal. In the realm of content marketing, you want to be great, so take cues from what’s happening around you. Look at your competitor’s content and note how it performs to determine how you can pull from their content’s performance to improve your own. You may want to keep tabs on outside content so that you can effectively produce content to one up it.
Doing keyword research helps you reach others with your content. Keywords allow users to find something they desire amidst the internet haze, so finding out what keywords perform better for outside content similar to yours can be helpful. You can pull from all the most relevant and high performing keywords to determine fresh ways to present content. The keywords make sure your users get there but your content must provide something new.
Content that performs well should help you model yours. If you want to produce effective content, look at who already has and make note of how they did it. Moreover, keeping tabs on what your competitors do successfully can help you to top it. If they did one thing on their content that made it successful you should do that but go a step further with it. Not only will you take advantage of high performing content models to improve your content, but you will set your content apart.
Take a look at how you give your content to the user. Ask yourself, how long is my content? How do users access it? Do people receive the content through reading, listening, or watching? How is that content presented? On what devices do users view my content? If you know and can define how and what your users come across, then you can optimize that content to push user’s toward a preferred action, like conversion. How you reach your user with content matters, and if you do it the right way when the user views your content they will begin a process that ends in conversion. Even if not everyone converts, you can maximize the conversion pathway by knowing the channels users go through to reach your content. Once you know them you can make them lead the user toward conversion.
How is my content doing? At the heart of this question is measurement, specifically analytics that determine how your content engages with your audience. Google analytics and other free analytics software allow you to track and describe how well your content performs. Some analytics to watch out for are:
At the end, you want to look at all these data and numbers and see not numbers, but your audience’s needs and preferences. This data should help you provide insight to better engage and ultimately get more members of your audience to convert. The goal should be to create content that affirms your audience’s needs while pushing your audience toward the desired action, conversion. If you have any other ideas about data that would be relevant to creating a marketing strategy for your content, please comment them below!