How To Build Your First Content Strategy

how to build your first inbound marketing strategyPlacing engaging content online is a great way to draw fresh traffic to a website or social media presence. If you provide a stream of content that is relevant to your product or field, customers and fans are likely to engage in dialogues with your company. They will also connect with each other over shared interests in a way that may provide you with useful information.

Written media, whether it appears in a tweet or blog, should serve to enrich your audience. You want to avoid meaningless marketing jargon and provide substantial article and web content for online visitors to learn from.

Below are five ways to create a winning content strategy and write toward success.

1. Understand your audience

Study the analytics on who visits the company website, learn more about your social media fans, and seek out potential markets for a product. Service providers understand how crucial an audience is.

Create online polls to learn about common concerns, frustrations, successes and techniques your customers (or potential customers) experience while using a product or service. Understanding these needs will help your company build content that genuinely addresses issues of interest to potential clients.

Use analytics to determine the successful search queries and keywords that lead new visitors to your company’s web presence. Incorporate keywords into content naturally, without breaking the flow of the message. Informative and authoritative articles will ensure that followers continue to return to your website.

2. Cultivate article topics

Compelling article titles and leads will pull curious readers into your blog or social media post, You want to invite them to read more. This is why news writers put the information that has the most emotional and factual impact at the beginning of an article. Article topics should cater to the customer base, based on the needs identified in Item 1 above—understand your audience.

Topics should provide solutions to problems, such as “Ways to Avoid…” or “Ten Great Alternatives to….” Avoid negative material that doesn’t offer any solutions. Clients are typically searching for ways to improve their lives with information, products and services.

3. Share with purpose

Once your company has written and published a few articles, tweets and/or blog posts, share them far and wide! Avoid copy-and-pasting the same items into various social media networks. Identical posts across Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr are more apt to turn potential customers off.

Instead, add some variety to each post, and appeal to readers’ curiosity. Status updates that provide solutions and assistance for common concerns are great ways to gain more followers, higher conversion rates and repeat clients.

4. Keep it fresh

Canned content is boring to read and will usually drive audiences away from a webpage. Avoid jargon, really huge fonts and crazy colors. Online readers tend to avoid infomercial-style content when they search for solutions; they prefer informative and educational formats.

A stream of new articles, tweets and blog posts should create a knowledge base for fans and customers to refer to. Content writers should strive to enrich their readers’ lives. If the usual topics seem stale, consider alternative audiences and uses for a product. Branch out and write for students, parents, retirees, military personnel and others.

5. Engage others

Reader feedback and interaction provides a benchmark for content strategy success. Seeing one’s work in print may create a great feeling, but seeing people discuss one’s work is even more rewarding.

Be polite and reply to questions a community generates about your company’s articles, blog posts and social media updates. Offer an open ear; show everybody that you’re receptive to suggestions and observations.

This will enable your company to gain invaluable data about current and potential audiences, address any content discrepancies and build stronger relationships with online followers. Engaging in dialogue with clients will make your company more approachable and memorable.