First, Check What’s Working, What’s Not
We hear it all the time from business owners and marketing department heads of companies – “We’re spending way too much money on search marketing.” “After paying top dollar for content, we don’t know whether to continue or stop—is it working?” “Our rankings tanked after the latest Google update; our SEM budget is wiped out!”
If you have spent heaps of your marketing budget on search engine optimization and content creation, you want to make sure it is helping to extend your brand reach, generate leads and deepen customer engagement. However, if your content strategy is not producing the desired results, you are not alone! The content and search marketing wheel works, but it takes time, and its success depends on the spokes that support and strengthen it. If your wheel has hit a bump in the road, it may be time for you to:
- Pause and repaint the big picture. What do you wish to achieve through your content and search marketing efforts? How much of your marketing budget are you willing to spend on it?
- Redefine the desired outcomes. What does success look like? Will you measure it in views, likes, shares, website hits, user-generated content and hashtags, new leads, conversions, or more?
- Realign your content and search marketing plans to the revised outcomes.
Top Six Cues to Improve Your Content Marketing Plans
Nothing can substitute the process of clearly defining and documenting your content marketing objectives and key success factors. However, the effectiveness of a content and search marketing plan does not stop at having a documented strategy in place.
Ask yourself whether you have focused on these aspects in your content marketing plans so far:
- Knowing your target audience: Due to multiple digital media platforms, and a general information overload, your content strategy’s effectiveness is heavily dependent on narrowing down the target demographics. Mapping your audience or drawing up personas will help you find that sweet spot, where your business proposition satisfies your audience’s interests or challenges. A thorough audience profiling exercise will also go a long way in designing the appropriate format and distribution plans for your content.
- Creating distinguishing content for every phase of the buyer journey: From driving potential buyers at the very top of the sales funnel, to aiding purchase decisions, and retaining existing customers, it’s important to create content for the entire customer lifecycle. Plotting the need and the type of content within your typical buyer’s journey could prevent creation of random or irrelevant content that eats into your precious time and resources.
- Incorporating SEO and search marketing tactics: Content creation using proven SEO best practices is the most cost-effective to generate website traffic. If you haven’t focused on the transformation opportunities presented by Zero-Click SEO, On-SERP SEO, or Near-Me searches (for local brick-and-mortar business), you are missing out on engaging a large chunk of potential customers.
- Optimizing your content: In the battle for eyeballs, your marketing efforts are only as good as the quality of your content.
- Are you creating content that can reach the largest possible target audience?
- Is your content interesting, relatable and actionable, or boring and worth ignoring?
- Are you optimizing the content for various formats that your target audience consumes, including text, audio, and video?
- Does your content take into consideration the dynamics of mobile, tablets, voice assistants, and other devices that your audience prefers?
- Devising a content distribution plan: With the meteoric rise of social media platforms and new digital behaviours, the old pace of content creation or distribution may not work. Have you considered the preferences and content consumption appetite of your target audience, in order to prioritize the frequency and channels for content distribution? For example, if a couple of daily tweets or new Instagram stories generate more interest and action than blogs or direct mails, then you may want to shift gears to satisfy your audience. If you lose your audience to insufficient or boring content, it is immensely challenging to recapture their attention.
- Measuring content strategy effectiveness on an ongoing basis: The good news is that everything in digital content marketing is measurable. Have you used the available tools for tracking brand awareness, conversions and everything in between? Are you regularly monitoring your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to evaluate the effectiveness of your content, and make quick modifications to your plans?
Stay Ahead of the Pack with a Robust Content Marketing Strategy
Constructing and implementing an effective content marketing strategy will help in:
- Improving SEO, driving traffic, and generating leads
- Boosting social media presence, and deepening engagement with customers and prospects
- Building brand awareness, fostering brand loyalty, and demonstrating thought leadership
However, in the continually evolving world of digital content, ‘annual’ strategies may be passé. Today, you may need to tweak your content plans as frequently as monthly, weekly or daily. Is your business agile and equipped to respond to the dynamic needs of your audience? Do you have what it takes to stay ahead of the competition?
Looking to establish the voice and position of your business in a competitive market? The experts at WSI eStrategies in Ottawa can help you design comprehensive and effective content and search marketing plans to stay ahead of the curve. Get in touch with us to book a no-obligation consultation.