Content Strategy

Is your content fit for purpose?

By in Content Strategy

The first thing you did when you decided to start a blog for your business was to prioritise the reasons why – right?

Because if you didn’t – stop right now and check if the content you are creating is in-line with the goals of your content strategy.

We have listed 7 of the most popular reasons businesses start a blog – and defined key content points for each one.

1) SEO
It is surprisingly easy to see good results in organic Google rankings by applying some simple rules to your content and file names. Here are our top tips for getting Google-love with your content:

  • Keywords – make sure you know your keywords and craft them into your headlines and opening paragraphs.
  • Google + – one of the easiest ways to get Google’s attention is to set up a Google + business page, have it verified and then regularly share links to your blog posts. It really is that simple.
  • YouTube – Google owns YouTube, so creating a YouTube channel and posting video blogs will also get you even more Google-love

Remember – Google rewards regularity and originality. And the best bit? These 4 tips are won’t cost you a cent.

Has it worked?
Watch the links to your site rise up the Google rankings. Bonus points for reaching page one without paying for SEO help! Magic.

2) Brand awareness
The human brain finds comfort in familiarity. When we associate a brand with a good experience or good emotions, we start to trust the brand and seek out the feel-good experience. By creating content that focuses on your audience in a way that helps them or makes them feel good, you are creating trust.
When you create your content, think about how it will make your audience feel and how it will affect that all-important trust factor.
The more in tune with your brand personality, and the more helpful your content, the stronger that connection and trust will be.

Has it worked?
Imagine meeting someone at a networking event and they say “hey, didn’t I see an article by you on LinkedIn yesterday? I recognise your name!” Bingo!

3) Social content
If your priority is to fill your social channels, you must create a suite of content ‘accessories’ to use on your social channels. For example, a blog post will have an image, an image with a pull-quote from the content, and a list of related articles from other sources (influencers, market leader etc) that can be shared with reference to your own post.
Once you have assembled your content suite, you can create a posting schedule (and automate it using an app such as Hootsuite.

Using as much original content as possible in your social feeds will help build brand awareness, brand familiarity and trust.

Has it worked?
People are sharing your content on FaceBook and LinkedIn, and conversations are starting in the comments sections. Nice work!

4) Find new prospects
Discovering an endless fountain of new leads is the holy grail of sales in business. Many businesses start creating content with the expectation that they will suddenly have new clients lining up ready to sign a contract – but this is one of the most unrealistic expectations around. A content strategy will help you find new prospects, however the key word here is ‘strategy’.
Make sure you:

Know who your new prospects are, and what they need

Create targeted content that helps them understand how your company can benefit them

Integrate your content with your sales strategy so your content is relevant to your sales targets

Broadcast your content to reach the intended audience when they are paying attention

Track your results – is the content reaching the relevant audience, and is it making an impact?

Modify your content based on your results.

Has it worked?
Having researched who is paying attention to your content, you make a few phone calls and you find that people are happy to talk to you and take the next step. It’s a sale!

5) Keep your existing clients engaged
Your existing clients can be one of your most powerful marketing boosts – if they are happy with your services and are enjoying the benefits, then chances are they are talking about you to friends and colleagues. Staying front of mind and continuing to add value to this audience is vital.

Because you already have a relationship with your clients, a newsletter is a good way to stay in touch, keep them up-to-date with relevant information, and to re-engage them with new services and products. Because even the free newsletter programs can segment your database, you can target your newsletter content to specific groups – for example, everyone who purchased product A, and is ready for an upgrade.

Social channels are also a good way to keep your existing clients engaged. Private groups on FaceBook and LinkedIn are good for creating engaged communities.

Has it worked?
Repeat customers are the best indication of an engaged client base. The percentage of old clients who take up a new offer or upgrade a product is a sign of how well you are nurturing them. Keeping existing clients beats finding new ones!

6) Differentiate from competitors
Standing out from your competition is often over-looked as a reason to create content but in reality, your blog can help you show people how different you really are.

This is where you can let your brand personality shine through. Your logo, site design and graphic branding establish the type of business you are – but like a fashion outfit on a hanger, you don’t get a real sense of personality until you put the clothes on.

The language you use, the point of view you write from – even the format you choose for your blog (written, video, image) lets people know ‘who’ you really are. Create a copy-style guide to maintain consistency.

Has it worked?
Comments like “we really feel your company is a better fit for us” and “the other guys were less expensive, but we really like what you stand for, so we decided to talk to you”  are gold, and you’ve clearly defined ‘who’ you are. Stay real!

7) Establish expert status
Industry experts are the magnetic north of your industry. It is often an established expert who you will turn to for more information, and frequently it is their blog that has the information you need. In today’s business world, many industry experts reach almost celebrity status – Simon Sinek (marketing expert), Michelle Bridges (heath expert), Sir Ken Robinson (education expert) so the value of becoming an expert cannot be overstated.

Well regarded industry experts have two distinct traits.
1) they are highly visible – you know who they are and where to find them online.
2) they are extraordinarily generous with the information they share.

If you wish to use content as part of your strategy to be seen as an expert, you need to be both prolific in the volume of content your create and you need to share as much value as you can – if you look at the experts in your industry area, they not only share valuable information , but they offer a different approach, they challenge the norm, and they plant the seeds of new ways to think about what you do.

Has it worked?
Expert status is about more than killer content – it is about keeping ahead in your ideas, taking risks and making connections. When others turn to your for advice, when your content becomes the ‘go-to’ for your industry, then you are on the rise. Be the change.

At Brilliant, we recommend you prioritise your top three reasons for creating your business blog and making sure your content is sharply focused on the potential impact each one can have.

 

Free ‘how to’ templates so you can publish brilliant content that builds credibility and grows awareness