This article is the ninth chapter in our Digital Marketing Blueprint. Our series includes Identifying Your Marketing Problem (Step #1), Understanding Why Digital Marketing Is the Solution (Step #2), Creating a Digital Marketing Budget for Your Business (Step #3), Getting to Know Your Audience (Step #4), Examining Your Key Messages (Step #5), Analyzing Your Existing Online Presence (Step #6), Creating a Keyword Strategy (Step #7), and Optimizing Your Website (Step #8). Additionally, you can download the full guide here for free!
Step #9: Developing a Content Marketing Plan
Now that we have an optimized website, what’s next? Content.
Content marketing is essential in today’s digital landscape for a variety of reasons. As noted above, search engine optimization includes adding fresh content to your website. However, the most important reason to utilize content marketing for your business is to educate your target audience.
With the internet, it is incredibly easy for potential customers to find your competitors—especially if their SEO strategy is more refined than yours. With content marketing, you are helping them choose you instead of your biggest competition. How? By building trust.
On our website, we give out a ton of free content that, in theory, allows anyone to do what we do without hiring us. By doing this, we become an “authority” on our industry who is also willing to give our expertise away for free, which builds trust. We could talk about this all day, but instead, we will just give you some bullet points on why content marketing is important for your business.
- Improve search engine optimization by adding new, fresh content to your website
- Build empathy and authority by showcasing your team’s skills and positioning yourself as the expert in your field
- Influence buying decisions by educating your target audience on how you can better meet your customer’s needs and help them reach their goals
- Build trust by utilizing soft-selling tactics
- Encourage engagement by providing information to share with others, including your social media network
There’s a reason that large businesses are allocating approximately 30% to 50% of their total online marketing budget to content marketing—it works! Whether you recognize it or not, your customers are searching for you, your products, or your services online before making buying decisions. If you are not the one building trust and showing expertise, then you’re losing business to your biggest competitors.
So, what’s the best way to add fresh content to your site?
What Should You Blog About?
Remember those buyer personas? It’s time to revisit them! Your blog should be created with your ideal customers in mind. What are they interested in? What pain points do your products or services address? How can you better educate them about your products or services?
If people are asking you questions, there’s a good chance they’re also searching those questions online. So if you optimize your blogs properly, there’s a chance your blog will show up in search results when they Google their question.
The great thing about having competitors with a digital presence is the ability to see what they are blogging about. You definitely can’t copy their content, but if you’re wondering where to start, you can use what they are writing about as inspiration for your own ideas. Other free tools, like Answer the Public, can help you brainstorm topics related to a certain keyword.
Don’t forget to include some individualized blogs, too. Are you introducing a new product or service? Did you hire new employees? Will you be relocating to another office space? Your blog should be more than just answering people’s questions—it should also help potential customers learn more about your business.
Creating a Blog Calendar
Now that you have some ideas to help you get started, how often should you blog? We highly recommend that every business blog at least once per week. If that sounds intimidating, every other week, or even once a month, is a good start! The point is to get a rhythm down and go from there.
Developing that rhythm, though, can be easier said than done. Over the years, we’ve discovered that simply knowing what you can blog about and deciding how frequently to post is not enough. In order to hold yourself or your team accountable, you need a blog calendar. This doesn’t have to be complicated; it can be a simple spreadsheet that keeps track of each topic, source articles, and keywords you’re optimizing for.
Make sure to designate a person who will be responsible for posting these blogs on your website and then sharing them on social media platforms once they go live.
Track Results through Analytics
With everything digital, you should always track the results of your efforts with Google Analytics. Answer these questions to evaluate the performance of your blogs:
- How many people are reading them?
- How long are those people staying on the blog post before leaving your website?
- Are people going anywhere else on your website after reading your blog?
- Which blogs are performing the best?
- Are you getting actions on social media from your content marketing efforts?
Utilize the data you find to determine which blogs are the most effective for your audience, and use that information to create similar or related content in the future.
The most common thing we hear from people when we explain the importance of blogging is that they don’t have the resources in-house. Whether you are short on staff, time, or writing expertise, outsourcing can help! Uptick Marketing writes blogs for clients in a variety of industries ranging from real estate and law to manufacturing.
The Bottom Line
Content marketing is essential for educating and building up trust with your target audience, which translates to sales down the road.
This article is the ninth chapter in our Digital Marketing Blueprint. Download the full guide here for free!