All too often you hear agencies and companies talking about how much content they need or on the flip side, how much they have already created. They write this many blog posts, create this many infographics or publish so many new videos per month. Plus they create a white paper every quarter. Don't forget the email blasts, e-books, newsletters, and the list continues on. At first you think, this is AMAZING! This company is creating so much great content, their inbound marketing strategy must be a huge success. And maybe it is. But maybe it isn’t either.
Just because an organization creates a constantly growing library of content, doesn’t mean it’s the right content. The key factor that needs to be at the heart of any content marketing strategy is the audience. If your extensive library of content doesn’t speak to your target audience, your success will be limited at best.
How Can You Be Sure Your Content is Talking to Your Audience?
There are four key steps to follow in order ensure the content your business is publishing, is speaking to your buyers.
1. Define your target audience
Decide specifically who your audience is and create personas to establish who your buyers are, what’s important to them, what problems they have and how they like to communicate. The personas will be the starting point in every piece of content you consider developing moving forward.
2. Establish benchmarks
How is your current content performing? Record a variety of metrics including bounce rates, pages / session, conversions, shares, likes, etc. to see how visitors are interacting with your content. This analytical data can then be used to set benchmarks for your new efforts as well as see where improvements are needed with your current content.
3. Set goals
C’mon! We’re all goal crushers at heart. But you can’t crush a goal you haven’t set. Use your benchmarks and planned improvements to estimate what metrics you want to hit. Make sure you are setting SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Timely). By setting SMART goals you are providing the foundation for continued success.
4. Continuous Improvement
In my opinion, this is the most important step. You’re not always going to hit the mark, so you need to ensure you have the steps in place to learn from your mistakes and improve the next time around. Your audience’s views and opinions may change as they move through different life stages and even throughout their buying journey. Your content needs to evolve too. Learn from the past to create stronger content in the future.
So, have you addressed the above four steps? Does your content marketing strategy include these items? If not, it should. All the content in the world won’t help your business sell your products and services if you’re not talking to the right people.