For many years, SEO was seen just as a technique to play around with keywords and get better rankings in SERPs. But today, the scenario is completely different as search engines are developing better capabilities to think more like humans and deliver results which satisfy user’s requirements.
That is why content becomes more important than ever before. What search engines wants is the fresh, unique and good quality content and not just the keywords match. So, does this mean that SEO has no more role to play in the whole game?
A good content still needs optimisation to make it to search engine result pages. It will still need techniques of relevant keywords, meta tags, back links etc. and all other factors required in SEO.
Just like in my previous post “SEO and Brand building”, I wrote about how SEO and Brand building work together, the same applies to content as well. In fact, content is an important element of both SEO as well as Brand building.
In simpler words, for SEO to work, it is important to have a good content and vice-versa
So, now we understand that content is very important but how do we create right content?
Well, to create right content requires a good understanding of your target audience, their needs, behaviours, drive and consumer buying cycle. Once you have it, you need to articulate the same in your content.
Content Marketing offers a great opportunity for marketers to sell their products to a large audience but only if done right. No one will like to view your content if it has nothing in it for them. So, you need to understand the trigger which will make your customer buy your product.
I am listing down a few pointers below which should help you to give direction to your content marketing strategy right away.
1. Research your audience:
This is the most important thing you should do before writing any content. Research everything you can about your customers: demographics, interests, problems (which you can solve), habits, education, income levels, aspirations etc. This will give you a good idea about how diverse your customers are and how your product is appealing differently to different people. Now, the next step is to find out the common thread and cluster/segment them based on the points of commonality. These could be anything from as simple as age to aspiration levels or user behaviour.
2. Identify relevant keywords:
Once you have segmented your customers. Now, the next step is to identify keywords which are going to attract your customers from each segment. This is a tricky part as you need to keep in mind two important aspects: interest and relevance for your audience as well as for your business.
Let us understand this with an example.
Let’s say you are a toothpaste brand and you have segmented your users based on their loyalty as “Loyalist”, “Frequent changers” and “Non-buyers”.
Suppose you have identified that “Frequent changers” is the segment for which you need to deliver content. So, for this group you need to work out keywords which will be interesting and relevant.
This is a set of people who frequently change their toothpaste brand and they don’t show loyalty to any of the brands available. So, marketers need to understand what is driving their behavior? It could be that they get bored with one flavor and need variety, or it could be they get attracted towards any new product they see in the market or could be that they purchase brand only with offers.
So, content like “How mint flavor gives you a refreshing kick in the morning?” or “Watch out for these artificial flavor ingredient next time you buy toothpaste” could attract this customer segment with keywords as “Mint flavor” or “Artificial flavor” etc. Here, you are not only solving the consumer problem but also giving a push to your brand by creating a solution.
3. Make a publishing calendar:
Now, once you know on what topics you are going to publish, then the next thing to sort out is when you are going to publish. The best way is to have a calendar in place for your content as this will simplify your schedule and keep things on track. You can further categorise it based on kind of content (like blog, article, video, product page etc.), subject, author etc. It is always good if you have a calendar ready for a month in advance.
4. Review your content:
Now, once your content is ready, the next thing to do is review it. By review, I mean not only the basic spell, font and grammar check but the tone, flow, length, content and SEO check.
Tone- The tone of content should be such that it should be relevant to the users for which the content is targeted at the same time; it should match with the image of your brand.
Content- Check if the intended message is getting delivered or not? The matter will determine if user is able to find what he/she wanted from the content.
Flow- The flow of content should hold on the reader to read more. Storytelling kind of flow is generally recommended but again it depends on subject, type and format of content.
Length- Content should neither be too long or too short. It should deliver what it is supposed to do in optimum length. You should research on the attention span of readers while reading online content.
SEO check- Lastly it is very important to do an SEO check like keywords, internal linkings, tags, description etc. are in place or not.
5. Review Performance:
Once your content is rolled out, the next thing to do is to review its performance. Ideal thing to do is always define KPIs in advance for such reviews. You can have range of KPIs like unique visitors, no. of clicks, no. of shares, lead generated, bounce rates etc. which would help you to define success or failure of your content. At any point of time, if you feel that the intended purpose is not getting solved, then such reviews will be very helpful in improving your other planned contents.
Content Marketing is all about understanding your customers’ needs and problems and delivering a solution to them through your content. It’s a great tool to differentiate your brand, generate more leads and add value to your bottom line.
(The views mentioned here are author’s own personal view. Your comments and feedback are most most welcome )
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