By now, most business owners know that content plays a big role in today's marketing world. It has the power to improve visibility, draw in qualified leads and, ultimately, convert those leads into tangible sales and customers.
But creating that content? Generating new, quality deliverables week in and week out? That's where the difficulty lies—especially for time-strapped professionals.
Making Content Generation Easier
While there's no shortcut for creating good content, there are ways you can make the process easier, more efficient and more effective.
All it takes is a little forethought, some planning and the right systems, and you can create regular, quality content—no matter how small your business or resources may be.
Step 1: Set Your Target Markets
Your first step is to outline your blog's target audience (or, in some cases, multiple audiences.) Delve into their psyche: their wants, needs, hurdles and desires, and really get to know their demographics. How old are they? Where are they located? What jobs do they typically work? How much money do they make and do they have a family?
By better understanding your audience, you can more effectively put yourself in their shoes and devise blogs topics that they'll find valuable and intriguing. This is tantamount to creating effective content.
Step 2: Use SEO
Already have well-researched SEO keywords picked out for your site? Then skip ahead. If you don't, hop on Google's Keyword Planner and dive in. You want to find out what terms customers are searching for out there because 1) using these terms will help bring in more traffic to your site and 2) these are the topics that customers are truly interested inâ€”and would be willing to read content around.
Be sure to look at the monthly search volume and competition (high volume, low- to medium-competition is best), and pay special attention to long tail keywordsâ€”ones that are at least three or four words long. If they include a geographic term or city name, even better. Those are going to bring in qualified, local traffic from right in your area.
Step 3: Create a Monthly Theme and Goal
Use your audience research and keywords to help guide your monthly content themes and goals. Are you targeting seniors and their loved ones? Have long tail keywords like "senior living community doctors" and "health benefits of nursing homes"? Then maybe dedicate December to resident health. Create topics around common health and safety concerns, and give potential residents (and their loved ones) the info they need to be a smarter, wiser consumer.
Also be sure to set out goals for each month. You want to build on traffic, views, clicks and, ideally, conversions with each blog you post, so pay close attention to your analytics. Note what resonates with your audience and what doesn't, and tweak your topics, content and strategy as you go on.
Step 4: Assign Resources and Create a Workflow
Once you have topics and content themes in place, it's time to outline who will do what and when it will get done. Assign team members (or yourself) topics and deadlines, and put it all on a central calendar. If you can configure notifications and reminders on that calendar, that's even better.
Also be sure to line up who will edit each post, who will post it and when each blog will need to go live. You want to create a consistent schedule in which everyone has a defined role and is fully aware of their responsibilities in the pipeline. Make sure there's visibility and accountability across the entire workflow.
Step 5: Define Guidelines
You want your content to be consistent—not to mention well-done, so create a brief guide to help your writers. How will keywords be integrated into each post? What length should posts be? Where will you get photos and what style of images are best? Provide a quick run-down of what you expect each post to deliver, and keep the document housed somewhere central, so all team members have access to it on the fly.
Step 6: Amplify
Your work isn't done once the content is posted. Though optimizing your posts for SEO can help, that's not the only way to bring readers to your blog. Every post should also be amplified via social media—Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and any other platform your brand is on. You'll want to post once when it's first up, then a few times after over the coming weeks and months.
Be sure to incorporate your keywords in each post, and if possible, add an image or relevant hashtag as well. You want those messages to get as much traction as possible, and photos can boost your interactions by as much as 150 percent on Twitter. (Seriously!)
Step 7: Report and Revamp
After every month has come to a close, create a thorough report of each post's performance. How many people saw the post? How many clicked its links or filled out its forms? Where did each visitor come from? These stats can help you see where your posts succeeded and where they fell short.
Only getting a handful of Facebook visitors versus thousands of Twitter ones? Look back at your messaging. Tweak your Facebook post next time, and see if you get more traction. Not getting the leads or views you want? Head back to the drawing board on topics, and try to better align your posts with what customers are searching for—and what your target audience needs and wants.
Need Help Generating Blog Content?
Creating great blog content—especially on a regular basis—can be extremely hard. But in today's digital world, it's a downright necessary. Need help getting your content creation workflow in order? Outlet Creative Group is here to help. Contact us today to get started.