When setting out content strategies, keep the following tips in mind (with a strawberry milkshake in hand of course), as they will help manage your content, engage prospects and increase rankings online:
- Ideas: Ideas will sustain a marketing strategy of any kind, and you should bring plenty with you when you start out. Ideas can come from anywhere around you. Don’t be afraid to be inspired by something that interests your prospects and customers. For example: What are their needs, frustrations or goals? Ask them using your Facebook page. Find the answers and turn them into useful content. This creates engagement and a personable approach to marketing.
- Solutions: If your ideas are not supplemented by solutions, your content strategy will quickly lose energy and coherence. You should be trying to solve a problem for your audience. Make sure to carry plenty of solutions that will keep your content strategy going and help you sustain long enough to be noticed. For example: use infographics to demonstrate how you may solve these problems. Set your News Feed on “Highlighted Stories First” to receive only the most popular/engaging updates.
- Planning: You need a detailed map that shows you where you need to go. This is vital for your staff and customers; make your brand their inspiration. Again, infographics is a great tool to visualise your road map.
- Metrics: The ability to track and analyse where you are, will help you decide where you need to go. You must make course corrections if you travel in the wrong direction, and your metrics help drive your decisions. For example: What content is most engaging and what content is least engaging. Use tools such as Webmaster Tools, Google Analytics, Facebook Insights, or other social media listening tools such as Social Mention, HootSuit, Sprout Social Media etc.
- SEO: Whether you’ve produced a website, written articles and blog posts, videos, or slideshows, your keywords are like a mirror that flashes in front of the search engines, alerting them to your location. The long-tail keywords, titles and descriptions help narrow the focus, the way a whistle helps people find you at close range. For example: What is your Alexa ranking, keep in mind that you would want to continue to improve on this by looking at how people are finding the site. What keywords are they using? Use Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools to find this information. Otherwise, you would want to keep an eye out on the following META tags and conduct AB tests to see what content works best:
<meta name=”description” content=“RICH CONTENT.” />
- Social Media: By generating opportunities for engagement between people, they will find your content on Facebook and share it to Twitter, Google Plus, and Pinterest. Your content should have the ability to drive activity that spreads, as it generates interest from one person to another, which helps you get noticed in the storm. For example: Competitions on social media relating to your products are great for spreading interest.
Bupa launched new Facebook campaign called ‘Find A Healthier You.’ The campaign takes people on a journey across their Facebook page, clues are provided to those that participate, similar to a scavenger hunt, before finishing up on a membership registration form. The Facebook campaign is designed to make participants think about the decisions they make and how it affects their health over time. A great campaign that engaged prospects to sign and become a member.
- Research: You need to see the direction of the path ahead, and uncover any pitfalls and obstacles that might trip you up. This means always scanning industry news for trends, and reading into customer and competitor activity. Surveys and studies will also shed light on where your audience is headed, so you can get there, where you can be found. For example: The small business market plays a significant role in the Australian economy, accounting for almost half of employment in the private non-financial sector and over a third of production. According to business surveys and the Bank’s liaison program, conditions have been weaker for small businesses than their larger counterparts over the past two years. Following the 2008 downturn, there was a less durable recovery for small businesses than for large businesses; small business conditions only briefly returned to average levels in early 2010 before being below average for most of the following two years.
- Design: Your website, blog, videos, presentations, newsletters, shopping cart and other materials should be optimised to help you get found. This means a website layout that helps highlight the content, titles, descriptions, images and related tags so that search engines and viewers alike find it attractive and inviting. For example: Many website dont have ALT tags on all images. As a small business owner or manager, ensure these tags are set with appropriate content.
- Technology: Use a good content management system, customer relationship management tool, e-commerce software, social media management, and content collaboration application to help you create, store, publish and share your materials. I regularly use the following tools: Sprout Social Media Desktop, Topsy Instant Social Insight, SEO PowerSuit, WebCEO, and WordPress.
- Support: You need technical support to sustain a powerful content strategy through the inevitable breakdowns that may occur. It’s difficult to know the ins and outs of all the platforms you may need to administer, so having another set of hands is like having the right gauze, splints and blister protection. I’m your MARKETING EXPERT.
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