Your content offers users a glimpse into the heart and soul of your brand. When it’s on-point, you establish yourself as an authority in your field and become the first one people turn to when they have a related question. As a result, your brand becomes the best known source to solve customer pain points.
HubSpot's State of Content Marketing report found 82% of marketers used content to promote their brands. Content marketing saw a whopping 70% increase from the previous year. With more consumers shopping online, digital marketing has become more important than ever before for brands wishing to remain competitive.
How can you know whether your content management efforts work to improve your brand image and increase conversions? Spend a little time assessing your current strategy and follow these steps to improve what you’re doing.
1. Stay On Topic
Over time, it’s tempting to go off down rabbit trails and add useful but not particularly relevant information to your site. Most businesses have a fairly narrow niche. Make a list of the topics your customers ask about most frequently and make sure you stick to those issues when adding new articles, videos and other pieces.
Viciously slash underperforming pieces and make notes on what not to repeat. You can even do a no-index command for pieces you don’t want to show up in search results but aren’t quite ready to delete.
Disney has a blog geared specifically for those interested in their theme parks. News includes topics such as upcoming attraction openings and food guides for those wanting to try some of the more unique offerings in the parks.
Disney is a massive company and could stray into other topics easily, but they keep the focus on how visitors can make the most out of their trip or news about the parks.
2. Take Inventory
One of the best ways to assess your content management efforts is by taking inventory of what you have. Divide pieces into categories and make a list of everything.
Spend time looking at the analytics. Are there some topics your site visitors flock to? They might be worth repeating or going even more in-depth about.
3. Offer Helpful Resources
Brands that offer helpful resources are more likely to retain their customers and attract new ones. Think about the most frequent questions people ask. How can you answer them via your content?
Resources might include articles, videos and webinars. Keep in mind that different people learn best in different ways. Some people are hands-on learners, others learn by hearing and others by seeing. Try to cover a topic in different ways so everyone can take something from the experience.
ParetoHealth devotes an entire page to featured resources. They divide the topics into content types, such as webinar, infographic and video. Users can filter by topic or type to find an answer to their questions.
4. Check Out the Competition
Spend time on your competitors’ websites. What information do they cover? Can you add anything or fill in holes? You should also look at the layout and delivery of content. You can learn a lot by studying what others do.
For example, if you sell makeup, you might have a video blog (vlog) instead of a text-based one. A video allows you to teach techniques for using your products. On the other hand, a more traditional topic, such as finances, may be better suited for text and graphics.
You can learn from your competitors but ask for feedback from your audience to make sure you’re meeting their content needs. What would they like to see more of?
5. Map the Buyer’s Journey
Does your content meet the needs of your audience at different points in the sales funnel? Someone who is in the awareness phase just needs information. Someone in the decision stage needs a strong call to action (CTA) and perhaps some testimonials and other pertinent info.
Know where your users are and what questions they have at each point. Use your content to answer those questions definitively.
Whole Foods knows most people visiting their site want to either know about current sales, find a store or get ideas for dinner. Their recipes blog features on-theme topics, such as ideas for holiday meals and healthy food options. They also break recipes up by categories you’ll see on other recipe sites, such as appetizers, breakfast and entrees.
6. Create a Content Calendar
Don’t get caught in the trap of repeating the same stale information repeatedly. In any industry, there are topics that come up over and over. Writing out what you’ll cover throughout the year keeps you on point for each season and avoids too much coverage of one thing.
An editorial calendar also ensures you release content on a consistent basis. Rather than dumping a bunch of posts at one time, you can schedule for once a week or whatever frequency works best for your company’s needs.
Look for Small Improvements
Each miniscule effort results in better performing content. Pay attention to what people talk about on social media in your industry. Listen to your customers and cover topics they care about. Share good news, offer tips and look for ways to engage your audience.
The more effort you put into providing excellent content, the more recognized your brand will become in your industry. You really can’t go wrong with ramping up your content management efforts. You’ll stand out from your competitors and offer your customers something of value.