Building an Audience-Focused Content Strategy
If you own a car dealership or plumbing store, then you'll probably want content that encourages people to visit your business location. If you're a real estate agent, then you might be more interested in lead-generating content that gets people to submit contact information. Nonprofit organizations might want content that brings in donations or helps build donor lists. Or, your content might be a digital appetizer, carefully prepared to make customers sign up for more.
Defining your goals is much easier than learning your audience and content tilt. It's just as crucial, though. Why waste time on content that doesn't bring success?
Step 4: List Your Content Ideas
Now you can start brainstorming. Start an ongoing list of content ideas that fit your goals, your tilt and your audience's needs. This is the perfect time to revisit your website's analytics data to see whether any of your long-tailed keywords could be rolled into strong content pieces.
As you build out your list, make sure you have enough content variety to address your audience's various needs. Whenever uncertain, try this — make a list of the five most important needs you'd like to address, and then make columns for each need alongside your list of ideas. Then, for each idea, make an "x" in each column where the need is satisfied. When finished, a quick glance will show whether your content list neglects any needs from your audience.
Step 5: Make an Editorial Calendar
Benjamin Franklin once said, "If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail." That adage applies to many things, including content strategies. Make an editorial calendar that schedules the production and launch of your content to best suit your goals.
Step 6: Production
Content creation is rarely easy, but it's easier once you've cultivated an audience-focused content strategy. Don't get lazy, though! Put careful thought into all your content, even with simple social media posts. Strive to adhere to your content calendar. If you can't meet your predetermined deadlines, either rework your calendar or consider getting help. It's vital to establish a regular flow to your content updates - without that, people won't learn to look your way for relevant, new information.
Also, don't stray from your content tilt. Doing so can be tempting, especially when your content list is short on new ideas. That's why you must always think ahead. Veering from your content tilt can soften your voice and muddy your brand, and the content you produce will likely fall between unremarkable and worthless. You can do better.
An audience-focused content strategy will make all of your marketing efforts more remarkable, useful and helpful for your brand. From an SEO standpoint, an audience-focused strategy is a must for businesses facing stiff competition in search engine rankings. Cultivating this focus takes research and discipline, and it's an ongoing effort, but it's one that pays off in the long run.
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Phil is Founder and COO of Main Street ROI. Phil leads the company’s operations and is primary creator of Main Street ROI’s marketing training programs. He is an expert in search engine marketing, website analytics, and sales funnel optimization. Phil’s marketing thought leadership has been published on Forbes.com, Inc.com, MSN.com, and many other major business media outlets.
Phil earned his Master of Engineering Management degree from Thayer School of Engineering and Tuck School of Business and his Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Engineering degrees from Dartmouth College. While attending Dartmouth, Phil started every game on the varsity football team as the defensive safety.