Inbound marketing is about content. But it’s not about any content, it’s about creating the right content.
Here are 10 ways to create awesome content.
1. Know What Content Actually Is
Before you begin creating awesome content, make sure you know what content actually is. Content is any information that’s made available for and specifically created for websites and distribution online.
While that’s the technical definition, content is essentially the information you share to attract potential and current customers to your product or service. Content is what lets you have an online marketing strategy.
2. Understand Inbound Methodology
Inbound marketing is important for your online marketing strategy, as it is what drives those who don’t know you to interact with you. Content is the foundation for which inbound marketing is built upon. Without content, there’s no inbound marketing.
The methodology with inbound marketing is to attract, convert, close and delight your visitors and customers. Your job is to create content to do each of those things for every one of your potential and current customers.
3. Have a Content Strategy
In order to be successful with inbound marketing, you need to create a content strategy. While this can sound intimidating, it is vital to your marketing success and will help launch you to be an inbound marketing superstar.
A content strategy is a document that outlines the three components of content – Purpose, Format and Topic. By referring to your strategy as you create content, you’ll be able to ensure you’re creating and sharing information that will benefit your company and your brand.
4. Define Your Content’s Purpose
Before any words are written, you must define what your content’s purpose will be. Is it to drive more people to your website? Share information? Convert customers?
Having a defined purpose for your content before you create it will allow you to be focused as you create and ensure you’re fulfilling the reasoning behind the content.
5. Determine the Best Format for Your Content
Whitepapers, webinars, blog posts, videos, templates, and case studies are only some of the formats in which you can create content. Each format serves its own purpose and can attract customers in different ways.
In a prior blog post we talked about Buyer Personas and referring to those as a resource will help you determine the formats to share your content. You know your customers best, and you can determine how they approach content and the best ways they interact with it.
6. Establish the Content’s Topic
Coming up with a topic seems like it would be the hard part, but if you have the right tools, it doesn’t have to be. Referring again to your buyer personas is important here.
The content topics will flow out of the characteristics of your already established buyer personas – what these customers are looking for and how (i.e. in what format) they’ll be attracted to your product.
7. Have Content for Each Stage of the Buyer’s Journey
The buyer’s journey includes several phases – awareness, consideration and decision. Each of these phases requires different formats of content. For instance, a customer in the decision phase would respond better to a competitive analysis whereas a potential customer in the awareness phase may prefer an education piece or an eBook.
Each phase of the buyer’s journey should have different formats, topics and purposes. Determine those and create content around them in order to ensure all your visitors are seeing the content relevant to them.
8. Promote Your Content Through the Right Channels
If someone writes a piece of content and no one sees it is it still content? Without promotion, content can’t serve its purpose within the inbound methodology. Whether your piece is a blog post, webinar or an eBook, promotion is key in order to draw visitors and customers to your web site.
The goal of your content is to get the most use out of it as possible – this can’t be managed without promotion. By leveraging what you know about your customers and what you know about social media and how your customers interact on it, you’ll be able to determine the best ways to promote your content to the people that matter.
9. Find Your Magic Number
How will you determine whether your content was successful? What is your magic number? Whether it’s a 10% increase of visits to your web site, more downloads of your eBook, or a certain number of social media shares you’re looking for, you need to have a metrics by which to measure your content’s success.
Only you can determine what your magic number will be, but create and promote your content in such a way that you can attain your goal.
Inbound marketing and content creation isn’t a one off deal. You have to continue to share content that will attract your customers and help you meet your company’s goals. Repeating these steps for each piece of content is important to have a cohesive inbound marketing strategy as well as create content that continues to attract more and more customers to your site.
Remember, content is the foundation of inbound marketing. The effort behind creating content – the right content that reaches the right people – will pay off as you get more leads, conversions, and customers than ever before.