Publishing a high volume of first-rate content is an essential component to succeeding in the current market. Today’s ecommerce consumers expect consistent, high-quality content from brands, whether that’s from social media, blog posts, or online newsletters.
You engage with your target audience through valuable, relevant content – which means your content marketing strategy should be a top priority for your business. In this guide, we’ll discuss the steps you can take to improve your content marketing to grow your business and expand your customer base.
1. Get to Know Your Audience
The first step to improving your content marketing strategy is determining your target audience. It’s impossible to publish effective content without knowing your potential customers – what they’re searching for and what they value in a product or service.
First, survey your existing customers to analyze your current demographic. This will help you understand how your marketing strategy works and where there are gaps you can address. While you don’t have to research every detail about every customer, it’s a good idea to collect information on:
- Demographic (e.g., age, socioeconomic status)
- The media they consume
- Why they value your business
- Buying decisions and processes
- Pain points
After you’ve collected data on your current customers, you can create buyer personas – representations of your ideal customer based on research and information from potential and existing customers. These personas can give you a good idea of the motivations and goals of your customer base, and you can use them to develop and target future content.
2. Develop Your Mission Statement and Values
A mission statement outlines where you stand in the industry and details your brand’s goals and vision. It helps you stay focused on the future and gives your business a purpose. For example, the mission statement released by LinkedIn describes its goal to “connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful.”
When creating a mission statement, be sure to clearly state your objectives and values and stay realistic about your goals. When it’s completely refined, hold yourself accountable by making it public to your audience, competitors, and employees.
A mission statement is an important piece of your content marketing strategy. It keeps your business on track and ensures your content stays focused on your target audience and your organization’s wider goals. The values in your mission statement should be apparent in all the content you publish, including how you engage with customers on social media.
3. Cultivate a Unique Brand Voice
It’s important that all your business’s content across all channels consistently reflects your brand voice. This conveys the distinct “personality” of your company and helps you stand out from the competition.
For instance, the brand voice for the grocery chain Whole Foods is consistently clean, fresh, and healthy, since their ideal customer is someone who’s focused on nutrition and prioritizes shopping for organic groceries.
Once you’ve determined your brand voice – whether it’s serious, laid-back, or environmentally conscious – detail it in your company’s style guide to ensure that your entire content team stays consistent. A consistent voice is a key aspect of content marketing – it builds trust and loyalty among your customers and ensures you stand out when it’s time to make a purchase.
4. Create a Content Plan
Content planning should be at the core of your marketing strategy. It’s how you determine what content to publish and when and where to do it. There isn’t much point in crafting first-rate content if you don’t have a plan for how to use it!
A content plan should be a timeline of measurable, actionable goals for the content you produce. For example, you may have a goal to increase website traffic by 20% by publishing three unique blog posts a week.
There may be certain times of the year when you release more targeted content than usual to increase your marketing reach. For instance, if you own a baking business, you may increase the production of content relating to weddings in the summer, when more people are looking to hire wedding cake bakers. Or if you run a toy business, you may publish more gift guides as it gets close to the holiday season.
Your overall plan should include information about your target audience (using your buyer personas) and concentrate on the topics they want to see. Within your plan, each individual piece of content should clearly state the format (e.g., blog post, social media post), publication date, and status (e.g., in development, writing, published).
Finally, consider using content managing software to organize your content in a centralized location and keep your team in the loop.
5. Proofread Your Content
Proofreading your content should be the last step before publication. This is a very important stage in your marketing strategy because your content reflects your brand, and customers often make purchasing decisions based on its quality and accuracy.
Content that’s inaccurate or needs to be corrected after publication is a waste of your team’s resources and could damage your reputation. Outsourcing proofreading services to a freelancer is a good way to take a task off your plate and ensure that your published content meets high standards. Consistent, well-written, and error-free content is ultimately more effective at increasing conversions and driving sales.
6. Review Your Content’s Performance
As part of your content strategy, it’s a good idea to review the performance of past content, such as blog posts, articles, and email campaigns. Measure results and analyze what worked and what didn’t so you can shape your future marketing strategy.
For example, how much engagement (such as likes and shares) resulted from your last few social media posts? Was there one type of post that performed better than others? For blog posts, look at how many page views and comments each one has and use that information to plan future articles.
Also, look at the bounce rate to see the percentage of visitors who only viewed one page on your website and didn’t take any action, such as filling out a contact form or making a purchase.
For ecommerce businesses, your online presence and content marketing strategy are what drive conversions and grow your customer base. Our editors understand the importance of top-notch marketing content that aligns with your brand and can help you move prospects through the sales pipeline.
We’ve worked with a wide range of organizations, from innovative startups to Fortune 500 companies. Schedule a call with us today and see what we can do for your business.