The Master Marketer BLOG

The Nuts and Bolts of Content Marketing

Posted by Jeffrey Schmidt on Mon, May 14, 2012 @ 6 PM

Today, we're continuing our series of high-level discussions about developing a content strategy for your website. As the title suggests, we'll be spending the next couple posts talking about the "nuts and bolts" of developing this content strategy.

As with the last few posts, this isn't about developing the content itself. It's about thinking about how and why you're developing content, so that your content can be aligned with your overall goals as a business.

Buyer Persona

Developing a Buyer Persona

For a content strategy to really work, you need to have one or more well-defined buyer personas. We touched on this in the last blog, and it's simpler than it sounds. A buyer persona is just a written description and psychological profile of who your customers are. Depending on the scope of your business, you might only have one persona (ie, "B2B customer interested in concrete products") or multiple personas, if you market to different areas and demographics.

Here are a few things to think about when developing this:

  • Basic demographics: age, sex, background, socio-economic status, etc.
  • Shared areas of interest among your customers.
  • Common problems confronting them.
  • Resources they're likely to turn to when solving a problem.
  • Detail-oriented or "big picture" focused?
  • Familiarity with the types of services you offer.

The more detailed and insightful you can make this profile, the more directly you can target your content to your customers.

Conducting a Content Audit

Content audits are time-consuming and somewhat tedious, but they can be invaluable for making sure your content is in line with your goals. Simply put, you review your website, page by page, cataloging details of what's included in them. This is generally best done in a spreadsheet, so you can then start analyzing the data and looking for trends.

When conducting your audit, look for:

  • Type of content: picture, video, text, slideshow, etc
  • Subject matter
  • Keywords used
  • Purpose: Informative, sales pitch, outreach, etc
  • When created and last updated
  • Buyer personas targeted

One side benefit to this approach is that it also allows you to identify pages on your website that are broken, out of date, or in need of updating. By spotting these pages, you can clean up your site.

Putting It Together and Creating a Content Template

Once you've got your buyer persona(s) and your content audit, you can start really strategizing. Ask questions like, "Does this content appeal to my buyers? Is it relevant to them? Is it presented in a way that will catch their interest?" If you find a page where the answer to those questions is mostly "No," that page needs to be revised or removed.

If you find trends that seem to be working well, such as pages that are especially effective, you should also create a content template. This is exactly what it sounds like. Make one or more templates that should be used as guidelines for your content, to help keep your site cohesive and focused on your larger goals.

This template should cover areas such as:

  • Targeted buyer persona
  • Message
  • Purpose
  • Tone
  • Call to Action
  • Guidelines for fonts, color, style and tone

Our recommendation would be to have a different template for each different "style" of message you present. A sales page is going to look significantly different from an instructional blog post, for example.

Pushing Ahead

Once you've put these elements together, you should have a good idea how your content strategy matches up to your overall goals. Until then, stay tuned. Our next post will address how to take this "big picture" information and apply it to specific areas of your web marketing.

Call DeepSky Marketing to find out how you can create a meaningful and profitable content strategy for your company. DeepSky Marketing is a company that provides businesses with profitable marketing systems and verifiable return on investment (ROI). To schedule a brief no-cost consultation call 707 823-3888.

Posted by Jeffrey Schmidt

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