‘86% of highly effective organisations have someone in charge of their content strategy.’
The focus of your website is not about you; it’s about what you can do. Existing and potential customers need to be left under no illusion that you have the capabilities to help them achieve their goals. This is achieved through relevant, engaging and original content.
When we talk of content, most think of the words on the homepage or blog posts, but inbound content is so much more.
Inbound content is all the relevant information your visitors see. From landing pages to product descriptions, eBooks to infographics. Inbound content is what visitors use to make up their minds about you. The more attractive the content, the more likely you’ll be able to convert visitors into customers.
Here are 10 ways that you should be tailoring your inbound content to maximise its effectiveness and sell your business to visitors.
Have Clear Objectives
Okay, before you begin to upload words here and images there, you must decide what it is you want your content to achieve. Effective content entices more visits, generates more leads and increases sales. This can be defined as the SMART content.
- Specific – your content should get right to the point. Highlight your USPs, stress benefits, include clear call-to-actions. Always consider exactly what to say. For instance, ‘increase sales’ is ambiguous. ‘Increase sales by 25% in 30 days’ isn’t.
- Measurable – setting clear goals with a numerical value gives you something to measure. Tracking your progress and measuring what you’ve achieved against any benchmarks set at intervals allows you to assess your progress. There’s no substitute for cold, hard data.
- Attainable – your goals should challenge the team, without being unattainable. One of the single biggest mistakes you can make is to over promise and underperform.
- Realistic – the buzz that you get from achieving each goal is a great motivator. Ambition is great, but if you’re having to work around the clock to the point of exhaustion to deliver content, your goals probably need to be re-assessed.
- Timeframe – set a deadline and try to stick to it. This will allow for greater focus and better overall content.
Know Your Personas
Understanding your buyer personas is imperative to creating effective inbound content. These are the people that you want to attract, engage, educate and ultimately sell to – and serve as the foundation for how to create attractive inbound content.
Once you have identified between 5-10 buyer personas, you’ll be able to tailor all the content you create around their needs.
This can be achieved using in the following ways:
- Create a list of each personas most frequent search terms
- Choose between 3-5 long-tail keywords that have the greatest potential for audience engagement and content creation
- Identify the kind of content that each of your personas prefers, i.e. in-depth blog posts, infographics, eBooks
Once you understand your buyer personas, you’ll be able to tailor content to what attracts them. This allows you to prioritise the type of content you create, allowing for maximum attraction and engagement.
Know Your Strategy
Increasing website traffic is generally positive, but it’s pointless if you don’t engage visitors once they’re on your website.
An effective website strategy is one that delivers valuable content at every stage of the buyer’s journey.
- Awareness – when a potential customer is aware that they have a need that you can meet.
- Consideration – when a potential customer has identified what they need and is actively researching sellers to understand what is available to them to meet their needs.
- Decision – when a potential customer has decided on the solution they need, has researched all the options available to them to make their decision.
Great content is the most effective way that you can convert browsers into buyers, intuitively guiding buyers through each stage of their buyer journey.
The best inbound marketing turns strangers into visitors, visitors into leads, leads into buyers – and buyers into advocates of your business.
Have a Clear and Compelling Message
‘Good content is not storytelling. It’s telling your story well.’
Good content marketers understand that ‘cute writing’ will distract the audience from the power of the message. Trying to be too clever can convolute the point you’re trying to make.
Content should always be clear and compelling. Audiences have little time, and even less patience for a Shakespearean sonnet. They want information as quickly as possible.
This ethos should extend throughout all the content you create. Consistency is key. Whether you’re writing homepage content, blogs or even across social media platforms, your message should always be clear, and prompt action.
Remember, you should always have an eye on keyword opportunities when developing your content. Doing the leg work with your keyword research and then implementing this into a fully optimised content article will give your pages a better chance of ranking naturally on the search engines.
Always Choose Valuable Content
Search engines reward valuable content. But, perhaps more importantly, customers reward you for valuable content. Think about how your content can distinguish itself from your competitors. This is how you’ll appeal to your personas.
Promote yourself by giving your customers something that they don’t get anywhere else. Focus on creating content that’s useful, entertaining and tells them something they didn’t know and couldn’t find anywhere else.
Quantity vs. Quality
The debate of whether you should post one 2,000-word blog once a week, or four 500-word blog posts each week continues to this day. But digital marketers agree that content needs to be about both quantity and quality.
Visitors like to see consistency. If you’ve posted a newsworthy piece on Monday and then nothing until the following Monday at which time three separate blogs are posted, visitors will notice this.
Longer blogs are more attractive to Google’s Latent Semantic Index (LSI). They also add more value to your visitor’s user-experience, because they offer more information.
Mix it Up
‘The demand for infographics has increased 800% in the past year’
Don’t make the mistake of repeatedly posting on in-depth blog after another, or having every single page of your website appear the same. Mix it up.
Content is more than just the words on the page. It’s infographics, videos, images. Each of these elements should complement one another.
The goal is to engage your visitors. Repeatedly posting the same type of content will fail to engage anyone.
Get Everyone Involved
The best way to keep your content fresh is to get contributors from the wider organisation and customers involved.
Blogging, for example, can quickly become stale with a single person at the helm. Having multiple perspectives and different ideas keeps content fresh and engaging.
When creating inbound content, it’s important to draw on the skills of a wide range of different subject matter experts. A digital copywriter probably won’t be able to create an infographic which packs the same punch as a graphic designer could, just as a social media specialist probably couldn’t conceptualise a video that fixates an audience in the same way a videographer could.
Creating attractive inbound content is a team effort.
Different Strokes for Different Folks
Having content that appeals to different visitors is essential for an effective inbound content strategy. Publishing timely content is a great way to add a great USP to your blog. Visitors will be encouraged to come back to learn the latest news and how it affects them.
Content that engages and informs your buyer personas is equally important. By creating content that provides the solutions to problems your customers face, you can add real value.
Attractive inbound content will fulfil both these needs.
Give your Content a Platform with Social Media
‘There are 2.3 billion active social media users’
The influence of social media in today’s modern commercial environment cannot be overstated, and affords you a great opportunity to engage with existing and potential customers locally, or all over the world.
By carefully selecting those social media channels with the highest popularity amongst your customers, means you have a platform to quickly and easily share content that visitors will respond to.
The addition of a simple link back to your website, where customers can learn more about your products and services, is a sure-fire way to get visitors to your site. At which time your great on-page content can do the rest!
When combined with engaging, interesting and informative content, social media can be a powerful addition to any inbound marketing strategy, especially when you consider that there are currently over 2 billion active social media users.
Why not create a whiteboard Wednesday? Whiteboard videos can be a great source of useful information, adding value to your website and that extra element to your social media outreach.