The process of content marketing is an ongoing one, much like keeping your website optimised. Confidence in promoting the right content to your target audience is a huge leap to getting things right. But there'll always be challenges along the way. So how do you improve your content marketing efforts?

We've put together 10 tips you should consider when looking to improve your content marketing.

  1. Why are you producing content?
  2. Define your target audience
  3. Research your target audience's needs
  4. What are your objectives?
  5. Does your content align with your objectives?
  6. What benefits/solutions are you offering?
  7. Do you have the resources?
  8. Create an executable plan
  9. Amplify your content
  10. Benchmark and measure

1. Why are you producing content?

Content creation can very easily lose its purpose and have no discernible impact or influence. Producing content for 'content's sake' was a well-trodden path in years gone by. But today, with more competition and savvy consumers, taking this approach is a non-starter.

Content must have a purpose. And whatever that purpose, your content should reflect it. You may just want to climb the organic rankings and generate more traffic to your website, or you could solely want to generate subscribers to something you're offering. Whatever the reason, your content creation must resonate with the 'why?'

2. Define your target audience

Who exactly are your content efforts focused on? Who do you want to talk to? Without establishing this, you may as well be talking to yourself. Nobody is going to take notice. Defining your target audience is the essence to producing appealing and engaging high quality content.

Split your audience into personas. Give them names, occupations, interests etc. This establishes a picture of who you want to talk to. It also helps with intent i.e. why are they interested in your product or service?

3. Research your target audience's needs

This is linked to the above tip. Carrying out audience/persona research could reinforce what you believed from the outset, or open up a new line of approach.

Having a better understanding of your target audience means you understand them, their needs and their intent. This puts you in a good place when it comes to your content marketing efforts.

4. What are your objectives?

Defining your objectives shapes your approach. If you want to increase sales by x% in a quarter then your efforts need to be focused on messaging and channels that will give you the best chance of achieving your objectives.

Is this taking an 'aggressive' approach? There's a fine balance between inundating your audience with your message and strategically planning your communications to have the most impact.

5. Does your content align with your objectives?

Whether your objectives are to increase sales or generate subscriptions your content marketing strategy needs to align with them. Establishing your user/buyer journeys on your website is a must, as this guides your visitors to conversion points.

Each conversion point needs to be amplified through your content marketing efforts. Social media for instance, is a great way to generate a 'buzz' about offerings.

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6. What benefits/solutions are you offering?

Your target audience is looking to satisfy a need your business is providing, as well as the associated benefits and solutions.

Communicating the benefits and solutions to your audience is key to driving traffic to your website. This can be done using a variety of effective content marketing approaches. Infographics and videos, for instance, provide valuable information on your products or services.

7. Do you have the resources?

It takes time and effort to plan and execute. Take into account the internal and external resources at your disposal. Whether you're outsourcing your digital marketing efforts or they're being done internally, you should budget your content marketing plan and have the right people in place to accommodate its execution.

You don't want to be in a situation where you miss an opportunity because you're low on resources. If this happens you're losing ground on your competitors and your efforts may lose traction.

8. Create an executable plan

This ties in to the above tip. Working within your available resources and budget will enable your content marketing plan to be efficiently executed. Having a 'contingency pot' for those unexpected scenarios when you have to adapt quickly to market conditions can really help with a smoother execution.

9. Amplify your content

Content amplification is all about putting out a ‘louder’ message to the right people, at the right time on the right channel.

As mentioned, your marketing campaigns must focus on the benefits and solutions your products or services offer. A good example of amplifying your content is to use the right social media influencers and advocates to promote your products and services.

10. Benchmark and measure

Measuring the performance of your efforts is vital to see whether your hard work is paying off. Prior to executing your campaign use the current metrics as a benchmark. Doing this will allow you to compare your performance and track its progress.

The recommended four metrics to measure your content marketing are:

  • Consumption: How much (and which) of your content is being consumed
  • Sharing: How much (and which) of your content is being shared
  • Lead generation: How much (and which) of your content is generating leads
  • Sales: How much (and which) of your content is generating sales conversions

At Codehouse we support our customers in their content creation efforts. Our Digital Experience team will provide the best guidance for creating great content. Get in touch to find out more.