Producing content is an ongoing exercise. You need to reflect your business values and optimise your goals whilst remaining relevant to your audience.
This drive to relevance is essential to authoritativeness, trust, 'staying-in-the-loop', being 'ahead of the curve' and establishing/maintaining a credible relationship with your audience.
But with the Internet being such a vast pool of information, and with so much choice out there, how do you ensure your content and your brand remains relevant?
We've put together 5 tips that will put you on the right path to create relevant content:
- Know your audience
- Understand user intent
- Do keyword research
- Provide solutions, produce and re-optimise content regularly
1. Know your audience
You can't please all the people all the time. That's why your content needs to resonate as much as possible with your target audience. You can get to know potential customers a lot better by segmenting and creating personas for each audience target group.
A persona is a fictional character that represents a visitor/customer type. For example, a car dealership selling a variety of different cars has created a persona that represents the family saloon customer type. This persona is called 'Family Frank/Freda'.
‘Family Frank/Freda’ has been given fictional details reflective of that market segment. A fictional age, hobbies, background etc.
All pieces of content for this segment will speak to 'Family Frank/Freda'. He/she will be performing relevant search queries and from the search results consume various types of content that meet his/hers needs.
Formulating personas introduces context and, to a certain degree, describes a personality to your target audience that you can start a conversation with.
2. Understand user intent
Understanding user intent is key to a successful content marketing strategy. By knowing your audience and building a picture of them in the form of personas, you can begin to define intent.
When we use search engines our intent falls into three categories, (a) Do something, (b) Know something, (c) Go somewhere. Below are three examples based on the car dealership:
- (a) Do something: How do I buy a used car?
- (b) Know something: Are (brand name) cars reliable?
- (c) Go somewhere: Used car dealerships in my area
3. Do keyword research
By understanding the needs and intent of your audience you'll be able to carry out effective keyword research.
Beneath your personas make a list of the search terms and keywords relevant to them. These should reflect needs and intent, and used 'naturally' throughout your content to not only appeal to your audience, but more importantly, drive traffic to your website through good search engine rankings. Consider the following:
- Organic/PPC keywords
- Popular and niche keywords
- Broad (general) and long-tail (specific) keywords
- Monthly search volumes
- Keywords used by your competitors
- Social keywords and hashtags
It's also important to consider keyword cannibalisation and how to avoid it.
4. Provide solutions, produce and re-optimise content
In addition to producing informative and engaging, search engine friendly content around your selected keywords, it’s also important to consider that potential visitors want solutions and to understand benefits. Your content needs to include your keywords as well as solving problems and delivering benefits.
For example, regarding the 'how’ question, 'How do I?' content could be presented as FAQs covering all the potential questions your audience may ask.
Another approach could be a blog article written by the Head of the Sales team. Whichever approach, each should answer the question (solve the problem) and highlight the benefits of using the product or service with a Call-to-action like ‘Make an enquiry’ or ‘Book a demo’, for instance.
Your content can be as long or short as it needs to, as long as it resonates with your audience and generates conversions. But don't just publish and then leave it.
Content needs to be re-optimised at some point, and even re-purposed to maintain potency and relevance - even long term/evergreen content needs a refresh at some point.
Timing is pivotal to ensuring relevance. It's important that your content is in line with current industry events, trends etc. What's the point of writing about something that was relevant 6 months ago?
If your marketing campaigns are time sensitive, then the distribution and curtailing of content needs to coincide with the start and end of your campaigns.
Keeping on top of your industry with nuggets of insights and expertise will also help go a long way to climbing the content mountain.
Promoting 'trending' and effective content, via blog posts, evergreen content, social media etc. demonstrates that you know your market and your audience and that you’re a trusted authority.
Relevancy makes for a better read, reduces bounce rates and improves conversions.
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