There's a lot of content out there. A lot.
The information overload experienced by consumers has become nauseating as new mediums have swelled in popularity, mobile has become an extension of our hands and content continues to multiply at an exponential rate. This has created obvious obstacles for businesses trying to sure-up a content strategy that resonates with their target audience and converts potential customers.
Not to be confused with content marketing, content strategy needs to be applied to every piece of collateral leaving your marketing department. Whether that be website content, out of home advertising, media buys or social media posts everything should be aligned with your overall content strategy.
So this beckons the question, how do you stand out? How you do you find a way to craft content that captivates, informs, and encourages action?
- Create buyer personas - Seriously, do it. You’re not allowed to finish this blog until you do. We can’t enforce that, but it seemed like a good way to make you realize how important they are.
- Identify user journeys - Personas help you develop meaningful content using the right medium. User journeys ensure you’re serving this content with context at the right time.
- Perform a content audit - This shouldn’t just involve the content that you use for content marketing (although this is one piece of it). Look at each page of your website and take note of what’s there. This might include value props, body copy, imagery, or video. Don’t forget about your print or out of home collateral, that’s also relevant content. Revisit any previous campaigns, digital or traditional, and take note of all of the assets created. Emails, downloadable assets, microsites and banner ads are all fair game.
- Find content gaps - Now that you’ve identified the type of content that’s relevant to each persona and performed a content audit, you can find new opportunities to inform potential customers that might have initially slipped through the cracks. It’s also useful to reflect on your content audit to find specific mediums that are under utilized. You might find that your product pages are lacking some vital information for site visitors. Perhaps you’ll realize that your summer campaign targeting missed the mark a bit. Either way, comparing what you have to what you need will help formulate a future roadmap.
- Brainstorm new content ideas - You’ve filled in the gaps, so now you need fresh ideas. Hit the whiteboard and start rattling off some preliminary thoughts. Just be sure to clarify why exactly you're brainstorming. Are you creating webpage content? Blog ideas? Print material? A seasonal campaign? Cross referencing content audits with user journeys usually reveals shortcomings at important touch points, so start there.
To create content that resonates it must be purposeful. Arbitrarily curating content and seeing what sticks is an inefficient and ineffective way to communicate with current and prospective customers. A strategic approach to content paired with exemplarily creative is a formidable combination.
And while it would seem obvious to pair these two apex jungle cats all the time, most businesses only succeed at one or the other. Knowing your customer and how to reach them is paramount. Creative ideas and professional execution are essential. These two together will help attract new customers, support them on the path to purchase, and lead to more sales.