While some schools started last week, it is today that the majority of our kids are headed back to school. In honour of this occasion, today’s blog post is all about continuous learning on how to create great content and how to ensure that your best content keeps working for you. So, whether this is new to you or you are simply seeking a refresher, let’s head back to school for Content Generation 101.
What are Content Generation and Content Marketing?
Content Generation is an essential step in generating online traffic to your website, and in nurturing prospects into becoming customers and advocates of your business. Content Marketing is the practice of creating content that people actively seek will out to help them, amuse entertain them, or otherwise provide value to them. Useful content will be shared, which further benefits your business by increasing its reach and extending your influence.
Develop a solid content strategy
As with any marketing effort, the best way to be successful at content generation is to start by developing a strategy.
- Set objectives: What are you hoping to achieve? What are your business goals?
- Identify your audience: Who are you trying to reach? What interests them the most? Which of their pain points can your business address?
- Pinpoint the fit: How do your products or services fit the needs of your audience? What content can you create that will resonate with them?
Create a plan and editorial calendar
An effective content generation plan will start with the objectives and strategy you’ve set (see above), and set out the tactics and steps required to make it happen.
- Aspects of the plan: Some of the most effective tactics includes blogs, search engine optimization (SEO), and social media.
- Types of content: Create a range of content of varying depth, including blog posts, infographics, website content, newsletters, and white papers.
- Develop an editorial calendar: Building a list of topics and ideas well in advance will help to make content generation less daunting and make it easier to keep up with a steady flow of blog posts and other marketing assets.
- Decide what your key messages are.
- Identify topics that reflect this message and that are consistent with your overall company brand and objectives.
- Monitor news and trends in your industry, and cover these topics in a way that is meaningful to your target market and pertinent to your business offering.
- Set a calendar identifying these planned topics and the dates you will publish posts on these topics. This will keep you organized and on track.
Focus on Quality
Once you have the content generation machine in motion, it is easy to veer off track in the quest to churn out frequent content. Don’t lose sight of your primary business objectives, your key message, or your value proposition. High quality, useful, relevant content is critical to steer a steady stream of prospects to your website, and to convert them into qualified leads, then into happy customers and advocates. Consider the things that will interest your audience, educate them, or make their lives easier, and marry those up with the benefits and unique features of the products or services you offer. Connect the dots for your prospects, and provide them with useful information.
Attract and Nurture your Audience
For a content marketing strategy to be effective, your content has to reach your audience, draw them into your website, and nurture them through your sales process. If you’ve followed our advice on creating and implementing an editorial calendar with frequent generation of useful content, the hard part is done. Our last recommendations focus on propagation of your content:
- Make sharing effortless: Now that you are regularly creating terrific content, you want people to share it far and wide. Make this as easy as possible by:
- Publishing your content in accessible formats (for example, .pdf, .jpg, mobile-friendly web content, YouTube videos, etc.)
- Including social media sharing buttons, so that sharing your content is a simple click away.
- But keep some of your deeper or more focused content “guarded” to guide people through your sales nurturing process. In other words, keep some content accessibly only by filling out a form on your website. This lets you see who has downloaded specific content and gives you an opportunity to collect a bit of information about them and their interests – knowledge that will allow you to continue to nurture the relationship.
Content Generation is something all businesses need to do in order to stay relevant, to continually draw new prospects to their website, and to convert them into loyal repeat customers. We hope our Content Generation 101 post has given you a head start on creating meaningful, interesting content for your business. And now, school’s out for today!