Put Yourself in the Shoes of Your Personas
Let's have an out of body experience for a minute and take a look at your company's different personas (don't know what a persona is? Read about them here). What types of content would your persona is interested in? What information are they seeking or wanting to know more about. How does this content make their life easier? How and when do they like to consume their content?
Some of these questions are examined more in depth in the sections below, however, in order to keep your content relevant and targeted, it's important that you are always standing in your persona's shoes when evaluating topics for your content strategy.
What Problems are You Solving?
With each piece of content you produce there needs to be some sort of problem you're helping answer for your persona. This doesn't have to be a big problem, it could be one as small as "When's the best time to post on twitter?" or "How do I get my pool ready for winter?", but it should be addressing some sort of point of pain. This will get readers excited to read your blog and will help give your content value, build your relationship with the reader and build your authority/trust.
Is Your Content Balanced?
There are many different ways to break up your content in order to have variety and in the world of content production, variety is awesome. Here are a few ways you can create variety in your content:
- By the stage of the buying funnel your persona is in (as well talk about next)
- By your different product offerings, for example for our agency we could talk about either Joomla or Inbound Marketing.
- By the style of blog: feature story, interview, event write-up, etc.
- By media format: written, video, audio, etc.
With so many options, it's important that you keep your content varied and balanced (unless you have a specific reason to narrow your content). Keeping variety will keep your readers interested, engaged and help speak to different needs.
Where Does This Content Fit In the Sales Cycle?
All of your content should fit somewhere within the buying cycle of your persona. This could be top funnel where readers are simply looking for additional educational information on your topic. It could be middle funnel where they are looking to qualify a business for the products and services. Or it could be bottom funnel where they are ready to take action and your content is one piece of the puzzle that pushes them over the edge.
It's important that you have a good mix of content for all stages of the buying cycle. My recommended distribution for content is: 50% top funnel, 40% middle funnel, 10% bottom funnel. The reason I have such a low emphasis on the bottom funnel is because these users usually are less interested in content at this point and more interested in converting on some type of promotional offer such as a free consultation or a product demo, however, it's still important to have some content to keep these leads interested and engaged.
What Long Tail Keywords Fit With This Content?
One of the goals of blogging is to help rank your blogs for long tail keywords searches in order to help drive organic search traffic to your website. Once these visitors are on your website, it's your website's job to help convert them into a lead. However, if you do not have clearly defined long tail keywords that you are trying to target with each piece of content then this goal may never be realized.
While developing your content strategy, take time to review different long tail keywords using various keyword tools such as Google Adwords keyword tool, Google Autocomplete on Search and your Google Analytics and Webmaster account.
Is Your Content Unique, Engaging and Fun?
No one wants to hear about the same old boring topics that have been written to death. Personally, after awhile I just start blocking out certain topics if I've already read 2-4 other articles about it. Find topics that others aren't writing about or put a unique spin on a topic that creates interest or discussion.
Additionally, your topics need to engage and excite the reader and get them want to learn more about what you have to say. Pamela Vaughn, Hubspot's Blog Manager, does a great job of this because all her topics have fun, engaging and quarky spins on them that get me thinking, "This seems like a pretty cool article, let's read some more".
These are just some of the questions and concepts to keep in mind while you are developing your content strategy for your blog or content offers. The biggest thing is to just make sure that everything you create is targeted, educational and exciting for your audience to read. I'd recommend spending extra time in the planning phase to ensure you have the best strategy possible because it will help maximize your efforts and get you closer to your content goals.
What do you think? What other questions or considerations do you keep in mind