Ask yourself: why do you plan out content marketing strategies? Why do you spend all that time creating content?
Is it to boost popularity?
Sell more products?
Inform the public?
All of the above?
In most cases, all of these purposes funnel back to one central purpose: growth.
You want your content marketing to expand your business and get your message in front of more people. The question is, do your marketing strategies actually align with this goal? Are they fueled by the overarching aim to grow?
Today, we want to talk about creating content marketing strategies and goals that actually work toward quantifiable growth (i.e. ROI and revenue). After all, what’s the point of content that isn’t contributing to a larger goal for your business.
In this post, we’ll explore how SEO strategies, your sales team, your readers, and the types of content you produce play a role in your growth capabilities. We’ll also expand upon ideas that will help you maximize your growth possibilities and steer your content marketing strategy toward the ultimate end goal.
1. Determine What Will Boost Your SEO Rankings
When most people think of growth, they think of growth in the online capacity: ranking higher on Google, getting more shares, appearing in a higher number of searches.
Although the general production of content can improve your SEO results, to really make it big with search engines, you need SEO-aligned content marketing strategies. Essentially, this means you’re producing content that is built around SEO, not just sprinkled with a few SEO-friendly tactics.
Content that is focused on SEO marketing typically centers on a single topic in an effort to meet search demand. Writers and producers aren’t just spitballing ideas. They’re targeting a subject that they know fits in with their search engine optimization strategies.
Image Source: Propecta
As you can see from the Propecta graph above, SEO content marketing strategies drive up to 54 percent more growth than generic content marketing that doesn’t place an emphasis on SEO.
The next thing to decide is what will truly impact your SEO ranking factors in content. This isn’t a black and white answer, although there are common tactics you can try – like improving your content’s loading speed and your website’s domain authority.
Generally, your goal should revolve around providing a multi-keyword approach to tackling SEO-friendly topics that are a big deal in your industry. Build a growth-centered content strategy around the important subjects that your readers want to see – and that searchers will find useful.
Say you’re in the health industry. Creating content around coronavirus could be a goldmine to gaining more online visibility. Take a look at what’s already ranking well in your field. Use common, relevant Google searches to fuel your ideas for topics that will work well with SEO growth strategies.
One tool we love to recommend is the WhatsMySERP chrome extension. Whenever you make a Google search, it shows you what the search volume and CPC of that query is. It also provides a bunch of related terms and the search data attached to them!
2. Work in Tandem with Your Sales Team
All too often, we see content teams that stick to themselves, and that’s certainly not a growth-centered strategy. You need input from other areas of your business in order to truly fuel company-wide expansion – especially the sales team.
Members of the sales team know a lot about what your readers and customers want. Think of them as the boots on the ground that are actually doing fieldwork, speaking to real people and learning what concerns, excites, and engages your customers.
As a content writer or strategist, you should view this information as liquid gold. The sales team has access to the questions you need to answer and the themes you need to expand upon – you just need to ask!
Unfortunately, about 25 percent of businesses describe their sales and marketing efforts as either “misaligned” or “rarely aligned.” That’s certainly not the way to grow, both now and in the future.
Image Source: Sigma Chat
Wondering how you can get your sales team effectively involved? We’ve got some tips.
- Ask them what they need. Chances are, they know what answers customers are looking for, and they’ll be more than happy to tell you what kinds of content would be beneficial.
- Involve them in the content creation process. Don’t just make this a one-and-done conversation. Given their knowledge of customer pain points, clue them into what it takes to make great content and include them in the ideation process.
- Open the doors to content access. What goes on in your marketing and content departments doesn’t need to stay hush-hush. Let people know what’s going on and point them toward your resources and previous posts so everyone can get involved.
Before we jump to the next growth-centered tip, let us point out that this partnership between content producers and salespeople shouldn’t just go one way – your content can fuel their success just as much as their ideas can fuel your content.
Content teams who grow quickly know that providing easily accessible content with statistics, valuable information, and success tactics is a surefire way to bring the company onto the same page.
Consider handing out flyers and information packets to your other departments, giving your niche content marketing strategies even more room to ignite change and growth.
3. Ask Yourself What Readers Are Gaining from the Content
You’re probably tired of hearing people tell you to make your content original. It’s difficult, especially when you’re trying to keep up with the topics that do well in search engine results.
How can you rank well for common questions/topics AND stay totally original?
Well, let’s stop talking about making your content original and discuss how you can make your ideas original.
People can write about basic (popular) topics like becoming famous on Instagram or paying down debt until they’re blue in the face, but if they aren’t bringing anything new to the table, what’s the point? What are the readers really gaining from the content?
That’s where originality comes in.
You can tackle old, well-covered topics in a new light. For instance, can you talk about how to become Instagram famous when you’re from a third-world country or you only own five outfits? When you talk about debt, can you shed some new light on saving tactics that haven’t been voiced a thousand times?
At the end of the day, any growth-centered content strategy requires you to ask a question: what value is this really providing?
Too often, content strategists find that the honest answer is minimal value because the topic has already been covered too many times.
Image Source: Become a Writer Today
Besides trying to bring some originality to each piece, we’ve got some other tips for producing valuable content that will actually help you grow.
- Be passionate. People want to hear from content producers who care about what they’re putting out onto the internet. Slapping just any blog post up won’t work. Imbue your content with a sense of excitement, passion, and meaning if you want to truly grow.
- Know your audience. I’m sure you’ve heard this before. How can you provide value if you don’t know what your audience considers to be important? Learning who your target audience is and how they’ll view your content is a key part of instilling value in your marketing strategies.
- Give the people what they want. Most searchers and readers will tell you what they want to see from your content. It’s just a matter of paying attention and asking the right questions.
- Keep your content up-to-date. A piece of content can only stay valuable if it’s accurate. That means your evergreen content and posts with lots of statistics should be updated regularly if they’re to remain valuable to searchers.
We’re going to take a time-tested phrase and alter it for our own purposes: value is in the eye of the beholder.
What’s valuable to the followers of one company might not be valuable to the fans of another. That’s why getting to know your audience and giving the readers what they want is so important.
4. Make Sure Every Piece Serves a Purpose
Ever find yourself feeling like you’re just spitting out content for the sole purpose of producing posts on a regular basis? You’re not alone – content burnout is real, and it’s especially common when you lose the meaning behind the content you were producing in the first place.
If you want your marketing strategies to center around successful growth, you need to understand where your content fits into your overarching goals. What purpose does the content serve at each growth stage, and are the pieces you’re creating really doing their jobs?
Image Source: Valuable Content
Each piece you publish should have a clearly defined job.
This can be anything from giving significance to your products to sharing new ideas and hot takes on old topics. The important thing is to understand the purpose of the piece and make sure that the purpose is actually carried out.
This brings us to our next point: conveying the purpose of your entire brand.
Your digital content shouldn’t just align with the goals of your growth strategies – it should mirror the purpose and values of your brand as a whole.
Topical posts, evergreen content, videos, and even social media posts provide your team with the opportunity to share your company’s larger purpose. Considering that 63 percent of today’s customers prefer to buy from purpose-driven brands, this effort is more important than ever. Think brands like Patagonia, National Geographic, REI, etc. Each piece of content they produce flows into a bigger picture that conveys their brand values.
Don’t just publish content for the sake of publishing: give each post a specific role to play in the overall effort to grow your company and reach customers. You’ll be surprised by how far a little bit of intention can take each of your pieces!
5. Stay Consistent with the Strategies You Develop
Last but not least, let’s talk about consistency.
Think about any scenario in which growth is ideal – planting flowers, raising a child, accumulating wealth.
Consistency is a key factor shared by any growth effort, and although there might be growth spurts, the general idea is to continuously move in the right direction.
If you want your content to effectively fuel long-term growth, you’ll need to get on a schedule and stick to it, as well as keep your goals and intention close by. Unfortunately, that’s easier said than done.
Image Source: Content Marketing Institute
As you can see from this graph, consistency is one of the main struggles that many B2B marketers face. It’s difficult for anyone to constantly come up with new ideas and execute them, regardless of how many members your team has or how many followers are expecting your posts.
The thing is, it doesn’t really matter how often you’re posting. It could be twice a day or twice a week – the important thing is to have a schedule you maintain. Pick a schedule that suits your timeline and allows you to produce high-quality content consistently. Trust us: sacrificing quality for the sake of constant content won’t do you any favors.
Image Source: Kenoobi Markets
Content consistency gives your followers a good idea of what to expect from your brand. It minimizes confusion and builds a better customer experience while also fueling your brand toward future growth and success.
However, consistency doesn’t just come from posting frequency: it also comes from themes and tones. When you’ve got a content team that’s constantly working to produce new, interesting content on a fast-paced track, it’s easy to let conflicting messages and posts slip through.
If you really want to grow as a business, your content needs to stay on one page (metaphorically). That’s why brand guides are so important! Keep track of your values, slogans, imagery, grammatical rules, and other important guidelines so that all of your published content stays consistent.
To wrap this piece up, let’s return to the first question we asked: why do you produce content?
No matter what industry you’re in or how big/small your business might be, growth is essential. Even non-profits and individuals who engage in the business world know that more attention means better results – and content plays a role in that.
Hopefully, this post has given you some ideas as to how you can bring your digital content marketing into alignment with growth goals. These tips can help you produce a more growth-centered strategy, as well as improve your overall content production experience and success.
Riley Heruska is a full-time writer at a E2M Solutions specializing in producing content in the realm of SEO, marketing, and features. Her passion lies in helping others through the use of written word, and she can often be found sharing her travels from around the world.