It’s been said before and it will be said again, “content is king”. And its king for a good reason. Your content has the capability to tell the full story of your business. What do you stand for? Why should a person choose you? What makes you different from the competition? Do you really want to help your customers is your own bottom line your driving force? From your website and core pages to videos and keyword selection, each component can enhance the story you tell. This is why it’s crucial that your approach to content should be clear in how you help your customers solve their own problems.
But Before You do Anything
At onCOREventures, we preach the concept of strategy before tactics. Meaning that before you can jump into your content approach, you need to have a few things figured out. You need to know who your ideal client is, what their customer journey looks like, and how you’re going to reach them.
Telling the Right Story
If you’ve been paying attention to the marketing world, “story” is a term used over and over again. The power of storytelling has persevered for thousands of years. Stories are the foundation of our knowledge and wisdom of today. Their purpose is to be memorable enough to be passed on and shared with others. The stories that stay with us the most are the ones full of inspiration, passion, and wisdom.
The same is true about digital stories. There’s a reason that certain emotional and relatable stories are shared across thousands of social media platforms each day. Telling digital stories begins with understanding what makes readers passionate and engaged. Digital storytelling takes this a step further through a combination of emotion and data. This connection of art-based science can help connect readers in different ways than stories of the past.
Remember, stories are about others, not about your business. Make sure the stories you tell aren’t just a sales pitch for your latest product. They should be about the tangible help and experience your customers receive.
Identifying Those Who Want to Hear Your Story: Ideal Clients
The biggest mistake we see is when a business claims that all clients are ideal clients. Trying to target every individual person only leads to wasted time and resources (two valuable things your small business can always use more of). When you try to target everyone through marketing campaigns, more likely than not, you’re not going to reach or engage with anyone. Remember that your clients are people with individualized experiences. A surgeon is going to have different needs and motivators than a mom with 4 young kids. You need to speak with them as the individuals they are.
Ideal clients are those who are both intrigued by your services. They are also willing to purchase said services from a provider like you. As we are living in an age of customization and individual uniqueness, ideal clients want to be spoken to specifically. Meaning that they want your marketing message to feel like it was crafted just for them. Once your ideal client group is identified, you can use them to guide your marketing campaigns. Utilize factors like age, sex, race, income, values, behavior and other demo/psychographics to determine how to speak to that group.
Keep It Local
When you’re a small, local, brick-and-mortar business, focusing on local content is key. While someone in Minnesota might be searching for the information you’re providing here in Pittsburgh, you’ll want to focus on local consumers in your area. As you’re diving into your ideal client personas, take note of the things they are interested in and how you can incorporate it into your local marketing strategy.
For example, if you own a small smoothie shop, you might find that your ideal clients are consistently perusing flea markets and farm to table food events in local Pittsburgh communities. Just that insight alone can help you create a variety of local content. Perhaps you write blogs about your favorite farm to table events or a recipe of your favorite farm to table smoothie blend. Maybe you even sign up to be a vendor at those events. Being at an event is then a means of developing social media, Google My Business, and blog content promoting the event. You can utilize a video of the event for an edge. Or you could even Livestream portions of it on your social media platforms! The possibilities are endless!
In other words, creating local content about things that your ideal client is interested in is the key to local SEO.
Utilizing Content Hub Pages
You may be able to piece it together, but a content hub page is essentially a hub for your content. These pages focus on a particular topic and contain any form of content related to that topic. These hub pages should be easily found on your website and simultaneously easy to navigate. Types of content within these hubs can include but aren’t limited to:
- White papers
- Informational decks
- Social media feeds
The goal of content hub pages is to show your expertise and skill in these specific topics. Hub pages are NOT a place for sales. Rather hub pages should be educational and act as a resource for users looking for relevant, useful information as a means to help them solve their own problems. Hub pages are a great way to curate trust between your business and customers. That is because customers will see you as a guide, someone sincerely wanting to help, rather than just another number in their sales log.
And as a bonus, the more hub content you provide, the more chance your business has at increasing its visibility across search engines and creating engagement across social media platforms.
“Do I Really Need Video Content?”
While you will still get customers without it, video content is a great way to increase your sales and engagement with your target audience. In the past few years we have seen the power of video and its popularity among consumers. Just think about YouTube for a second. What once was a platform for users to share funny videos has now become an actual job! Now we aren’t saying you need to go out and vlog (video blog) a “day in the life of your small business”, but simply incorporating video into your content is more than enough.
There are a number of ways you can begin incorporating video into your marketing strategy. Start small and try incorporating video into your social media platforms. This can be through live streaming, using video in the “stories” features, or posting an already edited video. Think about the ways you can incorporate video into your site through things like testimonials, employee interviews, or FAQs. Video not only helps continue to curate trust but can create long-term relationships with your customers. Plus, we should mention that video can help consumers spend more time on your website, which can translate to better algorithm rankings.
Keyword Approach to Content Strategy
Keywords help drive specific targeted website traffic. And they do it for free! As a quick refresher, keywords are words and phrases that people use to search the internet. There are some keywords that thousands of users search for. And there are some that aren’t quite that popular. Remember, the more popular a search term or phrase is, the harder it is going to be to rank for it. This is why you’ll want to include more of these unique phrases into your keyword strategy, as it’s a means to help you show up first in those specific areas.
You can use tools such as Google Keyword Research tool and Keyword Finder to help you get started researching the keywords most relevant to your business. Once these keywords have been identified, you can then use them in your marketing strategy. Make sure they are incorporated thoughtfully into your website and then you can create an editorial calendar around them.
The Core of Content
If this article leaves you with anything, we hope it instills the importance of creating genuine content. Yes, you want to rank. Yes, you want to drive sales. But creating and developing sincere stories will always win at the end of the day. Create content that can actually help your customers. Don’t just use a keyword and jargon to make a sale. Consumers today are smarter than that and will see right through that strategy. Remember, at the end of the day, you are providing solutions to the problems your customers face. The stories you tell should remind them that you are listening and that you truly care.