How to create a content marketing strategy that generates free traffic

12Apr, 2018

Creating relevant content is crucial to generating leads online. It shouldn’t be your only strategy but it should be a big part of it.

If you’re like any of the entrepreneurs I’ve met recently, you may be asking a question like;

“I understand that I need to create content and use social media, but how can I make sure that our content drives traffic we want and that the traffic actually turns into paying customers?”

Writing the right content doesn’t have to be a huge burden. Like any other skill, it takes practice. It requires focus, some patience, and consistency.

The more you do it, the easier it gets but there is a process to creating a successful content strategy.

1) Start with Buyer Personas

Everything you do to find and attract new business should be tailored to your buyer personas. If you’re not clear on who your personas are; you need to sit down, brainstorm and figure them out. It’s not easy because you have to focus and spend the time thinking really hard about who your ideal customer is and what they care about.

If you are not sure what Buyer Personas are, here’s a simple definition;

Buyer Personas are research-based representations of who your buyers are, what problems they need solved, what their behavior is, how they think and react to certain things, how they buy, and why they make their buying decisions.

The top two concerns I get from our clients when we start discussing creating content are that; there isn’t enough content to create, and/or that their product is “boring” and no one will be interested. 

These problems are caused by a lack of understanding who your buyers are. When you’re clear on that, your problem becomes narrowing down the topics you can write about.

Here at Marketing Stream, we have a list of over 120 blog post ideas and new ones are added almost daily. The problem becomes execution not content ideas.

2) Create Content That Your Buyer Personas Want

It’s not just about creating content, but rather creating relevant and contextual content that’s in harmony with your audience. This is the critical part and the most difficult task to master.

A report recently came out claiming 52% of marketers find producing the kind of content that engages their biggest challenge.

I’ve always found it interesting that this is the step that scares people. If you have made a sale, you have successfully created content that people want so build on that. Something you wrote, said or did converted them to buy.

The opportunity that content marketing provides is the ability to leverage your message consistently to different buyers personas and scale it using marketing technology.

6 things to focus on when you want your content to resonate with your audience.

  • Deliver Content in the Right Format
  • Literally, Paint a Picture
  • Use Data to Show Impact
  • Solicit Audience Opinion
  • Provide Real-life or Theoretical Examples
  • Solicit Audience Opinion

3) Publish & Promote

Create a content editorial calendar. It will help you visualize all of the content ideas you want to publish and it will help you set deadlines for your content.

Write the content, then edit it. Review it, edit it again…then the questions and second-guessing comes, but you have to push past that and ship it. This is where goals and deadlines help you edit until it’s time to publish. You can always come back to a piece of content and that too should be part of your content strategy. Learn more about maintaining your content strategy.

Research on the Zero Moment of Truth uncovered that the typical customer reviews 10.4 pieces of content before making any type of decision (and that research was done in 2011).  HubSpot has reviewed hundreds of thousands of interactions, and they’ve uncovered some other interesting data.

  • Companies that have 30 or more landing pages get 7x the leads that companies with 5 or fewer get.
  • Companies with 40 or more landing pages get 12x the leads that companies with 5 or fewer get.

That’s some serious conversions and worth considering.

Content creation and social media management is a marathon; it’s not a sprint.

The bottom line is: get your content out and keep working to get better at it. Don’t just publish your content and wait for people to find it.  Promote it. Tweet it, post it on Facebook, Google+, update your LinkedIn status and get your friends & influencers to share it. 

Make sure your sales team has it and that they share the links with the appropriate prospects and customers that they’re working with as well. marketing today is everyone’s job in a company, not just the marketing department.

4) Test & Measure

If there’s one thing I’ve learned it’s that data and facts excel opinions and feelings. 

It doesn’t matter if you like the content you just created. It only matters that your buyer personas do. So track and measure everything you do with things like Hubspot, Facebook Insights, and different plugins if you use WordPress or some other content management system. With technology improving and advancing the way it does, this is becoming easier and easier to do.

The content marketing battle is won by the organization that makes the most consistent incremental improvements. Watch how your personas engage with your content and what motivates them to come back. Develop Key Performance Indicators(KPI’s) that you monitor regularly, and use that data as a guide to what content you should create going forward.

By following these steps, you’ll be creating consistent content that drives traffic for years to come.

About The Author
Craig is one of Marketing Stream's co-founders. He's spent 15+ years working with companies to develop and implement digital products & growth strategies. Craig also blogs about online business on his personal blog at CraigCherlet.com.You can also find and follow him on these social sites.
X