Building a Content Strategy That Will Actually Drive Visitors to Your Website

Do you find generating traffic to your website a really hard task? It can be discouraging to see flat lines on your analytics, in spite of all your input. Content strategy is the solution.

If content is king in growing your business, then content strategy is the kingmaker. “content without strategy is just stuff!” says Asher Elran from Ignitur.com.

 

Defining your core strategy

You can view content strategy as the art of planning, developing, delivering, and managing your content to drive targeted leads and improve the bottom line.

In other words, it’s the “core strategy” that drives your content engine. Without it, you’ll fail.

 

 

core strategy

 

As a business owner, you should note that content isn’t just the words on the pages, but also the multimedia and images that are used.

To improve the user’s experience on your website, you must ensure that your website has usable, useful, and interesting content. According to Demand Gen Report in 2016, 47% of buyers viewed 3 to 5 pieces of content before completing an order.

The truth is, publishing compelling, informative, and exciting content can drive thousands of visitors to your website. It works for bloggers, ecommerce store owners, and most business models.

Content Marketing Institute claims that almost 90% of companies used content strategy in 2016, and even more adopted it in 2017.

 

 

If you’re ready to develop a winning content strategy, here are 5 vital steps you can implement today to drive qualified traffic to your website:

 

Step #1: Create buyer personas

The best way to start building your content strategy is to research your target audience. What does your target audience love to learn about? This knowledge will be crucial in guiding your planning and development processes.

In other words, before you start creating your content, figure out the identity and the needs of your target audience. What kind of person is your content targeting? The best way to know this is to create buyer personas.

Buyer personas are fictional and generalized representations of your ideal customers which will help you understand your target audience better. A sample of such a persona is shown below.

 

buyer persona

 

 

The sample persona above outlines details about Amanda: her responsibilities, who she reports to, the basis of her evaluation, and other details.

You’ve probably been told repeatedly that developing a buyer persona is essential for creating content that resonates with your audience.

You may also have been told that aligning your content to specific buyers’ needs is the quickest way to differentiate yourself from the crowd—and to make a lasting impact.

 

But how exactly do you develop a persona?

Well, it all starts with asking the right questions. For example, when Pardot resolved to develop a buyer persona, they asked questions similar to the following:

  • What industry(ies) do your ideal customers work in?
  • Are they B2B or B2C or hybrid?
  • What is their budget like?
  • How big is their vision?
  • Is their marketing and sales team large or small?
  • What are the marketing, sales, and customer management tools they’re using?
  • What specific channels do they use for research?
  • Is their business goal clear? What are they hoping to achieve in 3 years?
  • What are their pain points and challenges

Above all, the focus was on satisfying the customer, which became the central point of the company’s goals. Today, Pardot is well-known for a B2B marketing automation solution. Other brands have seen similar or greater results after developing such a persona.

For example, Skytap, a provider of self-service cloud automation solutions, implemented an effective content marketing strategy using insights from their buyer persona. As a result, they increased sales leads by 124%, saw a 210% increase in North American website traffic, as well as a skyrocketing 55% increase in organic search traffic.

 

Step #2: Use Buzzsumo to decide on content topics for the month

Are you starting with a completely new website and trying to figure out what content to create? Finding topics for content should not be a big deal. You should use Buzzsumo.

Buzzsumo is a social tracking tool that helps you find the trending topics in any given category. For example, if you enter the topic “burgers in New York” in the search box, this is what you’ll see:

 

buzzsumo

 

As you can see, the trending content topics are simple and direct, and show a list of the best burgers in New York.

 

Step #3: Create a variety of content

Simply creating a single type of content isn’t the best strategy. If you remember, the reason why you created buyer personas in the first place was to determine their choice of content. Consequently, you need to create a variety of content to suit your different visitors.

Even though it is a challenge for 39% of B2C marketers, there are businesses that use an extensive variety of content for their marketing purposes.

 

 

According to Content Marketing Institute, businesses that are very successful at content marketing use a wide variety of content approaches, about 15 different approaches on the average.

For instance, if your target audience consists of girls aged 14 to 20, and you are selling a beauty product, creating video content for Instagram could be the best content strategy in this case.

However, using this same strategy for the same beauty product and the same target demographic would most likely not work as well on LinkedIn.

It may be that you have a preference for a specific type of content. However, remember that you are not your target audience. Your target audience determines the type of content you produce.

 

Step #4: Choose your content distribution channels

Another important step in building your content strategy is to find out where your target audience is. Don’t just stick to blogging! You should use other distribution channels.

 

content distribution

 

Nobody can deny the power of content marketing and content distribution. According to Demand Metric, “content production and marketing costs 62% less and generates roughly 3X as many leads as traditional marketing.”

Gone are the days when you would publish content and pray for your target audience to find it. Of course, if you are an established marketer, you most likely know the content distribution strategies that will find and attract your target audience. However, for those who are just starting out, this represents a major hurdle.

Remember that every channel is different. Therefore, the content that you share on LinkedIn will most likely not be the same as the content you share on Instagram. Every distribution channel has a way of yielding the best results for your business.

Hence, marketing your beauty products on LinkedIn using a strategy and targeting a demographic better suited to Instagram is a waste of time and resources.

Essentially, you can expand your content distribution channel to attract even more visitors to your website. How?

Content Repurposing.”

 

 

You can simply repurpose your content into a short tutorial video and/or infographic—and share the video on YouTube, Vimeo, or another video sharing platform.

In like manner, you can share your infographic with a new audience on these 20 Infographic submission websites.

 

Step #5: Track performance using analytics tools

What is your progress status? Have you been publishing content for months and received little or no return?

Do you see flat lines on your analytics? There may definitely be something wrong that needs to be fixed. Use Google Analytics to find out what has been going on thus far.

Log onto your Google Analytics account, and navigate to Behavior > Site Content.

 

 

Here, you can check out every single piece of content you have ever posted, and determine which one resulted in the highest traffic, the lowest bounce rate, or the longest time-on-site.

Going further, you can determine the formats and topics of those pieces of content that show the highest performance.

After figuring out why a particular piece of content was successful, you need to focus on creating more content for that topic. You must then discard all the topics and formats that didn’t perform well.

 

 

Conclusion

You need consistent and strategic content to attract and retain your target audience. Without a working strategy, you will probably be complaining about not having enough customers at the end of the day.

Use the outlined steps above to build a pipeline that will drive qualified visitors to your website.

 

 

Read more

Why We Love Graphic Design (And You Should, Too!)

 

Why do I love graphic design? There is no one answer. I’m a graphic designer from Serbia. The first designing steps I made was imagining myself as someone who would earn a nice income from drawing. As time passed by, I realized that graphic design as industry gave me a lot more.

Discover Outdoors at KilimanjaroThe image above is a waving flag with the logo that I did for a travel agency, at the highest top of Kilimanjaro mountain. Can you imagine? I felt like I was there with these guys in the picture. The opportunity that I can work with people around the world, and create something new for them gives me much more than just money as I first thought.

Graphic design is a job that can take you in countless directions, where every project is a story for itself. Another important thing for me is when I create a good relationship with the clients, I learn something new from them.

I started as a freelancer and worked like that for a few years. After a year, I joined Brand Wagon Agency. Why do I love graphic design? This company is another reason. It brought me to these super imaginative and talented people abroad with who I enjoy working and sharing creative ideas.

I’ve told you only a few reasons why I love graphic design. Of course, like in every other job, you are faced with problems that you need to solve, but I find this keeps the job interesting. Every new project teaches you something new, improves your skills, and places your artwork (you) in places you never thought it would appear.

Read more

Which social media platforms suits your business best?

According to the Social Media Examiner, 90% of all marketers indicated that their social media efforts generated more exposure for their businesses. Given this success, it’s beneficial for all companies to try and increase the presence of their brands online. But which social media platforms are best?

Not all forums are created equal. That’s why we’ve created a list of questions to help you decide which social media platforms suit your business best!

4 Questions to Choose Your Best Social Media Platform

Are You Working With A Wide Demographic?

If your business targets people of all ages, then the best social media platform for you is Facebook. Facebook is the cornerstone of social media, and it reaches 1.13 billion daily active users (Statista, 2016). It is also extremely relevant to older consumers and allows your business to communicate with a broader mix of people than other social media platforms.

Do You Need To Share Information Fast?

If you are keen on customer service or need to share news fast, then the best social media platform for you is Twitter. Twitter is excellent for sharing information about your business and for generating viral content.

Users can retweet your content in a matter of seconds, and trending hashtags can help you get your information in front of a vast network of individuals. Twitter also has a broad international reach, with nearly 4x the amount of users abroad than in the U.S. (Pew Research, 2016). In total, the network has 313 million monthly active users (Hubspot, 2016).

Does Your Business Deal With Aesthetics?

If your business is attempting to “sell” a particular lifestyle, then the best social media platform for you is Instagram. Instagram is the perfect place to portray aesthetically pleasing visuals of your product or brand.

Over 95 million photos and videos are shared on Instagram every day. (Instagram, 2016). You can use it to showcase moments or run contests and giveaways, but keep in mind that your content needs to be visually pleasing; otherwise, it won’t be as effective.

Are You Interested In Attracting Millennials?

If millennials are your primary product/business users, then the best social media platform for you is YouTube. YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world, and its video-based content has proven to be highly popular among millennials.

According to Google, 8 out of 10 18- to 49-year-olds watch YouTube in an average month (Google, 2016). If your business has content that has a creative, visual or educational component to it, then you will be able to engage with younger audiences in a big way!

Read more

6 Things About Branding Your Boss Wants To Know

With over 543,000 new businesses starting every month, it should come as no shock that companies need to increasingly be in tune with relevant branding strategies to market their products and services successfully to their target markets.

Here are seven things about branding that your boss wants to know:

Monitor Social Media: Branding is an ever-evolving beast. Luckily for you, the proof is in the pudding. Thanks to social media’s transparency, you can stay aware of the very lifestyle needs and values of the consumer. Furthermore, you should keep track and take note of those trends when developing and fine-tuning your product offerings.

Less Information is More: We live in the “Information Age” and consumers are bombarded with messaging, ads, and loads of data each day. You can’t be everything to everybody. If you want to reach more targeted consumers, be sure to focus on a niche subject and curate valuable information for them in a simplified manner. For example, Brand Wagon Agency has expertise in marketing consulting– and this blog is giving you six easy tips on how to improve your company’s branding and marketing strategies. Easy, focused, direct.

Leverage Influencers: Today’s social media muscle lies in social media “creators” with large followings. Who would be a great influencer for your brand? Think of it as finding a soulmate for your brand’s voice. According to ION (Influencer Orchestration Network), 32% of American social media influencers who represent brands cite Facebook as their best performing platform, followed by Instagram at 24%. With 71% of consumers more likely to make a purchase per social media reference, it’s no surprise how impactful social media influencers are in today’s consumer market.

Now or Never Generation: For those younger, savvy consumers classified as Millennials and Generation Z, social media is second nature to them, meaning get your message across instantaneously. Therefore, pay attention and study trends on social media platforms such as Snapchat, Instagram, and Musical.ly. These social channels can provide instant, personalized, and engaging content. You either have to grab their attention now or never. With expectations set high and attention spans low, provide graphics or video content that will gauge profound emotional reactions along the lines of a laugh, cry, or wow.

Data Analytics FTW: Let’s be honest. People are increasingly handling a breadth of their activities online. So what better data to analyze then your target audience’s online behavior. Using advanced analytics software such as Ignitur allows you to do just that: automatically crunch numbers and categorize data to predict the digital behavior of your target consumers. That way, you can take the guessing game out of tailoring messages and offers to your ideal consumers with excellent results.

Crowning Mobile King: It’s not hard to believe that mobile search volumes are skyrocketing exponentially. Therefore, there is an excellent command building behind GPS-based SEO as opposed to the classic keyword-based SEO approach. Integrating your company with apps such as Google Maps will help your digital presence and visibility when potential consumers are searching for products and services nearby your location. Stay ahead of the game by ensuring your brand is mobile-friendly.

Design, Design, Design: In our highly aesthetic society, graphic design is the last element your brand should overlook. From logos to packaging to graphics applied to the website, marketing materials, and social media posts, minimalist design is all the rage. For your brand to stand out and be digestible, a simple yet functional minimalist packaging and design comes highly recommended.  Less is more!

So what are you waiting for? Pitch these result-driven strategies to your boss and be the branding savior your company needs.

If you need further consultation or suggestions, don’t hesitate to contact us at hopon@brandwagonagency.com or call us directly at 800-460-0100.

 

Read more

Blogging is Like a Box of Chocolates

“Blogging is like a box of chocolates; you never know what you’re going to get.”

You can interpret that statement in a few different ways.

Blogging enables you to be your own boss. You can write about whatever you want, whenever you want. And you can pick and choose how you want to spice each post up.

You can also think of blogging like those addicting snack bins at Whole Foods. You get to handpick each ingredient and put whatever you want in your basket (on your website). Also, the same concept applies to your readers!

Your entrepreneurial side can also see blogging as a way to virtually put yourself on the market for multiple job offers. Blogging will make your resume dynamic and give employers a sense of how you will fit into their company, without even interviewing you.

If you realize your readers are consuming the same piece of chocolate over and over again, here are a few ideas to spice up your blog posts and keep them unique:

Network with new people. Spark up a friendly discussion on someone else’s blog, or make an effort to meet a stranger at the local coffee shop. Also, don’t be afraid to say something a little risky. Step out of your comfort zone! And encourage readers to comment with their thoughts.

Any way you look at blogging, it all can lead back to the same result! There is an enormous potential for you to build a name for yourself, and benefit personally, professionally, and financially. In these cases, the phrase, “blogging is like a box of chocolates; you never know what you’re going to get,” makes perfect sense.

Read more