Content marketing has become an essential communication tool for companies. Well crafted, a content marketing strategy helps drive traffic to a website and build a connection with the audience. It is also an excellent conversion aid.
However, content marketing is a long-term job that requires rigor, creativity and willpower. The quality of the content offered, the relevance of the topics covered and the SEO strategy implemented are the keys to success.
We explain what content marketing is, how it benefits your business and how to create a successful editorial strategy.
Definition of content marketing: Content marketing is a content creation strategy that aims to generate leads and increase website traffic. The editor(s) produce quality informative content that meets the demand of their audience. Content marketing is made up of a variety of content: blog article, guide, tutorial, white paper, podcast, video, emailing, newsletter, social media publication, infographics, etc.
For an online store, readers and consumers are sensitive to advice and relevant information. The use of the blog in E-commerce is an interesting lever both from an SEO point of view and from a content marketing point of view.
Content marketing and SEO can become formidable strategies when combined.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the technical process of increasing the quality of traffic and attracting as many visitors as possible to your website.
Content marketing is all about using valuable, relevant content to drive profitable user action.
Deploying SEO actions without making optimal use of the content marketing layer is a failed recipe .
The Internet, Google in particular, generates almost 90% of the first contacts between a company and a customer. While large companies all have a website, only 50% of VSEs and SMEs have one. Among those who have invested in a website, few have implemented a content marketing strategy . Yet, according to a study conducted by Contently, 75% of marketers have seen a real benefit since implementing their content strategy.
Less expensive and more effective than traditional marketing or internet advertising, content marketing is also an effective tool for keeping in touch with customers and generating new leads. Integrated into an inbound marketing strategy, it helps the company achieve its goals and generate more revenue.
The creation of an editorial line must absolutely take into account the notion of persona. These characters inspired by your customers are the starting point for all publications. Writing a blog post or newsletter should be persona oriented. For content to appeal to the target for which it is intended, it must meet the main needs of this target.
The creation of a buyer persona consists of several steps:
- Conduct market research : to find out what makes your customers tick, the easiest way is to ask them.
- Create surveys : Just a few questions to learn more about your typical customer.
- Analyze customer reviews : Google My Business, Facebook, certified reviews, Trip Advisor… consult each review left by your customers to learn how to better understand their needs.
Create a “Buyer persona” sheet for each profile and provid
e as much detail as possible: surname, first name, work, age, nationality, hobbies, income, etc.
To increase traffic through content marketing , keyword analysis is essential. The idea is to discover what are the queries typed by Internet users when they are looking for a product or service similar to yours.
For this, several online tools provide indicators on the keywords searched by Internet users: Yooda Insight, Google's Keyword Planner, SEMrush Keyword Research, etc.
To increase your traffic, it is advisable to work on:
- Short-tail queries : these are short keywords, often a single word or a single expression (content marketing, SEO, web writing, newsletter, etc.). Short-tail keywords get a lot of traffic, but also have a lot of competition. It is therefore more complicated to end up on the first page of Google.
- Long-tail queries: these are longer queries or keywords (find an SEO expert, acquire more visits to my site, how to get subscribers to my newsletter, etc.). The long-tail query is typed less often on Google, but it has the advantage of being less competitive. It is therefore easier to properly reference your page on Google.
- Hot requests: by "hot request", we mean a seasonal request (Christmas menu, Mother's Day gifts, barbecue, etc.). Google Trend allows you to see when this query is most often typed by Internet users. It is then necessary to create new content about a month before the peak of this request and often, it is necessary to publish several articles the days preceding the peak of searches.
- Cold queries: these are queries that generate the same number of searches throughout the year. Here, it does not matter when the content is published. On the other hand, we do not forget that Google appreciates fresh content! It is therefore advisable to publish articles on this theme regularly and to update existing content.
This may seem heavy and yet it is essential. Creating an editorial plan for one year ensures that you always have content creation ideas. It also allows you to avoid being faced with the white page syndrome.
Obviously, nothing is fixed and you can integrate other publications into this schedule, in particular news articles or a subject that you really want to deal with because the moment is right for it.
Absolutely avoid: writing an article quickly because you feel compelled to publish. It is better to postpone the sending of a newsletter or the publication of a blog article than to produce content of which you will not be proud and especially which risks disappointing your readers.
To complete your editorial planning, it is advisable to note the titles of articles and the main keyword targeted. We start by noting the seasonal publications, then we complete the editorial planning, taking care to mix the blog categories.
The idea is to create an agenda of the company's publications. All content must be included: articles, videos, podcasts, infographics, posts on social networks, etc.
Your file can also include a tab by media to detail your publication strategy in more detail.
Varying the publications allows you to reach more people and therefore increase the number of views on your website . Ideally, publications come in multiple formats. That is to say that for a subject, you will create: a blog article, a video, a podcast, an infographic, a post for Linkedin, a Facebook post, a photo for Instagram... Obviously, this is to be adapted to your communication strategy by publishing on the media where your customers and prospects are.
Here is an article to find trends and topic ideas for a business blog and interest readers.
It should not be forgotten that the purpose of content marketing is to attract prospects and convert them into customers. To do this, it is necessary to play on 3 main axes of content:
- Emotional content: information on the life of the company, photos of new arrivals, publications on a company event… this type of content helps to forge a strong bond with Internet users and to humanize the company.
- Content that informs: specialized white paper in your field, guide… the content must help the reader and answer his questions.
- Useful content: it's about writing content that helps your readers: a tutorial, an explanatory video, a comparator or a converter... often, they are sent as a gift in exchange for subscribing to a newsletter. Put next to each other, these contents form the 3 Cs: communication, content and conversion.
It is better to publish one article per week and stick to this pace, than to publish several articles or content in a short time and then not publish anything for several weeks. To achieve this, get ahead in writing or get help from an SEO web editor to build up a database of articles to publish in accordance with your editorial schedule.
The creation of a corporate blog can be an excellent lever for communicating and creating an effective content strategy and creating an editorial line that can reach your target audience by giving them relevant information. The topics covered can be varied and capture the intention of the future buyer at all stages of the information search funnel.
Lead nurturing is a process of nurturing a marketing relationship with prospects (leads). Adapting your content marketing strategy to different types of prospects is a winning strategy.
To be effective, your content marketing strategy must be based on quality content.
But what is quality content?
Qualitative content is content that meets the following requirements:
- Compliance with SEO writing rules
- Impeccable spelling
- Structure of the text facilitating reading on small screens: short paragraphs, bulleted list, words in bold, table of contents with anchors (redirection links in the text)
- Informative: the article must be useful to your reader
- Write compelling introductions to capture the reader
Regarding the style or angle, it will be necessary to ensure that it remains in line with the image and values of your company. Before publishing an article, ask yourself these two questions:
- Does the article perfectly reflect the image I want to convey of my company?
- Does the article meet an expectation or a need of my readers?
Often the production of content is exclusively dedicated to a single person designated as the editor of the company. However, by asking each employee to invest in the creation of content, the company gains in diversity. Here's how to collectively create content that meets your editorial line:
- Give your employees free access to your editorial charter
- Set up a shared work area (Slack, Trello) where everyone can write down content ideas
- Detect talents: writers , designers, proofreaders , graphic designers, etc.
- Highlight the employee by creating an “author” tag and letting him sign his articles
- Make content creation a “routine” in your business
Finally, measuring the results of your content strategy is a key step.
First, set KPIs. This may be :
- The number of views
- The amount of sharing
- The natural referencing of the article
- The number of subscribers on a list of subscribers
- Performance on social networks
For your blog, use Google Analytics which will provide you with data on:
- The number of page views : to know the articles most appreciated by readers
- The bounce rate : if it is high, it means that the content does not interest your readers or that they did not find what they were looking for
- The time spent on the page : the longer it is, the more it demonstrates the reader's interest in the article (note however that Google Analytics cannot check whether the reader is present in front of his screen or whether he is absent ) . It's important to optimize landing pages for conversions with reassurance elements to reassure prospects and consumers.
For your social networks, use Hootsuite which allows users to follow the activity of their social networks in real time.
Content marketing is a strong trend that is very successful with companies, but also with consumers. Lead generation, increased traffic, improvement of the natural referencing of the site, improvement of the brand image… are among the elements favorably impacted by a good content marketing strategy.