Content is king. In fact, content is king, queen and crown prince of the Internet. So why would you go through the trouble of creating a beautifully designed website that is full of sub par content? Content is what attracts people to your site. If you are thinking about redeveloping your website, a content evaluation of your current site is a good place to start. Look at your existing content and be ruthless with your red pen to determine what can be reused, repurposed and what needs to be created fresh. An important thing to remember is just because you think something is important does not mean that your customers feel the same way. These four questions will help guide your content evaluation.
Is your content targeted at your buyer persona?
As most content creators can agree, sometimes your content just doesn’t seem to resonate with your audience. Your audience doesn’t care, they don’t engage with you, they don’t even open the link to view your content. You are not alone- MarketingProfs’ B2B Content Marketing benchmarking report cites that 52% of marketers identify producing engaging content as their largest challenge. Creating detailed buyer personas will help you develop content that really speaks to your ideal customer. If you haven’t done so already, now is a perfect time to download our buyer persona interview guide and get started with creating your buyer personas.
Is your content mapped to your sales cycle?
Every now and then you get a sales leads that is teed up for you, they want to buy your product right now, they have the budget approved, and they have already evaluated your product. However, in the vast majority of cases your sales leads will need a little hand holding. Hence why lead nurturing is a critical component of a successful inbound marketing program. In order to get the most value of out your content it is important to understand the types of questions leads typically ask during each stage of the buying cycle.
Lead nurturing is typically broken down into three stages:
- Awareness: leads have either become aware of your product or service, or they have become aware that they have a need that must be fulfilled
- Evaluation: leads are aware that your product or service could fulfill their need, and they are trying to determine whether you are the best fit
- Purchase: Leads are ready to make a purchase
Content mapping is very specific for each business, product, and buyer persona, but the content mapping structure remains the same. There are four questions you need to ask yourself when aligning your content development with your sales cycle.
- What are the logical pathways to take a lead from awareness, to evaluation, to purchase?
- What specific content assets can be deployed along those pathways to help advance leads to the next stages of the buying cycle?
- What content assets are you missing?
- How do you need to adjust the messaging in your content to align with the persona to whom you are speaking to?
Is your content valuable to your target audience?
From a consumers point of view I am sure you can think of dozens of examples where useless content or incentives have been pushed at you. The free “newsletter” that is really a giant ad for new products, the two-for-one that only applies to the flavours no one likes. You know BS when you see it, and this is no different with business leads. You might think your content is great, but does your audience agree? There are a number of things to consider when evaluating the value of your content assets:
- Does the topic address your target persona’s needs and questions?
- Is the content aligned with the reader’s understanding of the subject matter?
- Is it aligned with the reader’s stage in sales cycle?
- Is the tone clear and accessible?
- Have you use relatable examples to clarify your theories and instructions?
- Have you presented benchmarking data?
- Have you selected the right content type to explain your concept?
- Are you choosing targeted keywords?
When creating content, writing for your buyer persona is always the most important factor, but SEO is a close second. At the end of the day you are creating content with the goal of attracting more visitors, generating more leads, and closing more business. Be as descriptive as possible. Instead of writing for the keyword “agency”, write for the long-tail keyphase “HubSpot certified agency”. Location is another factor to consider when choosing keywords. Leads often look for a product or service in a specific geographic area, for example, “Canadian HubSpot certified agency”.
Do you have an editorial calendar?
Organization and consistency are crucial factors to running an effective inbound marketing program. Creating an editorial calendar is not rocket science, but without it you will likely struggle to consistently publish content on a schedule. Lucky for you, this is where our free editorial calendar template comes in handy!
Within the editorial calendar you will plan each element of your content:
- Due dates
- Content details
- Target personas
Want to learn about more website development best practices?
Download our FREE Website Redesign Guide to learn how the strategic alignment of your website’s functionality, design, and content will help you achieve your marketing objectives. The Website Redesign Guide outlines critical questions you should understand when considering a new website, including how functionality is the foundation for your website, the importance of responsive design and why content trumps all.