Content marketing is a strategy that focuses on consistently creating and sharing relevant, interesting content with a target audience, with the end-goal of getting the audience to convert. On the Internet, this is one of the few marketing tactics that stands a chance of succeeding.
Regardless of your enterprise’s scale and industry vertical, you’re vying for attention, and content marketing is a long, difficult road to traverse. That’s true especially if you are a startup or a small business. You lack the resources required to produce and market valuable content in order to promote your brand.
That does not mean you can’t succeed with the right strategy and tools, which brings us to WordPress.
In this post, we will take a look at a few areas to explore and improve your content marketing strategy using a WordPress website (and assorted WordPress plugins and tools that will help you with the job).
1. Start with Content your audience wants…
…not the content that you want to shove down their throats
Did you know that Ryan Reynolds spent over a decade pushing Fox studios for Deadpool and got rejected every single time? The movie eventually got the green light when fans started clamoring for it after some test footage leaked on the Internet 2 years ago. Now it’s one of the top 10 highest grossing films by Fox Studios of all time, right up there with Avatar and Titanic. Fox gave the audience exactly what they wanted. And they profited by hundreds of millions of dollars.
The “relevant and interesting” metric of the content you create is not decided by you. It’s decided by your audience.
As long as the content qualifies as both interesting and relevant, you’ll have an audience. The matter of reaching them will come later. It’s so obvious in retrospect, but the number of people who forget this one significant point is staggering.
Ask your audience what they want. Use your empathy, your instincts, create polls and conduct audience research. Once you find what they want or need, write from your heart. Speak to the audience like you would talk to anyone, without obfuscation or the assumption that the audience is stupid.
2. Looks do matter
Dress up your content for a jaunt on the web.
Your website’s appearance makes an impression but whether it’s good or bad depends on your theme.
You may be the next Stephen King or Salman Rushdie, but your great masterpieces will gather dust if they are not showcased properly. Usability issues like bad navigation, annoying modals, and generally distracting designs will kill any chances of your content being read and marketed.
You need a theme that makes your front-end interface quick to load, responsive, cleanly designed and coded, and accessible to people with sensory/motor impairments. You can look for such a WordPress theme on the Internet, or hire a WordPress customization company to create a bespoke one for you.
3. Be Consistent
Your audience expects you to keep your unspoken promise of providing great content. Being consistent will keep them coming back to you for more.
As a small business with a small audience (for now), you can make do with 1-2 amazing posts per week. Be on the lookout for relevant topics and suggestions from your audience and write about those.
You can delegate the task to dedicated writer(s) in your team to ensure consistency in writing tone as well as publishing times. Assign them Editor/Contributor role and get a plugin like Editorial Calendar for scheduling posts on a daily/weekly/monthly basis.
4. Email isn’t Obsolete
Here’s an infographic depicting how Americans react to email:
Source: Adobe News
They can’t all be work-related conversations, not after office-hours. And they can’t all be personal, not when social media is more convenient.
People respond to mail as long as it’s relevant. This is why large enterprises have white papers and thousands of subscribers. This is why a lot of eCommerce websites react to cart abandonment with emails and enticing discounts in an attempt to bring back the customer.
Now, with reasonably priced plugins and services like Mailchimp, Mailpoet, et al, building a mailing list on WordPress is simple. What’s difficult is how to configure your email marketing campaign for best results.
Here’s an example: MailChimp analytics can be used to create segments within your mailing list. You can use those segments to identify inactive subscribers (those who never click the mail but stop by your website sporadically) to create custom content specifically targeted to drive higher engagement with them.
5. Social Media
Oh, there’s no lack of WordPress plugins to help you share content on Social Media. Yes, enabling social sharing is great, but that’s not what we’re talking about here.
Most small business owners dream of going viral the day their brand joins social media. That’s just… highly unlikely.
What you need to understand is that social media requires careful balance: you need to share content that’s not only relevant to you, but appropriate for a.) the platform, b.) its general user-base, and c.) their platform usage-behavior.
For instance: People tweet 24×7, while Instagram is mostly for selfies/meals and other picture-worthy occasions. Facebook is likewise reserved for longer stretches of time.
Here you can use services like Buffer, which will help you curate and share industry-relevant content from across the web in real-time on specific periods set by you.
Seriously, there’s no lack of WordPress plugins for Search Engine Optimization. First thing you need to understand is that Yoast SEO isn’t the be-all and end-all of SEO on WordPress. Your theme plays a significant role, as in with the use of the following criteria:
- Schema.org markup: Helps search bots identify the type of content you’re posting
- Performance: Well coded themes load fast and result in higher rankings
- User Experience: This includes everything – Translation (localization), usability of the interface, accessibility, and aesthetically pleasing design.
Themes that score well on these metrics are good for your SEO efforts. You need to focus on these three metrics site-wide (with plugins and widgets) to gain better rankings and higher visibility for your content.
7. Test, Analyze, Improve
Content is a major part of overall user-experience, and like UX, it can be analyzed and improved.
The trick is deciding what to test and how to prioritize tests because, let’s face it, you can’t test your headline forever, hoping for endless improvement with every result.
Simple metrics like bounce rates can indicate which pages are either extremely useful or very disappointing to your users. Content experiments and events testing can reveal a lot about which areas of your web pages users are interacting with. Analyzing your traffic influx and where it’s coming from can help you separate leads from visitors.
All this, and more, can be tested with the all-powerful (and absolutely free) Google Universal Analytics, which is simple to integrate with a WordPress website without any help from a coder.
Content marketing won’t yield results overnight. It’s a long road to haul. But success with content-marketing creates reputation and generates business; and it lasts forever as long as you keep up with it.
Tracey Jones is a web development professional working for a leading PSD to WordPress Company called HireWpGeeks Ltd. She has vast experience in developing various web applications in less time. With this post, she is making people aware about how to improve content marketing strategy with WordPress.