In order for your audience to be inspired by and interested in the content you produce, they want more than a sales pitch. They want a relationship with the person behind the brand.
According to HubSpot, 55% of marketers agree that content creation is their top inbound marketing strategy. Proper content marketing gets three times more leads than paid search advertisements.
While you want content that resonates with your audience, you still need your content to rank and be discoverable.
Content that ranks well with search engine platforms such as Google, Bing and Yahoo can increase your lead generation, revenue and brand authority across the industry.
According to SEO Tribunal, some of the most important content ranking data to keep an eye out for includes:
First results in Google search pages have a 34% click-through rate
93% of all online experiences begin with a search engine query
67,000 Google searches are performed every second of every day
Updating existing posts with new SEO and keywords can increase their conversion rates up to 111%
Plan SEO in advance
When creating your content, search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the things you can incorporate to make sure your content will reach your target audience. It shows how you can make your content easily visible on various search engines.
One of the key aspects of SEO is keywords.
Keywords are trending words and phrases relevant to your specific industry. Their inclusion can increase your content’s ranking and ensure that it is seen by as many readers as possible through popular search engines.
You can use a free service (i.e., Google Keyword Planner and Ubersuggest) or paid services (i.e., Moz, SEMrush and Ahrefs) to generate, analyze and research keywords for your topics.
Now that you have SEO keywords in mind, what do you do?
According to the experts at Develomark, here are some dos and don’ts to get started:
Grab their attention with headlines
Make it readable with shorter paragraphs and more bullet points
Keep your voice active
Stuff your text or headlines with keywords
Use too much jargon
Plagiarize your content
Keep your audience in mind
Whenever you create any sort of content for your e-commerce website, blog or social media accounts, you should always remember you’re making it for your audience to enjoy and benefit from. This kind of tactic will help you start creating content that will be more relatable to your audience.
Before you can write for your audience, you have to know your audience.
There are two ways to get to know your audience.
First, create customer personas. HubSpot has an easy-to-follow persona builder to help you.
Personas help by allowing your content creators, writers and designers target different parts of your target audience in the content they create. This allows for easier audience segmentation and targeted, customer-focused content creation without generalized wording or messages.
Lastly, use tools like session recordings, polls and heatmaps to learn more about your audience’s behavior.
Recordings: Watch what your visitors are doing on your website and how they navigate. Are there specific products that grab their interest? Filter through recording data to see specific information, such as geographic location or UTM parameters for more insight.
Polls: When in doubt, ask your visitors questions like, “Is there a specific product you would like us to sell?” or “What issues are top of your mind this week?”
Heatmaps: Segment your dynamic heatmaps see how different audience demographics behave. For example, you can segment heatmap data to see how Facebook visitors behaved when compared to PPC visitors. Do they look for different information? How does their behavior differ from other customers?
Tip: Scroll heatmaps can detail how far your visitors are reading, if they prefer short- or long-form content and whether your main message or call to action is placed too low on a page.
To use this information:
Look at areas where you can fill in a content gap. If recordings show a larger number of visitors exiting on your shipping information, update your shipping FAQs to be clearer. What content could you provide to help your visitors make a purchase?
Craft blog posts based on their poll responses and heatmap clicks. If visitors are asking for more content on setting up your product or better instructions, make it happen.
Create a customer journey
Before you dive into content creation, take a step back. You know the keywords you need to include and what your visitors want or need to read. Now you need to consider where in the customer’s journey this piece fits.
Let’s break down your typical customer’s journey into stages and see which content types would fit each stage for your content creators’ consideration:
Awareness – Generates awareness of your brand
Advertisement of your products or services
Education – Educates the reader about your industry and niche
FAQ pages and general industry how-to articles
Case studies and analysis pieces with takeaways
Product or service demonstrations
Conversion – Incentivizes your reader into making a purchase
Multichannel sales campaigns
Free samples and shipping
Recurrent Purchase – Incentivizes existing customers into spending more
Social proof content from satisfied customers
To get a better understanding of this point, you’ll have to think of a customer as a hero in a book. Your customer’s journey will start with them finding out about your brand from someone or somewhere online.
After that, they’ll (hopefully) be interested in what you have to offer, check out your website, complete a purchase and follow you on social media.
You’ll have to pay attention to make sure they’re satisfied with your services and that you’re offering them enough help and guidance every step of the way.
All in all, you should look for ways to link your content based on the campaign, theme or customer profile currently in focus.
Instruct your content creators to think a few weeks in advance in terms of what types of content they produce to ensure individual sales campaigns feel like cohesive wholes.
For example, you can start a campaign by teasing upcoming sales on your website and social media before proceeding to market individual items and services for several weeks.
The final step of your customer’s journey should end with them being happy about both the services and the products they received. This will result in them talking about your brand to their peers as well as possibly their followers on their own social media pages.
On top of that, they might even end up making another purchase in the future.
Use website topic clustering
Now that you’ve researched SEO keywords and know your target audience and where your content fits in the customer’s journey, you need to look at what topics would benefit your needs and your audience’s wants.
Your solution is topic clustering.
Topic clustering represents creating a series of content pieces centered on a single idea or a theme.
This type of content will make it easier for your writers and designers to focus on quality rather than quantity by allowing them to think about ways to explore and expand on singular topics like the best online writing services do.
Essentially, it can help you create large amounts of content based on only a few topics.
Let’s break down a typical topic cluster cycle for your customer-oriented content:
The first step in creating a topic cluster is to define your “pillar.” A pillar is the central topic or theme of your topic cluster, such as “customer-focused content.”
Once your pillar is defined, you should look for ways to come up with as many variations of that pillar in terms of writing topic titles for your writers – for example:
Customer-focused content and how it can benefit your brand
Top customer-focused content trends for 2019
Customer-focused content mistakes to avoid
The three topics we’ve created based on the central pillar all follow the same theme and can be grouped into a single category, or a topic cluster. Topic clusters should always be created based on pillars that have good SEO ranking, which is why keywords make the best pillars for this type of content creation.
Find relevant keywords for your audience and you will be able to make the most of what topic clustering has to offer.
For example, if your e-commerce niche is makeup, you can make “natural product” posts based on makeup-related topics such as:
Morning makeup routine with natural products
Best natural product shops and their prices
How to make your own natural products for makeup
Lastly, the best way to increase your customer-centric content’s effectiveness through topic clustering is to rely on a content calendar. You can create content calendars via platforms such as Google Sheets and schedule new posts for different days throughout a single week.
A content calendar will make it easier for your content creators to organize their time and to focus on most important topics first before moving on to those scheduled for later down the line.
Most importantly, it would allow your regular readers to get accustomed to expect new content on your website or blog on specific days, ensuring that they always come back for more without additional marketing.
Keep it simple
Now we’re ready to write amazing content. As you craft your piece, don’t forget the simple rule to Keep It Simple Silly (KISS).
The truth is that simple content is better than complicated content no one can understand.
As Avi Dan with Avidan Strategies said, “Simplicity helps eliminate the gap between the brand and the customer. In a world crowded with complexity, simple experiences stand out. And the rewards to a company and a brand are considerable – greater customer loyalty and advocacy, and increased revenue.”
No matter the type of business niche or size, you will have to keep in mind that anyone online can come in contact with your content. If they can’t understand it, they’ll stop reading.
Keeping the content you create simple to read for the average visitor can help you attract more people interested in your brand and help you achieve more conversions. However, don’t confuse simple as boring.
A few points worth keeping in mind when it comes to keeping your content simple include:
Personalize your content – address your readers as individuals
Use everyday lingo and wording instead of industry-specific terms and technical phrases
Make sure that your articles and posts are free of errors and are well-formatted with paragraphs, subheadings and bullet points
Use data visualization and create simple charts and graphs to illustrate numeric data to your readers
Focus on actionable wording and calls to action rather than passive information.
Use creative calls to action
Whether you’re creating content for social media, a product page or a blog, don’t forget a call to action (CTA). The action can be anything you want your visitors to do, whether it’s to download a white paper, sign up for a newsletter, add to a cart or read more.
CTAs are typically simple phrases that can be found throughout the content or one CTA button at the end of your post.
If you are posting a picture showing off one of your products, add a direct link in the photo caption to your website with a phrase that will motivate the customer to take a look. A great example can be found at Moments a Day, a blog and e-commerce shop dedicated to family growth.
Their business model revolves around creating customer-focused content which in turn promotes their online store with items readers can order. It’s a simple yet effective one-two tactic that can allow you to embed shopping links throughout the writing.
Social media tip: On certain social media platforms, like Instagram, you can also add a “shop now” button on your post to redirect your customer immediately.
Here are some examples of CTAs you may want to consider:
Sign me up
Don’t waste any time to claim this offer! Let’s do it!
Explore the collection
These examples can help your followers become customers quickly by helping them make a decision without putting much thought into it.
Helpful tip: Heatmaps can help you visualize how many people are clicking on your CTAs. Keep those that receive lots of clicks and remove those that have lower engagement.
Write captivating headlines
The headlines you create will need to be intentional to let people know what they should expect from the full content.
According to WordStream, a few tips for better headlines include:
Using numbers, digits and lists
Define what the article is about
Demonstrate your value
Educate the masses
Think about what matters to your audience
Of course, you can always work with a professional writing service that will connect you with writers who know exactly how to create the right headlines, incorporating your audience’s preferences and the right SEO tactics to make your content visible.
Even though you might have thought creating customer-focused content might not be easy, the good news is there are plenty of tricks you can use to make this strategy work for you.
With that said, ideal customer-focused content copy should include:
SEO-focused planning and topic brainstorming
Audience-centric, targeted content planning
Customer’s journey and content calendar integration
Topic clustering for the sake of streamlined content production
Simple and approachable wording, phrasing and formatting
Calls to action which ensure conversion
Captivating and attention-grabbing headlines which entice engagement
From making sure you’re reaching your target audience in a way that resonates with them to generating better-quality headlines, you can very easily create content for your product pages, blog and social media posts that end in happier customers and more sales.
Which of these strategies will you incorporate in your content creation pipeline?