Web content is not just about exciting your audience or engaging them.
A solid content strategy has to be more considered than this. Your content needs to fit into a clearly defined user journey, with each stage leading to the next en route to your bigger objectives.
In other words, content leads a double life. On the one hand, it provides useful information to your audience on a certain topic. On the other, it encourages readers to take a certain action, easing them along the sales funnel.
The buyer’s journey
To understand this better, you need to consider the buyer’s journey — the journey that a user takes as they graduate from being a cold lead to becoming a warm lead, and, eventually, to becoming a customer.
It would be great if the buyer’s journey was as simple as the path laid out above. Unfortunately, in most cases, it is not. You will need to gently warm, encourage, coax, and direct your audience towards the actions you want them to take.
A considered approach
Whenever you craft a piece of content, think about both the long- and short-term objectives. Try to answer the following questions for every piece of content you publish.
- What do the audience want to learn from this content?
- Where are the audience on the buyer’s journey? Are they cold leads or already loyal, repeat customers?
- What do you want your audience to do the instant they finish reading your content?
- What do you want your audience to do at the end of their journey?
- Where did your audience come from to reach this point? Did they click an email link or a social media post, for example?
It’s not an exact science, and you won’t always be able to lead your audience to your desired action. However, if you adopt this considered approach to content — and if you get into the habit of producing content with both short- and long-term objectives in mind — you will begin to see real results.
Be cohesive and build upon past successes
Cohesion is the order of the day here. Take a look at your previous successes and build upon these.
- Did you produce a piece of after-sales support content that resulted in an uptick of add-on purchases?
- Look for opportunities to do the same thing with your other products.
- Did you publish a seasonal-specific blog post that led to an increase in sign-ups for your mailing list?
- Consider how you might replicate this with future content.
Basically, think about the bigger picture with every piece of content you create.
This is the key that unlocks a robust, strategic approach to content production.