Last Saturday, Ashley Zeckman presented to a packed room of bloggers and shared a presentation titled: Mastering the Art of Blogging: 6 Recipes to Help You Become A More Successful Content Creator at the annual MN Blogger Conference.
The MN Blogger Conference offers a great opportunity for bloggers and content marketers to gather and learn insights on content strategy, search engine optimization, and social media. In her presentation, Ashley shared that unfortunately only 37% of companies have a documented content strategy (according to Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs) which presents an opportunity for content marketers to gain an advantage over competitors. Ashley was able to outline six recipes or strategies to gain your advantage. The six content marketing recipes include:
- Discovery Donuts
- Content Mission Canapés
- Best Answer Biscuits
- Less is More Lasagna
- Content Cheeseburger
- Influencer Ice Cream Sundae
Recipe 1: Discovery Donuts
The discovery donuts recipe focuses on understanding your audience. Ashley stated, “Today’s consumers are overwhelmed with information and have become much more selective about which companies or brands they interact with.” To provide the best information for your audience, you need to build personas to target the right person within your audience. To build personas, ask your current customers directly with surveys, social polls, or calling them fairly continuously. Also, review your analytics to identify content types or key phrases from internal search that people are finding on your website. Analytics is a great tool that can help content marketers build a strategy that targets each personas. The last way to build a persona is to conduct keyword research to discover the “best answer” for their pain point.
Recipe 2: Content Mission Canapés
Ashley quoted Joe Pulizzi “To work, your [content] mission statement has to be all about the pain points of your readers.” To create a content mission statement that targets pain points you should include:
- Who you are.
- Who you’re trying to reach.
- How you plan to reach them.
- What you want to accomplish.
Recipe 3: Best Answer Biscuits
One successful content marketing strategy is to provide the “best answer” for your audience’s questions. Lee Odden was quoted, “Create signals of authority that position you as the best answer wherever your customers are searching.” The reason you want to be the best answer is because 50% of content gets 8 shares or less (BuzzSumo & Moz). The best answer will continue to be found via search and help your target audience. Key to a best answer strategy is creating resource rich content that ranks well in search engines. These pages should essential be the “best answer” for a particular topic.
Creating a consistent experience is also an important part of a “best answer” strategy since blogging today is actually a multi-channel approach. Everything from your blog posts to site content and social profiles need to create a consistent experience. Provide a consistent look and feel, along with messaging, to make your audience now that they are interacting with you.
Recipe 4: Less is More Lasagna
We are publishing so much content, that it is causing content overload. According to Ann Handley, “We don’t need more content, we need better content.” The overall idea is to provide more quality content over quantity. Ashley states that why more content isn’t better. She states, “When you try to pump out more content, the lowered quality can actually negatively impact the perception of your blog or brand.” Instead, focus on creating resource rich, high quality content.
To better reach prospective customers, identify key traits of your current ideal customers. Then develop profiles or personas to better target these identified audience members to focus on content impact. To create impact, make highly relevant content. Also, use contacts, tools and data to help determine relevance. Lastly, think about your distribution strategy.
Recipe 5: Content Cheeseburger
When it comes to content create evergreen content that can be slightly modified (or not) and be used again and again. Truth is, only a fraction of your audience saw it the first time, so why not share again. Also, use analytics to determine which posts resonate most with your audience. Always go back to your analytics to continue to identify what posts could be revised to meet changing audience needs. Another great content strategy would be to start a series to keep your readers coming back. Then you can point back to the previous posts in the series to breath new life into them.
Recipe 6: Influencer Ice Cream Sundae
Ashley shared that, “you can begin including influencer contributions into your blog content, without event having to perform outreach.” also utilize influencers to facilitate greater reach of your content, improve quality and some say influencer content can inspire more buyer engagement to leads and booked deals.
Ongoing influencer involvement can also lead to organic advocacy of your brand, products and services.If you curate or co-create, you can reach out to influencers and make it easy for them to share. Influencers are busy people so you want to remove as much friction as possible.
You can see Ashley’s full presentation below on SlideShare: