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Content Planning for the Win: 10 Expert Tips to Keep Your Audience Engaged Again & Again

April 12, 2017

By Joshua Nite

Blank space: Great when it’s a Taylor Swift song (or a nifty 20’s-style cover of same), not awesome when it’s on your editorial calendar. You want to publish with a steady cadence to keep your audience satisfied. But you know that filler won’t do—it’s got to be quality and quantity.

Great content is no accident. It requires careful planning to provide the value and variety your audience craves. At TopRank Marketing, we create content for dozens of clients. That’s a lot of blank space to fill. But when it’s over, we know the high was worth the pain (sorry, now I have Taylor Swift stuck in my head for the rest of the day. Hopefully you do, too).

Here’s how to create a content plan that’s designed to excel.

#1: Start with Goals

“There is no content strategy without measurement strategy. Before embarking on a content initiative, irrespective of medium or platform, it’s important to know what you want to achieve.” Rebecca Lieb, Principal, Conglomotron LLC

The goal of content marketing is to compel your audience to take action. Without the action, you’re missing the “marketing” half of the equation. So don’t start with what you want your audience to know. Start with what you want them to do.

The desired action could be signing up for your blog, downloading a gated asset, attending a webinar, scheduling a demo, or just sharing your content on social media. Whatever you decide, make sure each piece of content is connected to a measurable result.

#2: Let Your Audience Guide Topic Selection

“The reason we struggle with content marketing is because we haven’t started with ‘Why?’ Customers don’t care about your vanity metrics. Ask them, ‘How can I help?’” Kristina Halvorson, CEO and Founder, Brain Traffic

At TopRank Marketing we have a name for the type of content that gets results: Best Answer Content. The word key word is “answer,” as in “a response to a question.” You’re not starting a conversation about your brand, you’re continuing a conversation about what concerns your audience.

Listen to the questions your audience is asking through search engine queries, emails to your sales department, forums like Quora, and tools like BuzzSumo and Bloomberry.

#3: Hit the Whole Funnel

“Your top of the funnel content must be intellectually divorced from your product but emotionally wed to it.” Joe Chernov, VP of Marketing, InsightSquared

Lower-funnel content is designed to lead directly to revenue. So it’s the type of content upper management likes—meaning it’s the type that helps justify your budget. It makes sense that marketers tend to focus on the lower funnel and go light on the upper stages.

The problem with that approach is that most of your traffic and interest is in earlier stages. If you don’t fill the top of the funnel you won’t have anyone left to read your awesome lower-funnel content. It’s important to find a content balance, with a variety of content across all stages of the funnel. The quantity …read more

Source:: Top Rank Blog