Regardless of your industry, content is the lifeblood of your marketing campaign because it’s ultimately what drives traffic to your website. The content you have on your website should be optimized in a way that captures what your targeted audience is searching for i.e. – your content should provide an answer to the user’s question. Simply put, your content is designed to provide a solution. But how can you know for sure what your targeted audience is searching for? The answer lies in the development of your digital content strategy.
Do you have a specific question in mind about what a digital content strategy is or how we can help you identify your target audience? Please feel free to utilize our helpful table of contents below.
Table of Contents
What is a Digital Content Strategy?
A digital content strategy is a process of creating and disseminating engaging, informative, and consistent information on your website and social media channels. Content doesn’t just come in the form of writing, either. Content can consist of anything that’s published.
content can be the information you provide on your website’s landing pages, in videos and posts you share on your social media channels, emails, newsletters, and everything in between. It’s important to remember that when it comes to developing a digital content strategy, it’s not a one size fits all solution; it’s not enough to simply push out content and hope for the best. You need to identify your target audience, market to the right demographics, analyze your data and listen to your consumer.
Do I Need a Digital Content Marketing Strategy?
Yes. We won’t sugarcoat it; you absolutely need to have a digital content marketing strategy. otherwise, you could be doing all this work for nothing. Building a website takes time and effort (find out exactly how long it takes to build a website here). Because of this, you want all of your hard work to yield a positive result.
Digital content strategies allow you to outline your goals. Identifying your target audience can help you increase website traffic, make more sales and get exposure. It can also allow you to become familiar with your users’ shopping habits, lifestyles, and demographics. This means you can develop a digital content strategy that speaks to your ideal market. In today’s society, a content development strategy is necessary because of how many other companies you’re competing with.
Research backs up this idea, too. According to the website Small Biz Trends, 90% of all businesses integrate digital content strategies into their business model.
Content Development Process Starts With Identifying Your Target Audience
A target audience is one in which your advertising and marketing efforts are geared toward. No two target audiences are going to be the same. For example, a science fiction author isn’t going to try and target those who read historical non-fiction and vice versa. There are four main characteristics you’ll need to analyze when identifying your target audience. These include:
- Demographics – data that relates to a specific group that includes a person’s age, marital status, gender, race, annual income, and education level (to name a few)
- Behavioral – a person’s buying habits and brand interactions
- Geographical – the area in which a person lives, including their particular neighborhood, city and/or state
- Psychological – a person’s lifestyle, beliefs, values, and personality
Regardless of your industry, all four characteristics are imperative to marketing to your target audience because they will help you identify commonalities of the users interacting with your site and/or using your products. This is a process called target marketing.
Understanding target marketing
Target marketing grants you the opportunity to break down a larger market into smaller segments to better focus on one particular group’s consumer habits. One useful way to do this is by creating a persona.
What is a persona and how can it help my content development process?
A persona can help you think like your potential customer; they are a well-researched, semi-fictional character you create online who have different personalities, goals, backgrounds, and even hobbies. Personas can even respond differently to various styles of writing and content.
Start with research
In order to create a persona, I recommend looking into your website or social media analytics to identify any trends that are common amongst your users. If you blog, which ones are getting the most views? If you send out newsletters or other emails, which ones are being opened most often? Which page of your website are users clicking on the most? This helps you to identify any similar habits, ages or geographical locations your users share and provide invaluable insight into what kind of information your user finds most valuable (spoiler: it might be a topic you never suspected!)
Don’t be afraid to ask your consumers
One part of developing your digital content strategy is to actually ask your consumers what they want. These can come in the form of polls, email blasts, and focus groups. Focus groups are a popular – and often necessary – component of the content development process because it allows you to find out what the consumer wants at the source.
Let’s say you post blogs about your products and/or services. When talking to a focus group comprised of similar backgrounds, beliefs, and demographics, you may find out that your users want the content to be shorter, easier to read, or focus on topics you weren’t actively thinking of. You might even find that one demographic engages more often with Facebook than Twitter, giving you the opportunity to tailor your digital content strategy to be effective on different kinds of platforms. This can help you understand how to reach this particular audience more effectively.
You’ll develop a persona from this research who represents a particular demographic and habits that you can tailor your content development strategy toward.
Examples of personas
After gathering and analyzing your data, one of your personas that represent your ideal customer might be:
- Name: John
- Age: 30-40
- Gender: Male
- Interests: Hiking
- Location: New Jersey, U.S.A.
- Education: College
Let’s say you’re a company that sells outdoor equipment. After you looked into your company’s analytics, you learned that males between the ages of 30-40 in New Jersey are engaging with your content that talks about hiking. This information will help you create a persona that’s designed to market to this particular type of individual through your digital marketing strategy.
This persona helps you know how old your user is, where they live (which can be used to help develop keywords), their education level and interests. Based on this research, you might be safe to assume that someone who likes hiking would also be interested in content about the best hiking shoes to wear while climbing and the best hiking trails in a certain location. Now, you have ideas for content that will directly appeal to your ideal customer!
Digital Content Marketing Strategy (Do’s and Don’ts)
When creating content, it’s important to follow these guidelines:
- Establish your goals so you know which steps you have to take to get there, i.e. – if you want to sell more hiking shoes, what do you need to know about your key demographic?
- Look into your analytics, whether through Google, newsletter platforms, and social media channels to identify trends
- Provide useful information. Remember, that the ultimate goal of your content is to provide the user with an answer to their internet search.
- Make sure your content is able to be viewed and easily accessed across different internet browsers, smartphones, tablets, and desktop computers
- Make sure your content is optimized with keywords and other SEO best practices such as internal linking to your social media channels and other pages on your website
- Don’t make these common content development strategy mistakes
Don’t forget about your audience’s needs, but don’t have “tunnel vision” which prevents you from adapting to their needs, when needed. Allison Wert, a Senior Marketing Strategist for Smart Bug Media, talked about how the Coronavirus pandemic changed consumer’s habits and the most successful businesses were the ones who were able to respond to their users’ needs with empathy and value.
Don’t adopt the same content development strategy for all forms of marketing. Your content development strategy will need to be tailored based on the audience that engages with content on your website, social media platforms, videos, and more.
WP Super Host will handle the technical aspects of your site
When it comes to developing a digital content strategy, you need to have a website that will make the process easy. This is one of the biggest benefits of using WordPress. WordPress is one of the most popular sites to build your website from scratch and it can be easily tailored to adapt to any digital content strategy you choose to implement. After you create your website, there is still so much technical maintenance that must be done to keep it up and running. That’s where WP Super Host comes in. Our pricing packages come equipped with automated daily backups and SFTP hosting, which allows you to create credentials for all of your WordPress users with a single click. Allowing WP Super Host to manage the technical aspect of your site allows you to dedicate more time to developing your digital content strategy.
Develop a digital content strategy with the audience as your number one priority. Understanding what your potential customers are searching for and providing useful information that meets their needs, means you’re establishing a connection that will serve you well as your business continues to grow. Remember, placing yourself in the shoes of your consumer is important to understanding what kinds of content they prefer, what information they need to make a decision. Simply put, your digital content strategy is what will make a one-time customer into a loyal one.