Find The Gaps In Your Content Marketing Strategy, Then Fill Them
You’ll hear it time and again: Content is king. And it is. Great content can produce qualified leads, improve organic rankings and establish credibility for your brand. However, just because content is king, that doesn’t mean all content is royalty.
Because of its reputation as a difference-maker, most companies have started creating content. But in the rush to produce any content, many fail to establish a thoughtful and purposeful content marketing strategy. The result is often ineffective content that garners little traffic and produces few (if any) results.
So, how do you fix your content deficiencies? Start by identifying them with a content audit.
What Is A Content Audit?
At its essence, a content audit is a process of checking that your existing content aligns with your content marketing strategy. When done right, it helps you to identify gaps and shortcomings in content, so you’re then able to create better and more targeted content that will convert.
While some audits are relatively basic, the most informative ones are incredibly detailed. They look at every URL, keyword, meta description, H1 and H2, as well as a multitude of analytics like bounce rate, time on page and conversion rates.
What Insights Can A Content Audit Reveal?
In most cases, a thorough content audit requires the expertise of content marketing professionals. However, even a simplified version can be insightful. Whether you’re undertaking a professional audit or a DIY version, a typical content audit can reveal:
Content Targeted Toward The Wrong Personas And Pains
Part of a content audit is to define customer personas and their pains, then ensure your content aligns with both.
When you produce content, it should speak to prospects and customers while positioning your company as the solution to their problems. When you target the wrong personas or don’t accurately identify their pains, your content doesn’t resonate with the desired audience or motivate them to move further down the sales funnel.
Gaps In The Buyer’s Journey
In addition to targeting a persona, each piece of content should target a point in the buyer journey – awareness, consideration or decision. During a content audit, you’ll identify which phase of the journey each piece aligns with.
A successful content strategy includes content at all three points in the buyer journey, with each piece leading the customer further down the sales funnel toward conversion. But when there are gaps in that journey, visitors are less likely to convert into customers.
Ineffective And Underperforming Content
Even if all of your content targets the right audience and the entire buyer journey, it still might not convert. Why? Maybe it’s not interesting or informative, or perhaps it’s poorly written. That’s why a robust content audit will dig into analytics related to your content.
For instance, If a piece has a high bounce rate or low time on page, it’s likely visitors don’t like the content or it’s not fulfilling their expectations. If visitors are staying on the page but aren’t converting, you might want to look at your CTAs, including where they’re placed and how they’re worded.
Content That’s Not Properly Optimized
You’ve done everything right. Your content is interesting, informative and properly targets personas and the buyer journey, but you still get no visitors. That raises the question: Does good content actually exist if nobody can find it?
For great content to be found, it needs to be targeted toward topics people care about. Just because you want to discuss your extrusion process does not mean that’s what people want to read. And insignificant content is wasted content.
Your content also needs to be optimized for search engines, which index and rank your pages. Here are a few basic SEO optimization tips:
- Content should be created around keywords with good search volume
- Titles should include a targeted keyword and meet Google’s prescribed length
- Use subheadings to target secondary keywords
- Properly fill out meta descriptions, which serve as a preview for people who are thinking about clicking on your content
- Break up text using short paragraphs, subheadings, bullets and lists
A Detailed Content Audit Can Improve Your Content Marketing Strategy
A more detailed content audit will yield more actionable information than a stripped-down version. The more data you can gather, the easier it will be to identify and act upon gaps in your content strategy.
While a simple DIY content audit can provide insight into gaps in your content, it won’t reveal all of the reasons why it’s not converting, nor will it offer best practice solutions for creating a purposeful and productive content strategy. For that, your best bet is to work with a marketing agency that has inbound expertise.