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Scalable content generation strategy: The online marketer’s formula for success

To produce high quality content in volume, you need a scalable content strategyWhen you are a large company or an agency, generating large volumes of good content can be quite a challenge. It can get expensive pretty quickly.  It is also time-consuming.

And in the end, high quality content is not a guarantee of explosive attention and viral sharing.

In order for your content generation to be sustainable, it needs to be scalable. The formula for success is using fewer resources to generate more high quality content.

In addition, your content needs to provide an excellent user experience and convey a consistent brand message, in compliance with brand standards.

Yes, I know, it is easier said than done!

The only way you can sustain content generation without breaking the bank is by making your content strategy scalable.

Planning Your Content Strategy

Planning your content strategy can be broken down into three foundational steps: defining your target audience, doing a content audit and regular inventory, and setting your content marketing goals.

1. Audience.  You will be using your content to speak to the customers you are trying to reach.  Of course, it makes sense to learn about these people to determine what is important to them.  Why would they listen to you?

Once you know what they want and what message they respond to, you will be able to craft your brand message more effectively.

There are many ways to collect information about your website visitors.  You can run surveys, look at feedback and contact email, or talk to customer support. You can follow your tribe on social media. You can interview your most typical clients.

Once you know who your audience is, look at your website analytics. If you can, segment the data to fit your audience profile better. Trace their routes on your website and make note of what they are doing with your content.

Find out which content they like and share. Learn which content prompts them to take action and become your customer. And finally, which content does not affect them whatsoever.

Note what type of content they prefer – text, video, audio, etc. You will also notice if your audience likes to comment or they prefer sharing.

2. Content audit and inventory.  It is important to do a content inventory regularly.  Audit your content to avoid duplication and ensure accuracy and freshness.

You can combine the audit with your audience review.  The analysis will show if your content corresponds with the interests of your visitors.

When reviewing your site, mark the pages that need to be updated or expanded.  These should be popular pages that your visitors share and comment on.  Review the comments and note ideas for new pages or blog posts.

Some of the content can be re-purposed, some needs to be deleted.  Mark the pages accordingly.

3. Set goals. You know what your audience wants. You know what you have to offer.  It is time to define your content marketing goals.

Revise your business objectives and align them with your content strategy.  Use your business and branding goals to guide your marketing.

At this step, you need to craft your brand message:

  • What are you trying to communicate to your audience?
  • What is your tone?
  • What do you expect your audience to do once they receive your message?
  • Why would they care about what you have to say?
  • What is the benefit for them to know that you exist?

If you have answers to these questions, you are ready for the next step – implementation.

Implement Your Content Strategy

The only way to achieve scalable content generation is to have good processes in place.

You can start with a content schedule. Define tools and technology you will need to build work flows, help with the planning, approval, optimization, and distribution of your content.

Now you are ready for resources.  Train them. Assign specific roles for each person. Your staff needs to be held accountable for the results and, therefore, they need to own their part of the process. Outsourcing content generation is also an option.  With clear goals and processes, outsourcing can be very successful.

Create a process for generating a content pipeline. It should start with ideas. Then you can take each idea and cover different angles for a series of (un)related posts.

  • Take one idea and create content in multiple formats – video, audio, text, infographic, white paper, etc.
  • Use one idea, same content, but different delivery channels: blog, social media, email, press release, conference presentation, advertising, interview, etc.

Define types of content that match your goals.  Consider options like how to’s, tutorials, guides, checklists, or glossaries. These are usually very popular types of content.

Determine how much of each type of content you need. Create a process for generating each type of content.

Remember that content you needed to update? Go for it. Re-purpose those other pages. Put the deadlines on the content calendar.

Measure Results

Determine how you will measure success. Go back to your goals and objectives, review your content strategy, and set KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) and targets.

Define reports and their frequency. Who is your audience for the reports?  What are the next actions for them based on the data you are reporting?

What you measure will show you how you are doing.  Base your metrics on data that matters to achieving your goals. A high bounce rate on a blog post might be okay, if the time-on-page is high enough.  But a high bounce rate on a conversion page means that your message missed the mark.

Final Thoughts

Remember the formula to a scalable content generation strategy?

Fewer resources generating more high quality content make a scalable strategy.  Good processes will ensure that few resources are used. They will also streamline the very process of content generation.

As a result, you will receive large quantities of different types of content. Applying audience knowledge to your company message will solidify the quality.

About the Author ~ Lyena Solomon

Lyena is Director of Search at Milestone Internet Marketing. She is leading the SEO and analytics teams providing strategy, overseeing processes, facilitating and carrying out training and testing latest strategies to improve conversion and revenue.

Lyena has extensive experience in SEO, analytics, website usability and navigation. You can connect with Lyena on Twitter and Google Plus.

 

photo thanks to UggBoy<3UggGirl

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How do readers consume your content?

Guest Author, Lyena Solomon

You are an SEO copywriter. As a matter of fact, you are a pro who makes a living doing just that – writing for websites. You write great content that aims to convert visitors. You know all about keyword research and call to action. You figured out who your audience is and did persona modeling. You know your way around analytics.

What you also know oh so well is how hard it is to convert a website visitor. User intent is often a mystery when you look at a search query.

Usability SEO tips can help optimize your pages. Still, your job is to grab the user with your content, get them interested, convince them to sign up or buy, and, finally, spread the word about your fabulous company.

Get ready for some tricks and tips on how to make your copy revenue-generating. The fascinating psychology of user behavior (combined with PPC testing) will make you a mind-reader. Well, not exactly, but close enough to get you a raise as the best converting copywriter.

Know Your Audience

When you are writing a post you have the audience in mind.  Is it a “Methodical” engineer? Or a “Humanistic” activist, passionate about a cause? Could it be a “Spontaneous” visitor who wants to learn a new skill? Or, possibly, an information-hungry “Competitive” blog scanner?

These user behaviors were observed and described by Jakob Nielsen in one of his eye tracking studies. The study did not address web copy specifically. However, we can learn quite a lot from it.

User behavior on your page is relevant to how users will consume your content. Jakob Nielsen outlines 4 types of behavior:

  • Competitive (type A)
  • Methodical (type B)
  • Spontaneous (type C)
  • Humanistic (type D)

If you keep them in mind when writing your copy, your content will be sticky and appealing.

Your audience will consume your content as follows:

  • Competitive browsers will quickly look at the header, note the highlighted content, scan the bullet points, and gloss over the menu. They will quickly make a decision about your page and their next action.
  • Methodical users will use similar logical approach to your content.  They will scan the page but more carefully, reading not only highlighted portions, but the text around them. They will study the menu and possibly links to learn more on the subject. They will pay attention to details.
  • Spontaneous visitors suffer from copy ADHD.  They will look at everything quickly, focusing on nothing, looking for something they can do on the page. If they see anything interactive, they will want to check it out.  That includes sharing, comments, voting, ranking, polls, etc.  They will be attracted to pictures and video, pretty buttons and fancy design.
  • Humanistic types will look for anything in the content that relates to them.  They will also be drawn to the pictures and design, but will spend more time examining it than a Spontaneous user.  They will share your content with their friends only if it resonates with their beliefs and emotions.

All these types of visitors respond to different types of content. Obviously, you cannot create a separate page for each of them, but you can format the content based on your audience.  The trick is to figure out whom your content appeals to best.

Plot your content on page

Your keyword research and the main topic should indicate to some extent, what kind of user would be most interested in your content.  If it is a piece about green technology, for example, your Humanistic types would be your primary target.  If you are writing about gadgets, I would focus on Competitive and Methodical types.

Put your main point in the first paragraph for the Competitive user. Make sure your call to action, sharing buttons, subscription offers are above the fold. Use bold and italic fonts to make your copy scannable. Make sure they know quickly what the next step is, i.e. call to action.

Elaborate on the main points for the Methodical visitor.  Add references and links to other relevant articles. Comparisons, reviews, opinions, tools will keep a Methodical visitor on your page longer. They might even subscribe to your newsletter.

Select a cute and fitting image for your content to attract the Spontaneous visitor. Have sharing and “like” buttons easily available.  A Facebook widget showing their friends liking the site will definitely help convert this type of visitor. If you can include some kind of calculator or poll – do it. Make your content more interactive and you will make a Spontaneous visitor stick.

Include some benefits or emotional points for the Humanistic type. Perhaps, include Facebook comments feed or Twitter feed if at all appropriate.  Reviews and endorsements will convince a Humanistic visitor to take the action that other people like them took. “Sign this petition” or “Vote against this” calls to action will work well.

About the Author – Lyena Solomon

Lyena has 15 year experience in SEO, analytics, website usability and navigation. Her consulting company, NetSprinter, LLC, works with local and global businesses to craft marketing strategies that improve the revenue. Lyena recently joined Yo!Yo!SEO as a Web Optimization Analyst to help focus on website monetization.

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