What is your goal when you create new content? If you’re in business, hopefully, you’re not creating new content to hit some goal of writing X number of blog posts or white papers per month. Web sites with content outperform the average conversion rate of those without by almost 2.5%. The sites that are performing well are not publishing fluff, though; they’re publishing well thought out, strategized content. In this post let’s review how your brand can create more profitable content.
Conduct a Content Inventory to Create More Profitable Content
The first step to discovering what content will be successful is to do a content inventory. An inventory allows you to observe the current state of content on your site, as well as in the industry you serve.
Conduct an audit of your content first. Observe metrics and try to glean an understanding of:
- What topics perform well?
- What formats play well?
- How do your promotional channels (social, email, etc.) compare?
Asking yourself these questions will give you a better understanding of which topics and formats are producing the desired results. This could be lead generation, increased sales, or any other measurable objective you have for your content. Note previous successes and adjust or discard approaches that had poor performance.
After looking at your content, take a look at your industry to see what topics and formats of content are resonating with your target customers. You can view trade publications or websites, or competitor websites. For more on conducting a content inventory consult this blog post.
Once you’ve collected insights from your competition and your previous results, supplement your analysis with social media listening and SEO research. These four steps will help guide you to the best insights for planning higher-performing material in the future.
- Develop keyword groups that reflect both search and social mentions. Involve individuals from your organization with SEO and social media expertise to get a complete picture.
- Categorize competitor and industry content into your keyword groups. Ask the questions:
- How effectively are they addressing these categories?
- What can you do to address these categories better?
- Are there any gaps in searchable content you can fill?
- Sort your existing content among these keyword groups. Look for any needed improvements and voids in content. Easily track keyword groups for future content by setting up your analytics software.
- Strategize future content. Pull together everything that you’ve learned to ensure you’re providing content for every stage of the buyer’s journey around keyword groups. You may also want to check with the sales team for their understanding of how to use your well thought out content during their prospects’ sales cycles.
Continuously Monitor Your Content Performance
When you’ve caught up on all of your historical data, stay on top of your monitoring going forward. Get your reporting in order so that you can measure content in these three areas: message, format, and distribution/promotion method. You’ll want to measure:
- Cost per content asset (including staffing or outsourcing to freelancers for creation)
- Unique visitors
- Leads attributed to content
- Sales attributed to content
You’ll notice I listed “leads attributed to content” and “sales attributed to content” separately. Prospects who read a blog post on their first visit may not immediately convert, but that doesn’t mean that they won’t come back later to request information or buy your product. Look at both metrics when reviewing content performance.
Update Your Content Strategy Based on Analysis
As you get familiarized with the data, you should see trends begin to emerge. These patterns can be based on topic, format, etc. Any variable can show a trend. Use your discoveries to adjust your content strategy and create more high-performing material.
Let’s take a look at a hypothetical example. Say you have an article and a video that was made about the same topic. If you see that the video gets more shares and engagement than the written article, then you can surmise that the format of the video is more attractive to your content viewers. Maybe you haven’t ventured into videos yet… in this case study the keyword groups, from step one above.
In the end, it’s quality content that your prospects and customers are searching for. They want to be edutained – educated and entertained at the same time. Through your content analysis, you’ll discover what resonates with your audience, play to that to see the most bang for your buck.