Are you looking to boost your content marketing plans this year? You might want to learn how to improve your search engine rankings, bring in new customers, or improve the reputation of your business.
Content marketing is an effective tool to help you cut through the noise. If you use it right, your content strategy toolkit will include everything you do to talk to your stakeholders.
But how can you supercharge your content in 2023 if your budget is tight and you don’t have many internal resources? We’ve previously written about why you shouldn’t cut your marketing budget in a recession, and we’ve also explored why copywriting is important for businesses.
We believe that copywriting and content marketing should be accessible for Suffolk businesses of all sizes, from small local businesses to large national brands. We want to help businesses figure out how to get the most out of their content, whether it’s on their social media channels, website pages, marketing materials for customers, or even internal documents.
With this in mind, we’ve collated a series of tips to help you supercharge your content framework over the next 12 months. These practical tips might help you consider what you could include in your content plans and how to align your content strategy for SEO.
We’ve divided these content marketing tips into subcategories to make things easier for you:
- Where to begin with content strategy
- How to improve your content strategy
- Content strategy exercises
- Content strategy for SEO
- Visual aids for content strategies
- Copywriting tips to enhance readability
If this sounds too complex, or you need some external support to help you with your content strategy brief, why not get in touch? As content strategy consultants, we can work with you to maximise the effectiveness of your copy, giving your business the best chance for success.
Free content strategy tips to boost your marketing in 2023
Where to begin with content strategy
- Review your services. Has your business changed over the last year? You may have developed or refined your services or products. If so, when was the last time you checked your website to see if you are giving an accurate portrayal of who you are and what you do? Reviewing your services will help you focus on the areas of your business that makes you the most money.
- Bounce ideas around other teams. Talking to people outside of your core team is an easy way to get started with your content. Sometimes what you think of as a “typical” part of your day could spark an idea for a new piece of content. Why not talk to your sales or customer service reps to find out what they are working on and how they are helping your customers? Even small projects can sometimes lead to newsworthy events. This dual-aspect approach is why its helpful to work with a freelance copywriter who also knows the value of public relations activities.
- Can you repurpose existing content? If you’re short on time, why not look for ways to update or re-use content you already have? If you’ve put time and money into your content, you need to make sure it’s working for you. For example, are you able to look at old content, make simple changes to it, or rewrite it in a different way? Reusing your existing content is a good way to get the most out of your work with the least amount of work.
- Reshare previous content. Think about how you actively bring content to your website as part of your content strategy. Do you post links to your previous blogs on social media?If you’ve written evergreen content, don’t be afraid to re-share an older blog post or service page again. If the information is still relevant, it’s worth reusing, especially if you are short on time and resources. Just check that your information is correct and up-to-date and that there are no old references.
How to improve your content strategy
- Your content should not be about you. It’s about your audience. Your content strategy for the web should be based on the people who will be reading it. People want to know what you can do for them. Using “you need someone who can…” instead of “we can do this…” is a good way to phrase things that helps your audience feel like they belong in your content.
- Look beyond your commercial sales. Your content doesn’t just have to be focused on your commercial goals. Reactive content or newsjacking can allow you to share your opinions on trending topics. You could talk about how you help your local community or write about how individual staff members have made significant achievements. By making your content more varied, you give potential customers a better idea of who you are. Remember that “people buy people,” so the more personal you can make your content, the more likely it is to lead to sales.
- Don’t be afraid to use humour. Brands like Paddy Power, Innocent Drinks and Netflix readily use humour in their marketing strategies. You should be careful about the jokes you tell, but if you do it right, it can help people like your brand and improve your reputation. We’re not saying that your copywriter needs to be a stand-up comedian, but putting a little humour into corporate statements can help make you seem more likable and human.
- Focus on what you’re good at. There are two ways to look at this. First, you should write about the parts of your business that you do well. You should pay attention to the parts of your business that bring in the most money and that you enjoy. But second, from a practical point of view, don’t suffer in silence if you’re not a natural writer or don’t know where to start. When you hire a freelance copywriter, they can take care of the parts of the content that you don’t have time to do. By outsourcing your content, you can free up time and money to focus on your core priorities.
- Don’t be afraid to say your thoughts about what’s already out there. Have you seen something that you think looks great and tells your audience something really helpful? Feel free to re-post material created by others (providing appropriate credit links of course). If you’ve read a report with relevant statistics, what do you think about them and what do you think they mean? Your audience will value your recommendations. You can start conversations with the original authors and make new friends through social media. You could even add more credibility to your content writing plans by using quotes and comments from experts in your field that have already been written and published. Just make sure that your sources are always clear and that you link to them.
Content strategy exercises
- Make a list of common customer questions. Google’s helpful content update is about making content for people instead of search engines. Making a list of common customer questions is an easy way to get your copywriting plans in line with your customer service plans. Using your content to answer customer questions will not only improve your customer service, but it could also make your sales teams’ jobs easier and lead customers naturally further down your sales funnel. You should use your answers to customer questions or frequently asked questions to drive content on social media. This will show that your content has a clear goal.
- How do you describe what you do and what your business offers? It can be easy for your copy to become overly complicated or full of jargon. An easy tip for boosting your writing is to describe what you to do someone new. Can you explain it simply and bring out your main USPs or calls to action?
- Put yourself in the position of the reader. We mentioned that your content isn’t about you. It’s about your audience. Can you look at your content from the point of view of the person who will read it? Is there enough information in your content to answer their questions? Does it tell you enough about everything? Never assume that your audience knows what you’re talking about. You may know a lot about your business field, but it’s possible that your customer doesn’t. So, you need to find a good balance between being informative and helpful without being condescending or dumbing down. People who read your content are likely to ask themselves three questions: “Why did I read this?” “How will this help me?” and “What should I do now?” You want to be sure that your content meets all of these requirements.
Content strategy for SEO
- Keyword research is essential. Want to know why some pieces of content hits the top of page one on Google while others stay hidden? It’s because of keyword research. Your keywords are the words or phrases that people will look for when they want to find your business. If you don’t use keywords in your online content, search engines won’t be able to tell that your page matches that search query. There are several tools that you can use to assist you in your keyword research, with the likes of Moz, Ubersuggest and Ahrefs being useful platforms.
- Are you linking to internal pages? Your content is about keeping people on your website for as long as possible. When writing your content, try to include relevant links to other internal pages, perhaps a previously published blog post or a service page. Your internal linking strategy is about helping your audience to find the information that they are looking for.
- What is your call to action? Each piece of content in your content marketing framework should always have a clear call to action. This tells the reader what you want them to do after reading the article. Do you want them to call you or send you an email? You might want them to join your mailing list or start following you on social media. You might want them to buy something or use a service. Having clear calls to action helps your content be clear about what it’s for.
Visual aids for content strategies
- How does your content look when it’s displayed? Your content needs to be easy to read, but also visually exciting. People won’t want to read a lot of text, so you should think about how to make your content more interesting visually. Using stock images and subheadings or bullet points can help break up long sections of text. Can you add pictures or highlight certain quotes to make the book more interesting to look at? By dividing your content into chunks that are easy to read and understand, you can make it easier to skim read, and reuse parts of your content.
- Use free tools to boost your visual content. Tools such as Canva and Lumen5 as well as royalty-free image sites such as Pixabay and Unsplash will help you to boost the visual side of your content.
Copywriting tips to enhance your readability
- Use short sentences where possible. If your business is in a complicated field, use short sentences to make your writing easier to understand. We’ve all seen websites that are full of jargon and business language. When you get to the end of a long sentence, you might not remember what it said at the beginning. A way to avoid this (and to make your writing easier to read) is to break up long statements into shorter, easier-to-read sentences. This will help you get back on track and make it easier to read and understand what you are saying.
- Have a mix of content lengths. There’s no right or wrong answer when it comes to content length. In some scenarios, short and snappy is great, but there are also huge benefits to long-form content as well. Rather than focusing on a predetermined word length look at what value you are bringing to your customers and how you are helping them to find the information that they are looking for.
- Remember the copywriting pyramid. At any moment, your reader could choose to stop reading. Therefore, you want to have the most useful information near the top of your article. We see this as an upside-down pyramid approach. At the top, you should include your core information, before expanding on this more as you work your way down the pyramid. By adding in building blocks of information, you can feel confident that your reader has taken away the crucial pieces of information (such as your call to action) long before they reach the end of your article.
Gatekeeper Communications can help you to make the most of your content marketing plans
We hope that these tips will help you as you start a new content marketing plan.
If you haven’t got time to create the strategy yourself, or you don’t have the resources in-house to help you manage the content logistics, then why not phone us directly on 07857 433665?
As freelance content marketing consultants, we offer affordable content marketing services in Ipswich to help local firms raise their profiles. We can offer fixed-price marketing packages that work with your marketing budget to make an impact. We’ve worked across various sectors, from automotive to accountancy, from retail to recruitment.
We know how to write compelling content that converts.
Please contact us if you want to find out how we can help your business with content and copywriting.