Content development is the process of researching, organising and producing relevant content for publication and promotion. It's a crucial function of any small business, whether the content you're producing is internal, directly for customers, or part of a larger marketing campaign. But it's important to get content development right, as mistakes can have far-reaching effects on how customers perceive your brand. Here are five things to look out for when developing customer-focused content for your small business:
1. Take audience insights seriously
By clearly understanding your typical customer, as opposed to just their demographics, you can create relevant content that will address their specific needs and concerns. By helping them solve problems, you win their trust, loyalty, and business. This will lead to greater personalisation and customer satisfaction.
Generally, brands rely on segmentation, considering factors like age, gender, socio-economic status, geographical location, and other demographic details. With personas, on the other hand, brands gain valuable, accurate, and more personal insight into typical customer's behavior, tastes, and preferences. For instance, you can learn what tone, medium and style of communication your average customer prefers and responds best to.
Most marketers create content without adequate audience insight. If your competitors have more relevant, customer-focused content, they could be winning your customers over, so it's important to take audience insights seriously.
2. Don't skip over keyword research
Marketers with poor audience insight also tend to make assumptions about what content or topics their audience want. CMI reports that 65% of B2B marketers learn more about their audience using keyword research. There are several ways to conduct more informed topic research and avoid topic-based content development mistakes. One of them is keyword research.
There are free keyword research tools like Google Keyword Planner, Google Correlate, Keyword In, Ubersuggest, etc. Keyword research using Ahrefs for instance, displays search volume, keyword difficulty, percentage of paid and organic traffic.
In the dashboard, the keyword difficulty score shows how many other sites you need to top to rank first for that keyword. From the keyword ideas, you can generate topics for less competitive keywords. For instance, you can conduct keyword research on Instagram related topics, and start creating relevant content to grow your Instagram following.
Other ways to generate topic ideas include blog post generators, Google Autosuggest, audience surveys, social media engagement, blog comments, Quora, trends, news, competitors and by asking your audience.
3. Competitor research is key
It's important to stay on top of what your competitors are putting out in terms of content. You can set up Google Alerts to monitor competitor mentions. With Ahrefs alerts you can also monitor competitor backlinks, new keywords, and mentions at select intervals. These notifications are delivered to your email address.
By periodically analysing your competitor’s content development/creation routine, you can gain valuable insight into the keywords they're ranking for and top-performing content.
4. Set a reasonable budget
Quality content development costs money. However, your content marketing budget will depend on factors like your goals, size, and revenue. A typical content marketing budget covers the creation, distribution, management, and measurement of outcomes. Leaving out any of these may affect the level of success you record with your content marketing efforts.
Target Marketing Magazine reports that, on average, 32% of their respondents' budget goes on content development and creation, and another 27% to distribution and promotion. Your budget will depend on the resources you have and the size of your company, but it's important not to overlook allocating a specific budget to content development and promotion.
5. Hire good writers
Hiring a good content creator can be tricky. A good writer is required to translate your content development plan into great copy, and this involves research, ideation, brainstorming, collation of facts and figures, writing or drafting, rewriting, proofreading, editing, optimising content for search and publishing.
Irrelevant content leads to poor engagement, low dwell time, high bounce rate, poor ranking, search invisibility, low organic traffic, low conversion, and more. On the other hand, outsourcing your content creation to qualified and dependable freelancers, or hiring a content manager in house, can help fill this skill gap and increase your business' online authority.
About the Author
Amos Onwukwe is an AWAI trained Business and Ecommerce Copywriter, who also loves making music. He’s been featured in Huffington Post, Ecommerce Nation, eCommerce Insights, Understanding Ecommerce, Result First, Floship, GrowMap, among others.