This article will take you through the process that we use at BWD Advertising when we help you with your content marketing. It covers strategy, tactics, types of content, distribution platforms, and analytics (amongst other things). As such, it might take you approximately 15 minutes to read.
If you have been working on growth strategies to expand your audience reach, and content marketing is not a part of it, then you need to go back to the drawing board. Content marketing is all about creating and sharing material online with the purpose of enticing your target audience.
The purpose is to have in place, a strategy that is specific to the company, and will speak to Johannesburg based law firm KlR Incorporated’s the target audience. In 3 – 5 years time, through content marketing, KR Incorporated will grow as a provider of legal services.
When we speak of target audience, we are referring to:
KR Incorporated needs to have a strong online presence
The website covers services offered such as:
The Length of information provided is sufficient for anyone browsing the website to discover all services offered at KR Incorporated.
There is no legal Jargon used on the website. The tone is professional and content is easy to comprehend.
The content covers services offered by KR Incorporated. This is relevant to the audience as it provides information that can help them make an informed decision.
Content on the website should stay relevant. The longer the lifespan of a post, the better it is for the firm. Content that remains relevant for a while adds a cost benefit.
There is a need for diversity in KR Incorporated’s content. There’s a need for:
Measures should be put in place to track the success of online content. The following metrics should be accounted for:
Traffic: On the web
Although KR Incorporated has an established footprint, there is so much more content that can be created which could help improve the current patterns. There is a large gap for videos, which KR Incorporated could capitalise on.
Align style with brand’s personality
Strategy document is a good place to record your brand, style and voice guideline. Depending on the size of your operation, this could be one sheet. It is recommended that you document as much as you need in these guidelines.
The documentation of guidelines for legal advisors needs to be details and specific. Style and personality needs to speak to corporates to avoid confusing the audience and straying away from the brand’s image.
Content and Funnel Marketing
The funnel consists of three parts:
The funnel speaks to three kinds of people in the audience- those who know nothing about KR Incorporated but are yet to discover, those who know about KR Incorporated but are only still considering paying for legal services and those who after considering KR Incorporated decide not to make use of KR Incorporated legal services.
Goals: Indirect Customer Acquisition; Brand Awareness
Tactic: Educational Content, Viral Content
This is where you work at generating awareness for your band amongst potential customers and educating them about your offering.
Content marketing at this stage is used to spark an interest. People need to be enticed, drawn towards your brand. KR Incorporated is working at getting people to know about the legal services offered. The more they see and hear about it, the more they move it onto their list of trusted brands.
At the top of the funnel you need content that will work towards conversion, such as:
Tactic: Solution to Use- Case Challenges
At this stage, you are now associated with the solutions you offer. The audience targeted here is one that stands to gain from the legal services offered by KR Incorporated. Trust has not yet been developed so it would not be advisable to be aggressive with sales yet. Consideration content which may work to your favour includes:
Conversions: The Bottom of the Funnel
Goal: Transactions with Customers
Tactic: Product Descriptions and Unique Value Proposition
Here visitors are willing and ready to become customers. This is the final pitch stage, the point of transaction. The content here is more direct and straightforward. Products descriptions are clearer.
The best content to use to blow your audience away is:
Retention: Beyond the Funnel
Goal: Retention of existing customers; advocacy
Tactic: Help, support and onboarding
The goal for KR Incorporated is to keep the existing clients, where all their clients will refer to them for their need for legal advice and representation.
Content here is:
Building a framework and a content team
One other very important aspect which contributes to the success of your entity is getting the right team on board. You will need:
How will the team change as it grows
With time there can be additions onto the team.
Choosing a Content Management System (CMS)
The is the interface you use to draft, publish and edit the content on your site. The following questions are relevant when making this decision:
There are a lot of questions to ask and these are also influenced by the type of entity you are and the services you offer. As soon as you’re able to answer all these questions, you’ll be on your way to finding the best of solutions for your team.
Establish a framework for your analysis
The first thing to do before creating content is to ensure a framework for the analysis has been created. This involves setting up tracking analytics prior to getting started. This includes the likes of Google analytics which is very effective when used to track growth.
It is highly beneficial to measure other things as you monitor your new content. Aspects such as, traffic, bounce rate, time spent on site, shares and conversions.
At the heart of a fantastic content campaign lies a brilliant idea. This translates to likes and shares by your audience. KR Incorporated ensures that time and resources are not wasted on bad ideas. The risk of having audience lose interest keeps the creative team on their toes.
Where Ideas come from:
The KR Incorporated creative team is aware that ideas are all around, the trick is channeling more focus to find the ideas. There are a few tricks to help make the process a lot easier:
Source 1: Swipe The File
Keeping a file of ideas that inspire you comes highly recommended, this file could contain images, approaches, technologies, to name a few. As soon as your file loses depth, revisit past ideas and work on recreating them. This has a great impact on your brainstorming sessions.
KR Incorporated makes use of various swipe files, in the form of emails, apps and even physical files. Pinterest, Trello and Evernote are some of the programs used to collect ideas. The best way is to find a way that convenient for you and suits your preferences.
Source 2: Successful brainstorms
Brainstorming is a common practice, however, not everyone who does it gets it right. Below are a few guidelines to help improve your brainstorm sessions:
Brainstorming session first and foremost must be amongst two or more people who share a common goal. The less number of participants in one group, the more effective the session. In order to get fresh ideas, it would be advised to mix up the group of experienced brains with inexperienced brains. Members form completely different teams are likely to come up with preconceived notions.
Outline all the important parameters from the start, yet do not continuously emphasise constraints.
Important things to remember:
Source 3: Competitive research: Find out what’s working for your competitors
An important part of research is understanding what exactly it is that legal advisors are looking for. The key is asking the right questions like:
Source 4: Horizontal Thinking
This may be known by some artists as tangential or lateral thinking. This often helps when in pursuit of a fresh take. A tactic that often works is using a keyword to get the creative juices flowing.
While evergreen content is safe to utilise, the best way to manage the timeliness of content is to consider when the content will go live and what might be happening at that time.
Evergreen content might work for legal advisers as not much of the law changes.
Inspiration for boring/difficult Industries.
Law is understood to be one of the known difficult topics to write about. The truth is, there is no topic that’s difficult to write about if you understand the exciting thing about the topic. Everything is interesting to a specific audience.
Recognize the right idea
Selection of ideas from a long list can be tricky. You need to outline the specific information you’re looking for. This means you need to ask yourself the right questions:
Target and provide value for an audience:
In order for you to give our audience value,you need to research and understand them. After narrowing your list of useful ideas, use the information about your audience to further select more relevant and brilliant ideas which could work.
Understand who needs legal advice, when and why. The more you know about your audience, the more you might be able to come up with brilliant ideas.
This entails creating a set of typical people to represent your target audience. To start you can collect basic demographic information. The point here is to understand the audience better.
Based on past and present experience, gather information around the common KR Inc. clientele and identify the pattern.
Understand your audience needs
Just knowing that a topic interests your audience isn’t enough. You have to understand their intent- what information do they want to gather from the topic.
As soon as KR Incorporated is sure about their audience, the next step is finding content that will engage them. This helps build and strengthen the relationship you have with clients.
Avoid content Fatigue:
Content is published every single day. Choose your content wisely and avoid ideas which have been overused.
What makes good content and why content fails:
A concrete schedule gives time and space for creativity. There are various templates to choose from, you can just select one that is suitable for your team.
You can ether go for the simple calendar
Alternatively, you can opt for the more complex calendar
This is vital to keep focused and on schedule. Governance outlines who is responsible for what- performance, updates, design, optimization and management of teams.
This is someone who will write the content. You can either use in-house or outsourced authors.
Tools to help with content creation
Quality over Quantity
Mediocre content will hurt your cause
KR Incorporated needs to evaluate content. If the audience comes across poor quality on the site, this might affect the firm’s credibility, this resulting to loss of clients. To ensure quality, KR Incorporated needs to prioritize:
Working with design/development
Designers have different ways of doing things, this however doesn’t take away the importance of keeping track of the work they do. To do this successfully, you need to:
This is one of the most critical stages of marketing which not everyone gets right. Now that you’ve already built your audience, the following techniques will help strengthen this established relationship.
Using the likes of Followerwonk, influence marketing is a good way to build your audience. This can be done by establishing relationships with expert influencers in the industry. Content marketing can even be included as part of the content creation process.
This is a combination of relationship building and content promotion. The first step is scouring the internet for people who are writing content that’s related to content you’re covering. Secondly, you engage in conversation with them in comments. You include links to articles you’ve written.
If you guest posting, you need to find credible sites related to your industry. Make sure you write interesting content that will encourage people to seek out more content from your site.
This could include reaching out to media and bloggers to write about you.
Your content and social teams should be closely aligned to your social teams.
Covers a quite a few tactics which as a collective, are referred to as “pay-per-click” advertising. These include paid social, display ads, content distribution networks as well as paid search.
To expand your audience, get your content syndicated by a more authoritative site with a larger audience. Making use of outreach channels also helps expand your audience.
Analysis and Reporting
Firstly, you need to identify what exactly it is that you’re analysing. Measure smart, combine the relevant metrics and understand them.
A creative combination of standard metrics tell a more vivid story about your content.
Conversion rates, ROI and the trouble with the funnel.
The chosen metrics should be able to tell you how well you’re meeting your goals.
To attribute conversions to content, individuals must be tracked from the top to the bottom of the funnel.
Reporting: Package your analysis for someone else
Reporting is a very common and effective way to convince people of the amazing work you’re doing.
Here’s how you create quality reports:
When compiling a report, bare in mind that different people will have different reactions to the final report. It is therefore important to be mindful of this and convey empathy and make the report specific to whoever will be reviewing it. Key questions to ask could be:
Draw a list of all the things they want. If some don’t have a clue what exactly matters, it is your responsibility to teach them.
Ensure that goals are aligned. When managers give you their list of items they look for in the report, make sure they are addressed.
It could be a dashboard in Google Analytics, An elaborate excel spreadsheet or any other tool you’ve found online. This dashboard must have your important metrics available.
Iteration, Maintenance and Growth
After you’ve gathered all the content and put it out there, now you need to build on the content for success.
This is more like using the same idea in more than one way. It works because you’re able to reach different audiences on different channels. Ensure that you customize your posts to suit every single platform you use. Take the following into consideration:
Content that stands the test of time is amazing because there’s less maintenance needed over time. However, it is important to keep reviewing content to keep up with the latest trends. You can also run keywords against Google Trends to track changes or replacements in phrases.
Social and content are a part of one ecosystem where social listening informs ideation, which improves content.
Scaling content marketing
Now that you know exactly what works for you and how to demonstrate ROI on your content, you’re ready to start scaling up your efforts. Work in the areas you’ve found to be successful but do not lose your sense of experimentation. Scaling is largely about improving your content and existing resources as well. If you’ve been neglecting other areas, it’s time to pay attention to: