By Michael Guill, Website & Interactive Director, and Ellen Stokes, Senior Vice President, Marketing Innovation
Content marketing should be an important tactic in your overall brand strategy, and has been proven not only to improve brand visibility but also to drive more traffic to your website. It involves creating engaging, informative content that allows you to attract potential residents to your brand. But where do you start? Let’s look at some strategies that can help you develop an effective content plan for your business.
Start With Your Goals in Mind
Content marketing programs may challenge us because demonstrating the ROI of content marketing can be problematic. It’s not uncommon for organizations to start with the idea that content strategy should directly result in sales. Many see the “return” in ROI as synonymous with “sales revenue;” instead, these tactics should all be viewed as part of outreach—widening the top of your sales funnel and increasing engagement with existing leads.
The primary content marketing goal should be to build and engage an audience: sales are not the immediate goal. If you begin with a clear statement about what you are trying to achieve, community leadership can see exactly how you plan to measure impact. For example, you may set a goal that looks like this:
“Increase brand awareness online among individuals between the ages of 45 and 75. We plan to achieve a 5% increase in unique visits to our blog from this group in each quarter of 2023.”
Armed with the specific impact you want to achieve, your content marketing plan can be tightly defined and more readily evaluated.
Identify Your Target Audience and Understand Its Needs
The first step in developing your content strategy is to identify who you would like to reach. Who are the people (or businesses) who would benefit from what you have to offer? Knowing this will help ensure that the content you create resonates with them.
You should also research your competition and determine how they’re targeting their audiences. This will give you valuable insight into which tactics work best when it comes to reaching out to potential prospects.
Produce Valuable Content That Is Relevant to Your Target Audience
Quality content is key when it comes to content marketing. Create content that is engaging, informative, and provides value, as this will keep readers coming back for more.
Focus on topics related to your targets’ lives—pain points, subjects that are fun or interesting, or decisions they may be facing. The more you can provide readers with actionable, inspiring, or thought-provoking information, the more likely they are to engage with you. In all cases, be sure to talk about a tie to the community or your residents.
It is likely that you are going to be cross promoting your content across different platforms, but it’s important to at least consider keywords and SEO optimization when creating targeted content. Be sure all your content is optimized for search engines so that it can be found easily by those searching for related terms online.
Develop a Distribution Plan to Promote Your Content
Once you have created quality content, the next step is developing a distribution plan to reach the widest possible audience, based on your defined target. Additionally, draft a content calendar that outlines a timeline that describes when (and on what platforms) your content will be published.
You may find yourself using several marketing tactics:
- Social media
- Email marketing
- Paid advertising
- Video content
Analyze the Results and Optimize Your Content Marketing Strategy Accordingly
Once you have a content plan and begin distributing posts, emails, and paid ads, you may need to ‘adjust the sails’ a bit. What tweaks would be most beneficial? With the right analytic tools and a sharp eye for detail, you can quickly identify which areas need the most attention. For example, specific types of email subject lines may not resonate with your audience, which results in lower-than-anticipated open rates. Simple A/B testing can reveal the best subject lines to use, resulting in higher open rates.
By analyzing your results and optimizing your content marketing strategy accordingly, you can set yourself apart from the crowd and drive more conversions and impressions throughout each stage of your prospect’s buying journey—ultimately guiding them to become residents of your community.
Content marketing can be an incredibly effective way to reach potential residents and build relationships over time. By identifying who you want to target, creating high-quality content, and then distributing it widely across multiple platforms, you can maximize the impact of each piece of content while growing awareness of your brand in the process.
If you would like to explore how content marketing can help your community, please reach out. Love & Company has a team of senior living experts ready to help you tackle targeting, content creation and distribution. Call Tim Bracken at 240-575-5596.