Content Strategy — the Key to Creating Content That Converts
Content strategy is the key to content creation. The idea of creating content for social media either inspires confidence or conjures dread in the heart of content strategists and marketers everywhere.
It’s the first piece in any marketing strategy and the question of how to create content that converts leads into customers is on the minds of CMOs with budget numbers to justify up and down the corporate ladder.
Over the past few weeks, we’ve been talking about the PESO model and how it can help you win at PR this year. While the “O” in PESO comes at the end of the acronym, its creator Gini Dietrich has said on her own site that if she arranged the media types in order of importance, the O would come first. It’s just that OESP is a lot harder to remember.
When it comes to creating content of your own on social media (which is what organic content is), content strategy is the key to creating content that converts. More on that, but first, a quick recap of the PESO Model.
How to Win at PR with the PESO Model
The PESO model merges four types of media — Paid, Earned, Shared and Owned. Here’s a quick overview and how to use it to organize and direct your strategic communication efforts.
- Paid Media. Paid media is social media advertising, sponsored content and email marketing that you pay to place as part of your PR campaign.
- Earned Media. Earned media is what you think of as traditional PR; getting your information printed in newspapers, trade pubs, on the radio, as part of the local or national news broadcast.
- Shared Media. Think of this one as social media. It’s all the social channels (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc.) you use to promote your brand to the public. The potential for content about your business to go viral on social media is huge; it’s not just you or your PR agency sharing information about your brand; others can get in on the action and massively expand your reach through social media.
- Owned Media. This is what we’re talking about in this post — original content that you create and publish on your platforms. Articles, blog posts, infographics, videos, and other pieces you create to connect with your customers and move them through the sales funnel are all considered ‘owned media,’ ‘organic content’ or owned content.
When you’re using the PESO model consistently and correctly as part of your content strategy, it can help you become a thought leader — both in your customers’ and prospects’ eyes and in the eyes of Google as well, which could lead to those elusive top-ranked search results we’re all working so hard to snag.
Content Strategy How To — A Formula for Creating Content That Converts
Creating content is expensive. Creating a content strategy can be overwhelming. It wasn’t always that way but content shock has created a situation where there is more content than people can conceivably consume. Recent reports indicate that Americans spend 12 hours a day consuming content.
Cisco reported about a year ago that the amount of video coming online each month in 2021 would take more than 5 million years to watch.
So, even though we’re consuming more content, our ability to even scratch the surface of what is out there is nearly impossible.
What does this mean for marketers and strategic communicators?
It means that as you map out your content strategy, you need a formula for attracting the right kind of people to your content; people who are predisposed to purchase your goods and services and who will find your content relevant, intriguing, useful and trustworthy.
Enter inbound marketing and content clusters.
What is Inbound Marketing and Why Should It Be Part Of My Content Strategy?
As a Hubspot Certified Agency, OBI Creative practices inbound marketing. We believe in it for ourselves and our clients. Very simply, inbound marketing and the content you create within your inbound marketing strategy starts with your customer, not your brand.
This is really where killer content strategy starts.
Think about it. There’s an infinite amount of content on the Internet. You can try to capture lightning in a bottle with content that stands out from all the other needles in the haystack or, you can get to know your customers really, really well.
You can create customer personas that inform, anchor and organize your content. Then you can write content to those personas. That strategy ensures that your customers will find your content and once they do, they’ll be so delighted that they will keep coming back for more.
Content clusters or pillars are part of the process of how you create content that converts. Here’s how.
Content Clusters: A Proven Method for Creating Killer Content Strategy
Content is critical to every aspect of your marketing strategy. It attracts prospects, converts them into leads, nurtures them through your sales funnel and then helps turn them into customers. Afterward, it continues to inform and engage them to the point where they become promoters of your brand or business.
Creating all of that content is made simpler with a content strategy and a critical component of that strategy is content clusters.
What is a content cluster?
Like it sounds, it is a cluster of content organized around a particular topic of interest to one or more of your customer personas. The best way to create a content cluster is to start with a topic that you want to both rank for on search traffic and that you believe to be something your customers want to know more about.
Start with a keyword phrase. If it has high search volume and high competition, fine. If it has high search volume and low competition, great. Don’t discount a keyword phrase though just because it has low search volume. If your customers are looking for it, that’s all that matters.
Once you have your keyword phrase in mind, start creating related subtopics that answer questions your customers may have about that phrase. For example, let’s say you make products for triathletes. Your keyword phrase may be “triathlon products.” Your related subtopics could be:
- Triathlons near me
- Best triathlon suits
- Improve my triathlon times
- Best tri bikes
And so on and so forth. The possibilities become endless, and each possibility provides another piece of content you can create and optimize for every stage of your sales process.
You can further build your content cluster out with supporting base topics that drill down further into your main keyword phrase. For example, you could write a blog post on the best triathlon suits for beginners, where you could feature images and commentary on some of the suits in your inventory.
If this content cluster example seems to be pulled from the sky, it’s not. One of our employees can attest firsthand to its effectiveness. The following example puts this theory about owned content into practice with something she searched for online, found through Google and ended up purchasing.
How Content Clusters Create Leads for Your Brand
After turning 40 last year, OBI content strategist and senior copywriter Nicole Schmoll decided to ‘celebrate’ by challenging herself to accomplish something really, really hard. For her, that ended up being an Olympic distance triathlon.
In case you’re curious, that meant she:
- Swam one mile
- Biked 24 miles
- Ran 6.2 miles
As Nicole says, “I have enjoyed swimming, biking and running for most of my life but in my 40 years on this planet I had never done them all in the same day, let alone back to back to back.”
Now, she was going to do them all in 4 hours or less.
Being new to this world of crazed athletes, Nicole had many questions, not the least of which was, ‘What do I wear during a triathlon?’
She typed her question into Google and came across a website with a blog post about tri suits. Packed with photos of people racing in various spandex getups, the post provided everything someone would need to know about what to wear during a triathlon. It was so great that a few weeks later, after doing more searching and price comparing online, Nicole decided to return to that initial website and purchase a tri suit through them.
This is a great real-life example of how a content cluster can create leads, and sales, for your brand.
Wrapping Up Owned Content Creation
Once you start creating content clusters and filling out your content strategy, you’ll have a mine of compelling, relevant and engaging content that you can publish on your blog and social channels to attract prospects, create leads and engage customers.
You’ll have the content you need to carry your integrated communications strategy through every other phase of the PESO model.
Want to learn more about content strategy and creating content? Ready to have someone help you increase the reach and effectiveness of your online communications? Contact OBI Creative today!
The 8-Step Influencer Marketing Checklist
When it comes to influencer marketing, there are a lot of questions. How do you find the right influencers? What networks should you be running your campaign on? How much should it cost, really?
Use this checklist to answer all necessary questions and properly plan your first influencer program, top to bottom, in eight simple steps.