Content Marketing: Content Writing & Content Strategy

Good content marketing gives you the opportunity to shape buyer perceptions while attracting ‘free’ website visitors for months, often years after publication. For this reason, content marketing remains one of the most valuable, yet most commonly overlooked marketing methods available to marketers and businesses today. Comparatively speaking, it’s cheap too.

Take one case where we published a blog post for our client Your Legal Friend titled: “Your guide to the 2018 whiplash claim reforms”, over the course of its first year it brought in 2,304 organic visitors – requiring no extra effort or ‘paid for’ advertising after publication.

For the same client we put together an information page coupled with an FAQs section covering the broad topic of medical negligence. Given the niche focus, the volume of organic visitors was low, but of those visits the page did receive, they converted well; generating 88 enquiries organically in just over a year.

 

Why does content marketing work so well?

Content marketing, when done well, attracts visitors who are already interested in your product, service or area of expertise.

People usually turn to Google when they have a question they need answering or a problem they need to solve, so if you’re visible at this point of the customer journey you stand a good chance of attracting their custom – as a consequence, the conversion rate of organic traffic into sales, leads and enquiries is often much higher.

Content also has a cumulative impact on website traffic and then sales and enquiries. Having a single article deliver some 2,000 ‘free’ visits in a year is nice; that equates to some 167 visits per month. Now imagine you published a similarly popular article every month for a year, your organic traffic might look something like this:

 

1st year content visits

 

An increase in organic traffic from 167 to 13,000 (+7,684%), over the course of just one year isn’t too shabby.

Now imagine you were publishing four pieces of content per month, for a total of 48 in the year, it may look something like this:

 

2nd year content visits

 

What could your business do with an extra 52,104 organic visitors?

 

Good content is the gift that keeps giving

When you consider that we charge just £2,000 per month for a package like the four pieces per month above, that averages out at £0.46 per organic visit for the first year.

If you then decided to stop publishing new content, those 48 articles would still continue to perform, so that £0.46 per visit could very quickly drop to just £0.16 per visit after year two. Good content is the gift that keeps giving.

These tables are oversimplified though. The seasoned marketer and business owner will know that traffic growth is rarely so linear, it can be seasonal and will often fluctuate over the year. Some businesses have busy holiday periods, some have quiet ones. Some content performs incredibly, while some of it rarely gets seen. What’s important is that the results are measured and monitored so that successes can be learned from, while under-performing content types get cut from the content calendar and plan – so that overall, your content marketing activity turns consistent learning and testing into compounding improvements that increase effectiveness and reach over time.

 

It all starts with your audience: Research & Discovery

Consider the people you’re serving, and the people you would like to serve.

  • What do they want to see?
  • What challenges are they facing that you can help with?
  • Are there alternative solutions to their problems that they might not yet have considered?

 

These questions aren’t always easy to answer, but getting the raw material to start with is straightforward. As part of our content planning, we start by speaking to your clients and customers. We work to understand what ‘jobs’ they need to do and what problems they’re looking to solve. From there, we can probe deeper to find out what kinds of content they turn to to help them (if you’re in marketing, think ‘Hubspot’ with their blog, whitepapers and so on):

  • Do they listen to podcasts on the subject during their commute?
  • Do they look for ‘how to’ videos on YouTube?
  • Are they looking for in-depth guides and articles on the subject?

 

While gathering this information, we’ll pull together your data and attempt to blend it with other data sources to create personas – representations of your ideal customers so that we can create content aimed squarely at them to address their needs.

 


Bringing our content marketing services together

Once we have a firm grasp on who your customers are and what they’re looking for, we can begin the content creation process.

Asset and content audit

We’ll carry out an asset and content audit to see whether there are any ‘quick wins’ to be had. Sometimes old reports, data, sales collateral, videos or imagery can be used to develop new content and concepts. Why pay for new stuff when you’ve got a lot of valuable material to-hand already?

Creative concepts and ideation

The content audit process will help to provide some ideas. Content takes many forms, blogs, ebooks, podcasts, video, newsletters… the packaging varies but our approach remains much the same.

We use the common themes, questions and problems we find in our research, and we blend them with your expertise, products and services to offer a compelling view on your buyer’s challenges. During the content audit, we may find old assets that can be updated or reused with this audience research in mind.

We package this research into content ideas that are more likely to capture user attention, while persuading them to convert into leads and sales.

Design

From serious corporate reports to designing beer labels, we’re good at switching up our style to suit you. Keeping our finger on the pulse of current design trends, we can deliver content that feels ‘current’ while fitting in with your brand guidelines and messaging. A ‘wall of text’ article may be informative, but if it doesn’t capture your attention, you’ll probably head back to the Google search results – good design can be the difference between your content being applauded and shared, or being ignored.

Development

The content development process varies between formats. Interactive tools will need hot shot developers to help create eye-opening experiences, while ebooks focussed on selling your authority will need round after round of proof-reading and restructuring to keep the message concise and impactful. Whatever the format, we have the expertise to deliver, or we can advise you on how to create these assets using your internal staff and contacts if needed.

Promotion

Your content can be as in-depth, well-designed and robust as you like, but if it isn’t actively ‘sold’ to the people and publishers in your niche, you’re relying on the Google-gods to serve your asset up to the masses, and they can be fickle. We design and develop content to give it the best possible chance of being indexed by Google and the other search engines; but for more involved pieces we also devise promotion and outreach plans to help get your message in front of the right people, to encourage sharing and backlinking.

Delivery

We believe in getting things done, and nothing dampens a creative discussion like quibbling over hourly rates; if we have to spend a bit of extra time on something to deliver work we’re proud of, so be it, we’re not about to charge you extra for it. If we find ourselves frequently working ‘overtime’ on your account, we’ll keep you in the loop so we can balance our agreement better for next time.

As part of our work we’ll provide you with all the outputs from our research and you’ll have unlimited access to us by email and phone.

 

Why choose us as your content marketing agency?

After spending years working in-house with both great and diabolical content agencies, we’ve learnt what works, and we developed a long list of qualities that we looked for in ‘good’ content agencies:

  • innovation
  • quality
  • great client collaboration
  • clear communication
  • and bottom-line results

 

Agencies that embody these qualities are hard to find. They say that if you can’t get the help, sometimes it’s best to do it yourself.

So now we do.

If you think we might be a good fit for you, give us a call or drop us an enquiry through the form on this page and we’ll arrange a date to have a discussion in person.

We’ll buy the coffee.

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What our content marketing customers think

“In a crowded and very competitive market John and the small team he built to support him… achieved outstanding results for Your Legal Friend”

Colin Gibson, COOYour Legal Friend

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