Whether you are rethinking your content marketing strategy or just starting out, an innovative and thoughtful approach to developing content can greatly strengthen your audience engagement and distinguish you from your competitors. Implementing content development into your marketing strategy can increase conversion rates up to 6 times. Content development generates three times the amount of leads when compared to data from traditional marketing—and costs 62% less. Content development allows marketers to innovate how companies and consumers interact in a way that is unique, intentional, and affordable.
What Is Content Development?
Content development is just what it sounds like: creating and developing content. It involves analyzing website data, developing strategies, creating unique and relevant content, and optimizing and promoting that content.
Your content can include anything from blog posts to podcasts. However, it is important to differentiate between simply creating content versus devising a strategy for how the content will be used. Some businesses will only manage one part of the content development process, such as writing blog articles. This approach doesn’t take into account website analytics and audience data, which can be used to analyze if the content is effective at engaging the target audience.
Having an effective content development strategy means more than just creating high-quality content; you also need a solid strategy and promotion method to increase your website traffic and engagement.
Why Is Content Development Important?
Quality content with a good strategy behind it can lead to many benefits. After determining what content your target audience values, you can cater directly to their needs and establish your business as trustworthy and valuable.
Content development can help you accomplish:
- Higher conversion rates
- More audience engagement
- Increased website traffic
- Improved brand awareness
- Greater customer satisfaction
Want to retain customers and generate new leads with meaningful content?
Best Practices for Content Development
Step 1: Gather Information
Before anything else, you’ll want to find out more information to help you strategize better. This information can include anything from target audience demographics, what competitors are doing, previous website data and performance, or marketing goals.
Google Analytics is a great tool for gathering data from your website. This resource can help you answer questions about website visitors, conversion rates, marketing strategies, and content creation.
Some questions that data from Google Analytics can help you answer:
- How do I improve my conversion rates?
- How many times does it take for a website visitor to convert?
- Who is my audience?
- Do I need to improve the mobile version of my website?
- Should I focus on potential new customers or recurring customers?
- Is my website too slow?
- What leads my customers to make a purchase?
- What do people Google search before clicking on my website?
- Is my social media marketing effective?
- Where are my website visitors coming from?
- Which of my webpages is the most popular?
All of these questions can lead to developing a more effective strategy for content development.
Step 2: Analyze Your Data
Now that you have your data, you need to interpret all the information you have just gathered. By delving deeper and asking more questions from the following key categories, you can get closer to developing the right approach for creating and implementing your content.
- What type of content (videos, infographics, blog articles) does your target audience find the most value in?
- What does the content consist of (how-to tutorials, valuable advice, fun stories, or testimonials)?
- What type of content are your competitors publishing?
- What content is doing well?
- What keywords are they using?
Website Data and Performance
- Which pages do well on your website?
- Where are you getting the most organic traffic from?
- What is the average time users spend on a webpage?
- How will you measure successful goal completion?
- What steps will you take to accomplish your goals and how will you take them?
- Are there any obstacles standing in the way? How can you get rid of them?
Step 3: Strategize
Your strategy should find a way to incorporate the answers from Step 2 into your content creation.
At this stage, it helps to know a few things:
- What are your goals?
- Who is your target audience?
- What format of content do they like?
- How will you ensure your content is unique and stands out?
Consider the answers to these questions, as they will help inform some key decisions to be made in the following areas.
After analyzing all the information Step 2, you can now have data-driven answers for your content development strategy. But before content can be developed, it’s essential at this stage to clearly define your goals—are you trying to increase brand awareness, generate leads, improve conversion rates, or increase customer satisfaction?
Once your goals are clearly defined, you can tailor your content to achieve these goals. For example, if you are targeting someone at the beginning of the sales funnel, you may want to increase brand awareness by creating a video showcasing the benefits of your product.
Your data in Steps 1 and 2 should inform your content strategy when it comes to knowing what your audience wants. For example, if your target audience likes informational blog articles, you may want to consider publishing how-to guides on your blog. Looking at how your competitors’ blogs perform, you can gauge how long your articles should be. You can also look at the length of time users spend on your website to further inform your strategy. You will also want to identify relevant keywords that your audience searches for.
Your content should align with your goals and what your audience wants.
For effective, quality content that captures your audience, consider telling a story. Evoke emotion, pique interest, and compel your audience to be more engaged with your content. If you are creating testimonial videos, you will focus on people at the middle stage of the sales funnel, when they are considering purchasing your product.
One way to deliver maximum value to your target audience is to focus on a niche. While your website can be more general, consider creating content that is specifically tailored to one niche. Having specific content that caters directly to your audience’s needs can establish your authority in the field, leading to higher audience engagement and retention.
Step 4: Create
Armed with your data-driven content development strategy, your content should be optimized for your audience. Whether you are creating a video or writing a blog, your content will provide value to your audience and help you achieve your goals.
Interested in learning how to implement data-driven content marketing to tell your brand’s story?
Step 5: Publish and Promote
After publishing new content on your website, one way to promote it is to use social media. Not only does social media help with more backlinks and increased search engine optimization (SEO), it can also lead to increased brand awareness and higher conversion rates. However, every social media platform is unique, so consider promoting your new content differently across each platform.
A less obvious way to promote new content is to use email newsletters. Your mailing list can be useful in helping you bring value straight to the inboxes of potential clients. Email marketing is especially useful if your goal is centered around the middle stage of your sales funnel, which targets those who are already aware of your brand.
Step 6: Measure and Review
Now that your content is published publically for your audience, it’s important to measure the success of your content.
Here are some questions to ask yourself as you reflect on your content creation process:
- Who is looking at or sharing your content?
- Did you accomplish your goals?
- What type of content performed the best (i.e. what brought in the most traffic, if increased traffic was your goal)?
- Where did your users come from (social media or Google search)?
Having an idea of how effective your content was can help you pivot strategies, revise goals, and inform future content development. Use your answers to these questions to inform your content development and marketing strategies, and repeat the process all over again.
Let Us Help
At Imagine Better Solutions, we want to help you create content that is crafted with data-driven innovation and art. In addition to advising best practices for content development, Imagine Better Solutions also helps with video marketing, copywriting, Google Analytics, and search engine optimization. As a company that strives to be a