In a world where 91% of online content is never seen traditional content marketing strategies are being thrown out the window. With changes in audience behaviour, oversaturated markets and more complex customer journeys it can be difficult to know where to start when planning your content strategy. Emma, our Head of Content here at Punch, shares her advice for creating an effective but authentic content strategy.
Recent changes in organic content strategy
Organic content strategies have changed massively in recent years. The biggest shift for me is in how people discover content. Traditional search is now supplemented by social search and voice search and conventional keyword-heavy content isn’t enough to attract attention anymore. The algorithm changes and the social platform prioritisation of video content and recommended content means people are creating more and more content to try and cut through and either rank or attract audiences via other organic channels.
In doing so they’re losing sight of the purpose. They begin to create content for the sake of it and it becomes inauthentic.
This is the exact opposite of what consumers, coming out of a pandemic and experiencing what can understatedly be described as turbulent times want.
One of the biggest shifts in the past few years has been the increased value placed on authenticity. This is paired with the influential GenZ belief that brands should have a purpose.
By creating masses of content brands are at risk of trying to connect with EVERYONE and ending up resonating with no one. Amongst all the changes we’re encouraging clients to identify their target audience and to create relevant authentic content for them. So you’re pouring less into the funnel but you’re expending less time and money converting them.
Choosing the right channels for your organic content strategy
Allow your brand purpose and overall business objectives to influence what channels you use and the content you produce. There aren’t enough hours in the day to create content that’s inauthentic to your brand. But maybe the biggest influence on your channel and content strategy should be your target audience.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- Who are they?
- Where are they? I.e. what channels do they use? How do they search? How do they discover or consume content?
- And what do they want or need?
- Do they want to be entertained?
- Do they want to be informed?
- Do they need a particular resource or life hack that you can create or provide for them?
Who your brand is and what it means to your customers should inform all the content you create and where people find it.
The biggest mistake a brand can make is to create content and push it out across all its organic channels. Something that works on your website won’t necessarily work on LinkedIn and it almost certainly won’t work on TikTok. You don’t need to be on every channel just the ones your customers are using and always ensure the content is authentic to your brand and the channel it’s for.
KPI setting for your organic content strategy
There is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to KPIs – for me, it always comes down to the overall business objective. And really drilling down into what that is.
An eCommerce business that wants to increase sales but how are they best to achieve this? Is it by increasing sales of their most profitable product? Maybe that’s furniture in which case you want to attract more traffic to that product page. Is it by increasing repeat custom? In which case it’s about loyalty and giving people a reason to return to your site? Each has different KPIs.
So I find it easiest to lay it out clearly. Identify the business objective first then
Break it down into the strategic solutions needed to achieve this.
So for the eCommerce business, it might be to increase brand awareness by X% Increase organic traffic by X and increase repeat custom.
This helps me, my team and our clients see that without brand awareness we don’t increase conversion – each is equally as important as it fuels the other.
What to include in your organic content strategy
For me all content strategies are different but one thing every great one has is consistency.
Every single touchpoint in the customer journey (regardless of how seemingly insignificant it is) must be considered and must authentically represent the brand.
Say you’re a hotel marketer. You’ve got a great quirky tone of voice. Your social content is engaging. You’re ranking for a tonne of keywords that are attracting relevant audiences. You’re smashing it and you’ve formed a genuine connection with your future guest.
Then they receive a generic booking confirmation email and the bubble has burst. They’ve still got two weeks before their stay and you could have used this to upsell but now you’re at risk of losing the booking.
Check every single touchpoint to make sure the content is working for the audience. All good content strategies are consistent so it doesn’t matter how the customer moves through the funnel because they’re seeing the best of the brand at every point.
How and when to invest in support for your organic content strategy?
Invest in support when you haven’t the time or resources to give your organic content the care and attention it needs. Creating a piece of content and pushing it out across every channel or neglecting customer touchpoints could damage your brand and lose you loyalty and sales.
I’d also suggest investing in understanding who your customer is and what they want and need to inform your content strategy. This step is so often overlooked and is so vital in creating an effective strategy.
If you need support with your organic content strategy or planning for 2023 or you want to better understand your audience get in touch with us here.