There are lots of different tactics that you can use to create a connection with your potential customer base - interactive marketing, social media campaigns, or even website design elements like color and typeface choices can impact your customer engagement.
But creating a long-lasting relationship with customers takes more than appealing graphic design and digital marketing strategies. For businesses both new and old, a strong content marketing strategy can make an enormous difference to your customer engagement rates, as well as your website conversions.
Drawing organic traffic takes a combination of SEO strategy and a content strategy plan, which will add credibility and value to the information you provide your customers through your website.
In the same way that Northsail's customers always know that we'll deliver every project on-time, on-spec, and on-budget, you need to provide consistent messaging and tone across your entire content marketing strategy, so that customers know they can rely on your business to provide consistent products and services.
Before we jump into some solutions to improve your digital content strategy, let's discuss what a content marketing strategy is, and the differences between print and digital content strategies.
Content marketing strategies include a broad range of pieces of content that you could give your target audience.
Whether you're choosing blog posts, articles, podcasts, videos, or any other types of content, the goal is the same - attract, engage, and retain potential customers.
Now, while this page is going to focus on the content marketing strategy on your website, it's important to note that content marketing also covers areas like social media platforms (and by association social media posts), content sent to your email list, as well as content for B2B companies like white papers.
These are all valuable parts of a well-rounded content marketing strategy.
For the purpose of clarity, let's set those topics aside for another day and focus on traffic strategies you can use on your website to draw more quality traffic and reduce your site's bounce rate (the percentage of your fresh traffic that leaves your site without taking action).
Print marketing strategies are generally used to increase quality traffic and conversions at in-store locations.
This means a lot of the theories used in successful print campaigns involve a strong focus on visual merchandising, displays, as well as using print marketing to create a clear customer journey when your core audience visits your brick-and-mortar locations.
Conversely, digital content strategy encompasses everything that you do on your website, as well as in the other digital areas that we discussed earlier (i.e., social media strategy, etc.).
The goal for a digital content marketer is to ensure that every piece of content offered to customers (i.e., website, ads, social media posts, etc.) includes valuable, high-quality content that increases organic search traffic as well as improves the conversion rate of site visitors.
Basically, at their cores, print marketing involves physical strategies for retail stores and wide-reaching tactics like billboard marketing, while digital marketing strategies exist in any online space your online business chooses to occupy.
One of the most important steps you can take to set your digital content up for success is to create a balanced content strategy plan that takes into account every area you intend to target throughout your campaign, prior to beginning.
Different platforms require different types of content in order to function efficiently. You won't get the same reaction providing identical content to your social media followers as you will through your website content, so the content for each platform needs to be uniquely tailored and consistently engaging.
Once you've mapped out every area that you intend to target, you can start creating content that feels consistent across every area, while also effectively reaching your target audience to increase your conversion rates.
Search engine optimization, or SEO as it’s most commonly called, involves creating a strategy to include relevant keywords in your website content, in order to improve your organic search traffic.
This usually involves including some specific key phrases throughout your written copy. You may have a single primary keyword you're targeting on each page or a number of exact long-tail keyword phrases, depending on your overall strategy and which part of the marketing funnel you're aiming to hit.
Relevant posts that include a key phrase targeting the bottom-of-funnel tend to draw less organic traffic than high-volume relevant keywords, but the trade-off for that is that the click-through rate that you get on these posts tends to be quality traffic with a high conversion rate.
Conversely, relevant posts using top-of-funnel keyword rankings with tens of thousands of monthly hits may not help you necessarily reach your ideal audience, but these are great for helping to promote an increase in traffic growth, even if the bounce rate is higher.
Most of the time, a well-rounded combination of these two tactics are the best traffic strategies, since it allows business owners to reach both new and existing core audience members.
Guest blogging is one of the most useful ways to begin a backlinking campaign between your business and a strategic partner within your industry (or an industry connected to yours).
For example, if you're running a business selling tires, you may want to arrange a guest post from someone well-known within the automotive industry discussing something to do with tires.
Another example would be for a food vendor supplying ingredients to restaurants. They may want to have a guest post on their site written by a prominent local chef, who can attest to the quality and reliability of their services, based on their own personal experiences.
If you have an industry influencer to write your guest post, you'll also be able to take advantage of the reach they've attained through their social media followers, without necessarily having to run an intensive social media driven campaign on your end.
Done well, guest blogging is a great way to build strategic partnerships with complementary companies, as well as increase the range and efficiency of your digital content strategies.
You may not realize it, but there's actually a substantial difference between using special landing pages and evergreen content.
Special landing pages may be optimized for a very specific purpose. Some may be designed to draw huge traffic spikes by targeting top-of-funnel customers, but won't offer the same kind of conversion rate as other pages. These are more about increasing traffic growth than necessarily offering quality traffic.
Other special landing pages may be very pointed blog posts that are either extremely topical because they include trending long-tail keywords, or they contain relevant keywords to that topic and are therefore able to target bottom-of-the-funnel, higher converting members of your ideal audience.
On the other hand, evergreen content is meant to use long-term keyword opportunities, which not only increase traffic growth but remain relevant for longer periods of time than specialized pages.
Your evergreen audience is going to stay the same, because evergreen content remains relevant much longer than other 'trending' content. If it references information that's so pertinent to your business that you'd consider including it in a white paper, it's probably strong enough to be considered evergreen.
There's value in using both of these types of pages to maximize your traffic potential in both the short- and long-term. A good content marketer will create a balanced strategy that takes advantage of both these page models.
If your web copy doesn't appeal to your audience demographics then your traffic potential will be lower right from the start, and that means that your bounce rate will probably be quite high as well.
This is especially important for people that are spending a lot of time and energy focusing on creating campaigns to increase click-through rate on ads. That click-through rate won't matter much, if your bounce rate stays too high. You need quality traffic that converts.
Understanding your audience demographics will tell you a lot about the type of things that you should be presenting to your ideal audience. Blog posts (specifically relevant posts that offer educational or entertaining information alongside product information) are a great way to engage potential customers.
Audience demographics can also tell you things about your ideal audience, like what kind of emotions work best on them to encourage conversions (i.e., excitement vs fear). You can even use this information to reach custom audiences the same way you can with tactful campaigns targeting social media followers.
If you want quality traffic, audience demographics need to be taken into consideration. Otherwise, even your most expensive paid advertising campaigns (i.e., custom audience ads, etc.), could just be bolstering your bounce rate.
Engaged audiences like to participate, which is where user-generated content can be extremely useful for capturing your ideal audience's attention and encouraging them to click that all-important buy button.
Photo contests are a great way to build engaged audiences, since people love showing off both their loved ones and their photography skills (thank you, Instagram).
This can be a wonderful way to build positive word-of-mouth alongside your organic traffic strategies. You can even combine this alongside your guest blogging efforts.
Have the influencers within your circle lead the charge through their guest post, and encourage other customers to participate in these types of interactive strategies.
Best of all, not only will you reduce your bounce rate on the site with lots of appealing, user-generated imagery, but these campaigns are a great way to collect free marketing materials for future active blogs.
Referral traffic is some of the highest quality traffic that you can achieve as a business owner. This is because social proof is so incredibly important in today's marketplace.
Customers want to support businesses that they believe in, and they want their friends and family members to support them too, so that they can publicly identify as part of the same social spending group.
Running a referral campaign through your email list to encourage your existing core audience to get you some fresh traffic is a great way to expand the reach of your brand, while also adding valuable content to your website.
Just be sure that you have relevant blog posts or other special landing pages on the site to capture this fresh traffic, otherwise these people could just end up adding to your bounce rate statistics.
Engage these ideal audience members, and this referral traffic can easily translate to more conversions. If you don't, they might see the referral as 'fake news', which means you'll lose their attention before you ever really had it.
As a business owner, it may be hard to admit sometimes, but we have to sometimes look back at what we've already accomplished in order to find the best possible path forward.
The same can be said with content that you've already posted on your website in the past. Even evergreen content has a lifespan, so it's crucial that you take the time to go back and audit the existing content on your site periodically. This way, you can ensure everything is still functioning the way it needs to be.
If it's not, refreshing this copy doesn't necessarily always need to be a ground-up rebuild or fully rewriting blog posts. It could be as simple as building in some different long-tail keywords, so that you can use the updated Google Analytics to improve your organic search traffic.
Use keyword opportunities to update and refresh copy, at a fraction of the time/energy cost of writing new content.
These audits are a great way to identify new and overlooked gaps in your content strategies. This way, as you continue to refresh and build new additions to your site, you can keep your copy fresh and your ideal audience engaged.
Now that you've got some ideas to keep your bounce rate as low as possible on your site, you should focus on saving yourself time getting your next site project up and running.
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