8 Content Creation Tips to Boost Your Inbound Marketing Strategy

8 Content Creation Tips to Boost Your Inbound Marketing Strategy

8 Content Creation Tips to Boost Your Inbound Marketing Strategy

Content creation. One of the easiest, cheapest ways to get your company name out there. For some reason, it usually ends up being the most difficult, too.

As a content writer, or as the person who writes the website, blogs, or content offers for your company, you probably already know that content creation is hard. There’s just no getting around it. Whether you’ve hit a wall coming up with new topics, or you’re struggling to keep to a regular writing schedule, it’s tough to continually put out quality content that you’re proud of, and that gets the job done.

If you’re at a point where you’re feeling stuck, here are a few tips to jumpstart your content creation, in a way that also helps boost your inbound marketing strategy.

#1 Write What You Know

The first, and best tip for any writing endeavor, whether you’re blogging, writing a content offer, or even writing the next great American novel, is to write what you know.

When you’re writing about something you’re interested in, and have a breadth of knowledge on, your writing is going to be more engaging and targeted without you even trying.

If you’re a B2B, write about your product and how it solves problems in industrial manufacturing settings.

If you’re a home developer, write about your community — that’s what people care about and want to know before they consider moving.

The point is, don’t try to write something just to rank for a keyword or key phrase. While that’s also an important aspect of content creation, it’s more important that your content is honest, true, and meaningful. That’s what will keep people engaged and coming back to read more.

#2 Turn to your Pillar Pages for Inspiration

Luckily, we’re usually wrong.

When you’re stuck like that, your pillar pages are a great place to turn. After all, you wrote them to be a comprehensive overview of your key products, services, and methodologies, right?

Let’s hope so.

Examine your pillar pages to see which sections could benefit from a little more information, an example, or further clarification. Then, write that blog.

This tactic helps you expand your company’s overall content marketing strategy too, as the blog you write to support your pillar page can become a new subtopic. By linking properly, you can help boost traffic to that pillar page.

#3 Head To a Topic Generator

This is not a perfect fix, but it can help get the creative juices flowing when you’re having trouble thinking of content ideas. Topic generators are usually simple bots that string together words, phrases and questions to come up with a blog topic or title for you. Usually, the ideas they come up with are generic and boring, but they’re also a pretty good place to start.

If the topic generator gives you “10 Myths about Penguins”, spin that to fit your company in a way that’s more engaging. “10 Unbelievable Myths About Industrial Manufacturers”

Or something like that.

Again, not one-stop fix, but a good place to go for a little inspiration. We like Answer the Public and HubSpot’s Blog Idea Generator.

#4 Check the Keywords

If you have a few content ideas in mind, it’s good to check out the keywords. Which of the topics you’re considering has the highest search volume, and the lowest competition?

I use the WhatsMySERP tool, and Neil Patel’s new UberSuggest to determine which keywords have the most potential, and to see which phrases my competition is already ranking for. Then, I can hit the best key phrase topics with some great, engaging content.  

Tools like these will give you a better idea of what to write, and more importantly, how to frame it.

They help you discover the intent of consumers — what they’re looking for when they search your topic keyword — which helps you write content your ideal buyer wants to read.

#5 Glean Ideas from Coworkers

If after using all of those tools you’re still stuck — hit the water cooler.

Ask your coworkers what some of their biggest frustrations are with clients. (It doesn’t matter what your company does, your coworkers will always have client pain points.)

Can you turn those frustrations into a blog post or content offer that could solve the frustration?

Let’s say your sales team gets frustrated when leads come to them without understanding the full range of products you offer. Creating a content offer or PDF download that lists out all of your products with a short description of each could solve this problem.

That PDF could be entered into a marketing workflow for MQLs, ensuring those leads have the right information before they’re transferred over to sales. Or your sales team can direct leads to that offer when they realize they don’t know about all of your available products.

Problem? Solved.

Your coworkers, especially those who work directly with clients, will also have a good idea of the questions your clients ask all the time.

You can take those FAQs, and turn them into blogs, or even a longer FAQ page or PDF download that clients can be directed to when they have questions.

#6 Think About your Target Buyer Persona

With a few topics finally in mind, it’s time to get to the actual writing process. For most content writers, getting started is the hardest part. I like to give myself a little extra prep time by considering my target buyer personas.

Who are they? What are their pain points? What interests them in their day-to-day life? Is there a way you can make your blog post or content offer hyper-specific to their needs, wants, and business goals?

It’s always helpful to include examples in your content that speak to a specific situation that your target buyer might encounter. This makes content more immediately and obviously useful to them, which boosts conversions.

#7 Write an Outline — Seriously

If you’re a content writer, you’ve heard it a thousand times — write an outline.

Probably less than half of us do it less than half of the time.

If you’re like me, you might feel like structuring a blog post outline is a waste of time. You’re probably going to change the structure and layout when you finish anyway. But, an outline has a very significant purpose: it keeps us on track.  

Writing an outline helps shorten the time it takes you to write a blog. Click To TweetIt also makes it easier to come back to writing if you’re interrupted by another task or a meeting. With an outline in place, it’s easy to see where you left off, and what you still need to write.

Even if you only start with four or five bullet points, it breaks up the work you have to do into smaller sections, making it easier to get started. And really, getting started is the hardest part.

#8 Block Out Time

Like I just said, getting started is the hardest part of content creation. It’s tough to work up the energy to write a full-length content offer or pillar page — they’re intimidating.

Sometimes, the best thing to do is just block out time, sit in front of your computer, and write. Make sure your coffee is next to you, turn off those Slack notifications, and shut the world out. Deep work is real.

If you’re thinking, “There’s no way I can block out hours on my schedule!” think again.

Schedule a meeting with yourself for a few hours on a day when your calendar isn’t already full of meetings. Make it public or don’t, but make sure the time is reserved for your content creation.

Studies have shown that it's harder to get into writing and other creative projects than it is to start smaller tasks like emailing or posting social media content. Click To Tweet Dedicating a bit of time to write a tough piece of content ensures you have the brain space, and the uninterrupted time necessary to get the whole thing done, and done well.

Content creation really all comes down to time. Time to research potential topics, time to research each topic’s keywords, and then time to write, edit, and refine each piece of content.

We hope these tips helped break that writer’s block! Content creation is key to a quality inbound marketing strategy, and while it can be difficult and frustrating at times, the payoff of qualified leads makes it worth it.

If you’re struggling to keep your content marketing strategy running, or if you have questions about content creation, let us know.

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Manufacturers: How to Leverage Employee Experts for Quality Content

Manufacturers: How to Leverage Employee Experts for Quality Content

If you’re in a manufacturing enterprise that’s particularly technical in terms of the product or service offerings, you’ll need to get some of your information for content from subject matter experts within your organization. Your company probably has a lot of engineers who are experts at what they do and your company does, and some of their ideas could make for informative manufacturing content that your potential clients will love. But engineers aren’t writers and they have other stuff to do. So here’s how to get that content from them:

Enlist a Technical Writer

Technical writers, the people who write procedures, work instructions, and manuals, have experience both with writing and with technical terminology; it’s part of their skill set to translate technical jargon into words that lay people can understand. Also, they have a lot of experience working with engineers, so they can be helpful in gleaning content from them.

Conduct Interviews

Rather than asking your subject matter expert to write a blog post or white paper or page content for your website, instead, sit down and have a conversation with the expert in question. Ask them for the information you need rather than having them provide you with what they think you need. You might come up with even more questions through the interview process that will be questions that your ideal buyers have, so that you can tailor your content to tell your potential customers what they need and want to know.

Get Source Recommendations

If you don’t understand a particular process or product that your content strategy needs to address, get the experts in your company to tell you where to get the information you need. When they’re in full crisis mode on the plant floor or swamped dealing with a rush order, the people you need info from might not have time to talk to you. But they can point you in the direction of the information you need, saving them time but ensuring you aren’t stalled either.

Use a Review Panel

When you’ve written something without the prior input of a subject matter expert, to glean more information and fill in the gaps in your knowledge and understanding on the subject, get your engineering team or the experts on the topic to look over what you’ve written. They’ll tell you if you got anything wrong and help you add anything you might have missed.

Developing a content strategy for a B2B or industrial business can be a challenge, but it’s one that’s so important to staying on the bleeding edge and remaining competitive in your industry in the digital space. If you’re ready to amp up your content strategy and boost the ROI of your marketing efforts, it’s time that you get in touch with Evenbound.

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Home Builders: Creating Content that Reaches your Ideal Buyer

Home Builders: Creating Content that Reaches your Ideal Buyer

When you’re working to market your home building company, you’re looking for the right kinds of clients. In general, most home builders are looking to break into a market at a higher price point, and that’s not always easy to do. There’s so much competition in the housing market these days, and it’s tough to compete with builders who’ve been serving that particular market for years. It comes down to establishing yourself as a quality builder in the market you’re looking to target, and getting the word out about your home building company to exactly the types of home buyers you’re looking for. So whether you’re looking to build in the $1 million price point or the $500,00, here’s how to make sure you’re creating content that targets the right people, and pulls in the right jobs to set your company apart in your desired market:

Set a Buyer Persona

To create content that reaches your ideal buyer, you first have to know who your ideal buyer is. This is perhaps the most important step when it comes to content creation for home builders. If you create content for the wrong buyer, you won’t get the jobs you want, and you may be forced to fill your schedule with projects that don’t really fit your company’s niche. So before you do anything, do some research.

What does your ideal buyer look like? Are they a young couple looking to start a family? Or maybe the buyer with the money to build one of your homes is an empty-nester who hasn’t yet retired. You may end up with more than one buyer persona, but we recommend you limit yourself to three, for now. This is because your buyer personas need to be thorough. You have to know what that buyer makes, what they do for a living, what they do in their free time, how many kids they have, and have a general sense of what they’re looking for when it comes to their new home.

It’s also important to figure out who the decision maker is. Even if you typically work with couples, it’s likely that one of them has a bigger say when it comes to who they want to hire to build their home. Once you’ve figured out who’s most likely to be searching for your business online, you can start to create content that directed towards them.

Creating Content that Works

After determining your target buyer persona, it’s time to actually create the content. Whether your website hosts a blog (which we highly recommend) or you’re just creating content for your social media or Houzz accounts, it’s important that you’re putting out content that has legitimate value for your target buyer. What sorts of questions are they likely to ask, and what information might help them get closer to choosing a home builder? You’re looking to create content that’s thorough and shareable. Thorough content answers people’s questions in a way that’s satisfying, and shareable content ensures that your name gets more and more visibility on the internet.

Remember that you can’t just create quality content whenever you feel like it. We know you’re busy, and content creation is something that’s likely to get pushed to the wayside. But when you’re only posting once every two or three months, it doesn’t give clients a lot of confidence in your communication abilities, and it will hurt you when it comes to search engines. Google likes websites that post regularly, and social media platforms prefer users who keep up their presence at least on a weekly basis. So if you’re going to create content that truly gets the attention of your target buyer, then make sure you’re putting it out on a regular basis.

Post that Content at the Right Time

In addition to ensuring that you create the right content, regularly, it’s a good idea to put some thought into when you post that content. There are definitely times when more people are on social media sites, like at lunch time and in the late afternoon when work hits a lull. But it’s important to determine when your target buyer is online. For this, you might have to do a bit of research, but just knowing your ideal buyer’s daily routine might help as well.

For example, if your target buyer is a high-powered businessman, you might be best served putting out content early in the morning, when he’s reading the news or going over emails, or late in the evening, when he’s finally getting home from work. Oppositely, if your ideal buyer is a stay-at-home mom, you’re probably going to get more engagement in the afternoon after she’s finished a lot of her daily errands, and the kids are still at school.

Put a bit of time into researching when your ideal buyers are online, and make sure you’re posting content when they’re sure to see it. With so many people online and on social media these days, it’s easy to get lost in the sea of everyone posting and sharing content. When you optimize the times that you post through research, you have a better chance of making your content visible, and pulling in some of those ideal buyers with your quality content.

Engage on Houzz and HomeAdvisor

Home service directories like Houzz, HomeAdvisor, and Angie’s List are the ideal place to interact with people who already want to learn from what you have to say. These directories are full of people gathering ideas for their new home or renovation, and it would be a shame to miss out on such an ideal audience. If you don’t already have an account, make one! Then you have an easy secondary platform to share your quality content with people who will genuinely want to read it.

What’s more, it’s easier to get your home building content shared on sites like these, where the users are all looking for information on home building tips and tricks. By increasing your engagement on home service directories, you’re likely to start building relationships with more and more users who fit your target buyer persona.  

Keep up on Social Media

We mentioned that posting regularly was a good way to make sure your content gets read, but keeping up on your social media is just a best practice for any home builder. If you regularly engage on your social media platforms, even if it’s simple things like sharing other relevant content, or posting a few before and after pictures, you’re more likely to get more followers, and keep them. The more followers you have, the wider reach your content will get. That means more people sharing your content, which means more eyes on your content from legitimate potential clients. It’s in  your best interest to keep up your social media engagement, even if you’re just sharing one thing a day, and posting new content once every other week.

By following these content creation best practices, you’ll be able to reach your ideal buyer and begin to draw in more qualified leads. Targeted content is a great way to help you break out of your current market, and start scheduling the jobs you really want. If you have more questions about targeting your ideal buyer or creating quality content, don’t hesitate to get in touch. HA Digital Marketing works with a number of home builders and home developers, and we’d be happy to help answer any questions you have about the powers of inbound marketing.

To see how we generated a massive number of sales leads for lakeshore custom home builder Bos Homes, check out the case study below:
case study: home builder sales leads

5 steps to successful content for industrial and manufacturing B2Bs

5 steps to successful content for industrial and manufacturing B2Bs

Content marketing in the B2B space can seem difficult. After all, your company’s products and services are a little more niche and a lot less sexy than most consumer goods. Despite all that, it is possible to create great content for your B2B that generates leads and enhances your brand reputation. Not only is it possible, but it’s necessary as more and more industrial sourcing is done online. So how do you develop successful content for your B2B? It just takes these 5 simple steps:

#1 Identify a target

Or, as writers like to say, know your audience. You need to have an idea of who you’re writing to in order to create successful content for your B2B. As the content creators, we really only see our half of the process—the creation—which means from time to time we fail to account for the fact that content is a conversation with other people.

So, who is your target audience? It’s the people who are buying and using your product or service. For example, if you manufacture components for motorcycle engines, your target audience could be Sourcing Specialists or Product Engineers at a motorcycle manufacturer. Learn as much as you can about this target audience, what challenges they face in their role, what they’re looking for in a supplier, and how your product or service offerings could make their jobs easier.

#2 Say something worth saying

Once you know who your target audience is, and what they do, use that information to create content that is relevant to the challenges they face and the value your offerings could have for them and their company. Overtly promotional content that is focused on your company/service/product is not going to engage your readers—it needs to be useful to your readers; so, instead of a post outlining all the reasons why your company is the best supplier of your product, say auto parts for example, write a post on how to select the right auto parts supplier. That will be content that is both useful and relevant to your readers. Not only do you help them with one of their challenges—finding good suppliers for the components they need—you frame frame your company as one of those good suppliers.

#3 Say it well

We know that your engineers and technical guys are smart, and that they know what they’re talking about. But your readers might not know what they’re talking about, and the content you create needs to be accessible to your readers. That means it needs to be well-written (good grammar is important), it needs to use the right keywords for SEO (search engine optimization), and it can’t be too technical for your audience to understand—so don’t let your engineers write your content. Don’t. (Or if you do, have it edited by a writer.)

#4 Promote like crazy

If good content is published on your site and no one reads it, does it still compel your target audience? No! For your content to be successful, people need to see it, and to see it, they need to know it exists. How? Promotion. When you publish new content, you need to let your target audience know where it is and that they should check it out. Share it on LinkedIn, include a link in your email newsletter, use all relevant platforms to get the word out, and get people interested.

#5 Set a schedule

Nothing will kill your readership like sporadic publication. Once you know how to create quality content, do it on a regular basis. Quantity is almost as important as quality here, so make sure you’re posting at least once per month. This keeps your company fresh in the minds of your target audience, and ensures that what you’re creating really is successful. 

If you follow these guidelines, and you follow them regularly, your content is going to start to attract readers from your target audience. So long as you keep them interested, those readers will convert to leads, eventually becoming clients! If you have more questions about creating compelling, successful content for your B2B, or even if you’re looking for a hand with your manufacturing company’s inbound marketing strategy, give the experts at HA Digital Marketing a call. We can help.

 

For more information about creating an inbound marketing strategy that gets you the leads you want, check out our Inbound Marketing Guide just for manufacturers and industrial B2Bs like you:

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