Onsite content is vital to an effective marketing strategy, especially a strategy centered on content marketing. It provides a base of knowledge to reference, proving you are an authority in your industry. It affects everything from posts on other websites regarding your company to social media engagement.
Let’s dig deeper into why onsite content is important, how to research what your company should write, and how to create your own content.
What Is Onsite Content?
Simply put, onsite content is your company’s blog. It’s hosted on your website.
Are you about to kick off a marketing campaign via social media, like Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram? You need to have a blog first. These blog posts are what you will link back to in your social media posts. You aren’t trying to make conversions with these types of posts, but rather prove that your company is the best at what it does, and thus why clients should choose you or your product.
Let’s say you need content, and fast. Maybe you don’t have any onsite content yet. An easy way to develop a topic is to look at news in your company’s niche. There will always be some sort of news affecting your company, your niche, or your customers. Your post can analyze, comment on, and explain what the news means, and give an opinion of why it is significant for your industry.
This is the first step in showing the company’s expertise, impressing your potential clients.
You’ve got your first piece of content, commenting on a news piece. That’s great, but a single piece of content does not a marketing strategy make.
It’s also important that your posts link to each other — a good SEO practice to improve company visibility on Google and keep potential customers on your site. Now you need a second piece of media, be it an infographic, video, or another blog post. The goal is for the media to engage readers, drawing them in and fostering organic discussion.
It’s time for market research. This will answer questions like who your customers are, what products they are currently buying, why they are buying those specific products, and what it might take for them to buy from you. This will help reduce business risks, identify current and upcoming problems in your niche, and eliminate guesswork while planning your marketing campaign.
How can you quickly and cheaply determine what content will resonate with your audience?
SEO expert Rand Fishkin suggests using existing social media to research customer needs or profiles. What do the customers’ patterns reveal? Does your proposed customer base tend to follow certain trends? Do they all use similar products, or similar services? Writing a blog using this information means your content will have a higher chance of being shared organically by readers. This increases your spread and brand recognition.
Market Research Analyst
Doing light market research, as described above, can be effective in kickstarting your market strategy with content. However, hiring a market research analyst will prove a boon to your campaign. As the name implies, they analyze consumer data, research marketplace data like market share and consumer sentiment, evaluate your competitors and their campaigns, consult on marketing strategies, and monitor performance of campaigns. In short, the market research analyst will use their research to suggest topics for your onsite content.
Using your market research, you now have two options: an in-house writer, or outsourcing to a professional freelancer. The market is trending towards the latter, utilizing freelancers with a wide breadth of knowledge, who either use your employees as a reference, or do research in your field and develop an article. While using an in-house writer means having an expert ready to go, a freelancer may be cheaper. It’s a tradeoff, and a decision you will have to make for yourself. If none of your employees are trained in writing for an outside audience, the choice may already be made for you.
As far as your actual onsite content, a best practice to follow is Pareto’s 80/20 Principle. This refers to a guideline that dictates that blog posts that are blatantly advertising your products or services should be no more than 20 percent of your onsite content, and articles that are solely informational, showing your expertise and teaching your customers something new, should constitute the majority of it.
Example: Healthcare Marketing
Let’s use what we have learned and look at the healthcare niche as an example. When creating a healthcare-centered marketing campaign, knowing your demographic is not enough. The demographics are wide, especially if your campaign is helping a general practitioner. Your content needs to work for any gender, sex, location, or age.
What kind of onsite content should the site have to capture clients for the doctor? How can they differentiate themselves from the dozens of other doctors in the area? Success stories. While detailing common ailments and how to treat them will create a good foundation of onsite content, the key would be the doctor telling a success story: how the patient was treated, which can link to other articles and blogs on the site, and what the results were.
Combine this onsite content, used as a base for your campaign, with press releases, videos, and more, and you have a full strategy forming. With a market research analyst and an in-house writer or freelancer, you are already halfway to creating an effective marketing campaign, all with just a few blog posts on your company’s site.