How to Create Effective Content for Inbound Marketing

If only you knew how to generate content for inbound marketing, your website could be working harder, driving more traffic, and converting more sales. But how do you generate a never-ending stream of content ideas?

5 tried-and-tested tips to transform your content diary

Inbound marketing is a powerful tool. It attracts businesses and consumers to your website. Done well, it encourages the sharing of your content, the online equivalent of word-of-mouth marketing – and we all know how that can boost sales. It also remains relevant for years. Unlike an advert in a newspaper or a television commercial (once seen, quickly forgotten), your online content is there for all to see for as long as you want it to be. This makes it extremely cost-effective.

Yes, inbound marketing has many advantages over other types of marketing. Most businesses and entrepreneurs understand this, but fail to capitalize on the potential. Why? Because they suffer what we call ‘content burnout’. They get so far, and then run out of ideas to generate content for inbound marketing. Or they run out of time to write their content, publish and promote it.

These tips on how to generate content for inbound marketing will help you plan and prepare your content and associated marketing efforts, ensuring you get maximum traction from it.

What should your content do?

First, let’s understand what your content should do. Three are five major points here:

  1. Blog content is the key to inbound marketing
  2. You must post blogs regularly
  3. You must create engaging content that your audience wants to read
  4. Content should be informative, entertaining, and provide solutions – but not ‘salesy’
  5. You will need to promote your content

In summary: Create entertaining, informative blogs. Blogs that fit in with your business and your audience. Make sure you post regularly, and then promote your blogs through email marketing and social media.

The power of inbound marketing

Unfortunately, most businesses fall down on all the above points, and that’s before considering what SEO can do for you. Which is great shame, because, as HubSpot reports:

  • Companies that blog generate 67% more leads than those that don’t
  • 80% of people say they are blog readers
  • Inbound marketing costs 60% less than outbound marketing
  • 8 out of 10 business decision-makers don’t want to be sold to, they want to be educated

They are powerful reasons for any company serious about growing its business to put real effort into inbound marketing.

Why companies fail at inbound marketing

There are several reasons why companies fail with their inbound marketing efforts. These include:

However, the biggest issue that most companies have is not generating enough good quality and relevant content for inbound marketing.

Tips for generating inbound marketing content

Here are five content creation strategies that will help to ensure you create content that is relevant (to you and your audience), and that you post regularly, and that you never run out of content ideas.

1.     Consider your audience

You must write for your audience. This means knowing who you are writing for, so that you write the content they want to read. Read our article “How to create buyer personas” for more information.

2.     Create themes for your content

Themes, or categories, are a great way to focus your creative mind and to steer visitors to where you want them to go. But be warned, too many themes can be off-putting; four or five is best. For example, if you are a culinary business, you might have themes such as sweets and pastries, meat dishes, vegetables, wines and beverages.

If you post one blog per week, you will post one of each theme each month. This ensures that all your audience is catered for (no pun intended), and that your blog is informative and varied. It also means that you can start planning your content diary more easily.

3.     Tie your content in with your business diary

If you have a product promotion in July, you should be supporting it with your content. If your business relies on sales generated during the Christmas period, then you should ensure that it is supported with Christmas-themed blogs at that time.

Returning to our culinary business, there is little point in writing, publishing, and promoting blogs that describe how to create wonderful dishes with fresh peaches in January when the peach season is July through September.

So, think about your business diary as you start to flesh out your content diary.

4.     Consider everyone’s calendar

Another tip is to tie in your blogs with everyone’s calendar. Write content that resonates with the time of the year – write about summer fruits in the summer, winter veg in the winter, and spring lamb in the spring. You’ll get more hits and drive organic growth in visitor numbers.

5.     Write pillar posts

“A what?” I hear you ask. A pillar post is best described as an outline post. They are great for giving people an overview of a subject, and incredibly powerful when you want to generate content ideas that drill down deeply into a subject. Here’s an example:

Our culinary business writes a pillar post titled “Is this the Thanksgiving dinner?”

In this article, produced as a ‘listicle’-type blog, are outlined:

  • The meal, with subheadings of roast turkey, roast potatoes, vegetables, gravy, trimmings, dessert.
  • The table, with subheadings of cutlery, crockery, glassware, table decorations.
  • The guests.

None of these subheadings are tackled in detail, but simply outlined and highlighted. This provides scope to build out each subheading in subsequent posts. For example:

The roast turkey might lead to further blogs, such as:

  • How to cook the best roast turkey for Thanksgiving
  • Where to buy your Thanksgiving turkey
  • Fresh or frozen: the pros and cons for your Thanksgiving turkey

Fleshing out each subheading in this way, it’s possible to create an entire year of weekly blogs hanging off the original pillar post. All relevant to the business and its audience. All entertaining and informative. And all great for SEO and internal and external linking.

Wrapping up

Using these content generation tips, your inbound marketing strategy should never run out of steam. You’ll always have a stream of content ideas to engage your audience, post regularly, and build trust with. With this foundation, you can then test and reiterate your strategy, promote using social media and email marketing methods, test against your target metrics, and iterate to improve.

Are you short on time, but long on content ideas? Let us know your biggest challenge when it comes to content production in the comments.

Do you need help to create a content diary linked to your business strategy that will provide a continuous flow of inbound marketing content? Get in touch:

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