Having the right content strategy in place is even more important for health & wellness companies than those in other sectors. Your customers are desperately looking to become educated in the areas getting in the way of their ultimate happiness.
Develop and implement the right content marketing strategy and you’re well on your way to attracting, converting, and closing more customers. Do it wrong, like most, and you’ll simply be throwing away money and wasting valuable time.
Below you’ll find 8 simple steps to make sure you’re developing the right content for your audience. Content that draws people to your website, gets them engaged, turns them into leads, and nurtures them into customers.
Whether you sell physical products, informational products, or offer coaching and consulting services, follow these steps and you’ll be well on your way to content success.
Step 1: Identify Your Buyer Persona
If you’re marketing to everyone, you’re marketing to no one.
Before you even start to think about content, you need to identify the buyer persona you’ll be targeting. Some call it a customer avatar, makes no difference.
It’s more specific than a “target market”. A buyer persona is a fictitious representation of your ideal best customer. When we develop personas for our clients, we actually name them.
“Who is this blog post written for?”
“It’s written for ‘Susan’.”
When you have a (fictitious) person in mind – and completely understand their needs, wants, and desires – it makes developing content much easier.
So what do you include in a persona? Anything that can influence the buying decision of the product, coaching, or training that you’re providing. A few things we typically include are:
- Problems & Challenges
- Motivations & Objections
Can you have more than one persona? Of course. If you are marketing to distinct people with distinct needs, you’d need to create separate personas for each. But be careful that you have adequate resources to target multiple personas. It’s better to focus one one persona deeply than spread yourself so thin that you fall back into the “marketing to no one” trap.
Step 2: Capture The Questions Asked During The Buyer’s Journey
As part of your persona development, it’s critical that you capture the questions your persona is asking during each stage of the Buyer’s Journey. The Buyer’s Journey is another way of looking at a funnel.
Your persona starts in the Awareness stage where they are searching for information on the problems they are experiencing – without fully understanding what’s really going on and not knowing the deeper issue they are dealing with.
Once your persona understands the true nature of their problem – and they’ve typically identified the root issue such as “my diet is causing significant health issues” – they are now in the Consideration stage.
And when they’ve made the big decision to make a change and buy a product or service that can help them, they’ve reached the Decision stage.
It’s your job as a marketer to understand the questions they are asking during each of the stages of the Buyer’s Journey: Awareness, Consideration & Decision.
If you know the questions they are asking, it’s simple to develop content that answers those questions. And if you’re providing answers to the questions you’re prospects are asking (or even thinking), you’ll get more of those people coming to your website and do a better job of nurturing them into customers.
Step 3: Organize Themes
Another mistake often made is producing content on a wide variety of topics instead of honing in on specific themes. This is especially true in the health & wellness niche where the topics you’re dealing with are fairly broad unless you’ve done a good job of narrowing the scope.
But we advocate taking a deep and narrow approach to developing content. And organizing that content into themes. Most importantly, do a fabulous job of developing content in one theme before getting sidetracked into another.
For example, let’s say you offer supplements that can help with digestion, metabolism, and blood pressure. You’ve got three significant themes likely each having their own persona. You can write content on all three. But if you really want to supercharge your growth engine then focus on one and become the absolute best provider of content on that area anywhere online.
This approach is going to do a better job of educating and nurturing the persona interested in that specific theme. And you’ll likely be looked at more favorably by our friend Google because it likes and rewards websites that are topical authorities on specific subjects.
Step 4: Organize Your Content Plan
So you should now have a bunch of questions your persona is asking during each stage of the Buyer’s Journey. And those questions are organized into specific themes.
This should provide a tremendous number of ideas for content. You need to get organized. Whether you use Google Sheets or our favorite Airtable, you need a way of keeping track of your content.
What you track certainly depends upon the needs of your business, but we typically want to know at a minimum:
- Content title
- Buyer’s Journey stage
- Content creator
One reason why you want to be particularly careful in organizing your content is that as you produce more and more, it’s sometimes not easy to remember what you’ve already done. And you typically don’t want to create a new piece of content too similar to something you’ve created previously.
So before you embark on your next blog post or YouTube video or whatever you’re producing, take a minute and make sure it’s unique content. This is especially true with blog posts when creating multiple articles on the same topic can hinder your efforts to get that content showing up in Google.
Step 5: Create Your Content
It’s beyond the scope of this blog article to go into detail on the best practices around creating content. Instead, let’s discuss your options for the type of content to be created.
You need to decide what format of content to create and you’ve got many choices including:
- Blog posts
- E-books, whitepapers and other long form content
- Interactive content like quizzes
- Podcasts & audio
How do you choose the best format? You look at your persona, of course. Part of your persona should include how your audience wants to consume content when learning about your topic. And for any persona, you’ll likely have one or two primary formats that stand out.
Step 6: Distribute, Repurpose & Promote Your Content
Once you create the content, you obviously need to publish it. Whether that’s uploading to your website, doing a Facebook Live video, publishing to YouTube – you need to get it up and running. Obviously.
And once that content is live, you need to promote it. Again, this is very much dependent upon your persona and the channels in which they are most comfortable. But you’ll likely be announcing your content via email and one or more social media sites.
That’s all straightforward. But let me give you a couple more advanced tips.
First, all of this content needs to be easily found on your website. And I’m not talking about just a standard blog page. We typically recommend other ways of making your content easy to find like having:
- Very organized Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) pages
- Robust About pages that provide compelling answers to Decision Stage questions about why potential customers should buy your product or service
- Customer Journey page explaining what it’s like to become a customer of your business
Second, in Step 5 we talked about having one or two primary formats for your content. For example, maybe your persona is keen to read so you produce a blog article. But that doesn’t mean it’s your ONLY format.
We’re huge proponents of repurposing content. If you’re going to take the time to produce remarkable content, you might as well leverage it as much as possible.
For example, you create a YouTube video as your primary format. It would be easy to turn that into a blog post, rip the audio for a podcast, use a thumbnail for Instagram, even have it turned into a slideshow or infographic.
This is an approach that people like Gary Vaynerchuk use to maximize the Return On Investment (ROI) of their content. And it’s highly effective.
Step 7: Analyze Your Performance
This is a critical step. In reality, it’s really a Step A and Step 7. Before you start your content campaign you need to establish your goals and objectives.
We like to utilize an approach called Objectives & Key Results made popular by Google and other successful companies. In a nutshell, you establish one or more Objectives that are rather ambitious, qualitative goals for whatever you’re planning.
For example, an Objective surrounding content might be:
Have the most educational website online regarding weight loss for women over 40
And then you define the Key Results that tell you whether or not you’ve achieved your Objective. For the above, examples of Key Results could be:
- Have at least 10,000 people per month read our blog posts in the “weight loss for women over 40” theme
- Achieve a bounce rate (% of people who leave the site after the first visit) of less than 50% on “weight loss for women over 40” theme pages
- Produce at least 30 pieces of unique content within the “weight loss for women over 40” theme
Once you’ve identified your Key Results, you can extract metrics like page visits, bounce rate, # of articles and setup a dashboard to keep track. And you might have specific Key Results for each piece of content to help let you know if it’s the type of content that’s performing well.
Step 8: Build Upon Your Success
So once your content is live and has been published and promoted, check back with your Key Results and various metrics to see how it’s performing. If it’s doing well, that gives you a strong indication you’re on the right track. Keep producing similar content. If not, keep adjusting your strategy until you get the results desired. Don’t worry. You will.
And here’s a special tip for investing a few minutes to read to the end . . .
One key part of building upon your success is not producing more and more content. It’s also keeping the content you’ve previously produced updated and fresh. This is particularly important when it comes to written content like blog posts.
Especially for the health & wellness niche, Google loves to see fresh content that’s being updated on a regular basis. Especially if the topic of the article includes information that is regularly being updated.
So as part of your content strategy, schedule regular reviews of your content to make sure that it’s still up-to-date. Make tweaks and changes when necessary. And tell your audience (and Google) that it’s been updated with something simple like “Updated on June 3, 2018”. Something that simple can actually make an impact on the user experience and search rankings.
We know that creating and launching your content strategy can be a big commitment. But it’s well worth it.
We’ve had tremendous success with our health & wellness clients in using content to drive massive amounts of traffic to their website, engage the audience, convert visitors into leads, and turn leads into raving fans and customers.
And you can do it to!
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