How to Get the Right Content Mix
This guide to content marketing fundamentals is designed to help you understand the most important building blocks of any great content marketing strategy. View all chapters in this guide.
You’ve built a blog with engaging and insightful content. You’re getting a good amount of monthly traffic, and everything seems to be going well. But as time goes by, you realize your blog content, strong as it may be, is only attracting one type of customer — you’re consistently missing out on the opportunity to cater to others within your target audience.
In other words, you’re not getting the right content to the right people.
To create content that has a lasting impact on your entire audience, you need to align it with goals that address different consumer needs. The best way to do that is to aim for a content mix. Create a variety of content that addresses different goals so you’re able to connect with your entire audience.
Here, we’ll outline 3 steps you can take to find the right content mix and reach your audience.
Step 1: Use Audience Research to Map Out Content Lanes
To get the right mix of content, you need a deep understanding of what your audience wants on an individual level. If you’ve already mapped out buyer personas, you’re one step ahead of the game. Use that knowledge to craft the perfect content for each persona.
Create a list of your personas and align each one with their biggest pain points. Even though they’re all part of your target audience, each persona should have unique pain points that specifically apply to them.
Once you’ve identified those persona pain points, determine their favorite content mediums. Maybe one of your younger personas likes Instagram and YouTube. An older persona could be more active on Facebook or LinkedIn. You might also see a division between social media users and blog users. Take note of everything to get a better idea of where your personas like to consume content.
The next step is to figure out what, primarily, you want your users to gain from consuming your content — these are your goals. Depending on the information you extract from your personas, those goals can vary greatly.
Below are some common content goals you can set for yourself.
- Educate your audience: Provide informative content that teaches your audience something about a specific topic or subject matter within your industry. Adding resources to your website like white papers and webinars can help position you as an expert.
- Become an industry leader: Get involved in industry conversations on social media and engage with users within your community. Answering questions or general inquiries in a timely manner on social networks is a great way for people to recognize and trust your brand as an industry leader.
- Inspire action: Create content that sheds light on the topic or subject matter and inspire them to take action on it. An example could be a compelling piece about the environment and how many animals are losing their natural habitats. This type of piece could be designed to motivate people to take action to help animals.
- Build brand awareness: Offer information about your product or service and related features. This is particularly useful for audience members in the awareness stage of the sales funnel.
There are a number of tools you can use to perform audience research during this step. Be sure to check out Alexa’s keyword research and target audience analysis features to find out what types of keywords and topics your larger audience is looking to find content about. This can give you signals about their pain points, interests, and what inspires them.
Step 2: Review Your Existing Content Inventory
Now that you’ve researched your content lanes, it’s time to take a closer look at your past content creation efforts. You’re essentially auditing your current content to discover new opportunities to provide value.
See how much of your existing content meets the goals you set based on persona pain points. Then determine how much of your existing content uses your audience’s preferred mediums.
You might already have some quality content, for example, but it might be on the wrong medium. Take note of these instances and see where there may be an opportunity to breathe new life into a piece of content by putting it elsewhere.
Your content review isn’t limited to your website either. See what content you’ve posted on social media platforms or external blog posts you’ve been part of. Your content mix should tap into multiple channels, including email, social media, and rich media. It’s about expanding your lead generation efforts across a variety of channels.
Note what your biggest lead generation and brand awareness channels for content currently are. Where has content performed best? On your blog? YouTube? Twitter? Choose 2–4 of your top-performing content channels and integrate those channels into your content mix so you’re set up for success.
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Step 3: Fill in the Gaps to Round Out Your Content Mix
You’ve reviewed what types of content customers want to see based on persona research. You know whether or not your current content is addressing consumers’ wants. Now, it’s time to create content to fill in the gaps.
Use Articles to Educate Your Audience
Blog posts are a great way to educate your audience about a specific topic or subject matter. If you identify a persona that is in the consideration phase and need lots of information before making a purchase, give it to them. Offer blog posts that answer any questions or concerns they may have and position your product or service as a potential solution.
There are plenty of article types you can choose to create, including case studies and tutorials. For example, case studies might be great for prospects who already understand your industry but need testimonials from other customers who’ve used your product or service. A tutorial, on the other hand, could be perfect for people who only have minimal knowledge of what a product or service like yours might help them with.
Once you’ve built that trust, consumers will likely look more fondly on your product or service as a solution.
Delight Your Audience in a Visual Way
Consumers today are drawn to visual content, with 91% of consumers preferring it over traditional text-based content. But that doesn’t necessarily mean you should try to create as much elaborate multimedia content you can. Make the most of your time by focusing on what your consumers want.
Consider the channels your customers prefer and your current content inventory. Maybe your personas research shows that your audience likes YouTube, and your company currently doesn’t have a presence on that platform. Create a channel and consistently publish videos to build an emotional connection with your audience and keep them engaged in your brand.
Or maybe your customers love Instagram. In that case, it probably makes more sense to double down on high-quality photos and graphics. You can also use rich media elements like images and infographics to captivate consumers.
Refresh An Old Piece of Content
Don’t be afraid to give old blog content a fresh coat of paint. Refreshing blog posts is a low-lift way of delivering content that your audience today wants without putting in much effort.
Say you have a blog post about support teams using messaging apps, and it mostly focuses on WhatsApp. Your customer research now shows that most of your users want to be on Messenger. Refresh your piece of content accordingly to make sure you include that point and serve your audience.
But there’s more benefit to refreshes beyond filling the gap in your current content mix. If you have a blog post that previously performed well on Google but has since lost significant SEO traction, give it a refresh. Spice it up with a new infographic and current information so Google knows it’s up-to-date and answering the search query as it stands today. Your refresh doesn’t necessarily have to be a massive overhaul, but it should add additional value to the content.
Revisit Your Content Mix Regularly
Getting the right content mix takes time, effort, and an eye for detail. You need to pay attention to what content your personas want and where they want it. That will change over time, so it’s important to make sure you’re constantly revisiting your audience research and keeping it current.
Use Alexa’s Content Exploration tool to help you find content your audience is already consuming to help guide your original content efforts.
How This Content Marketing Guide Will Help You
This guide to content marketing fundamentals is designed to help you understand the most important building blocks of any great content marketing strategy. We’ll detail the relationship between content marketing and SEO and content marketing and social media and also share some of the best content marketing tactics, according to industry experts.
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