Getting started on any project is often messy. It doesn’t matter what you are attempting to do, you have to make a mess before you get results. Take baking chocolate chip cookies, for example. Out comes the recipe book, followed by the mixing bowl, measuring cups and spoons. Then the sugar, flour and chocolate chips are pulled out of the pantry and joined by the butter and eggs from the fridge. Long before the scent of homemade chocolate chip cookies wafts through your home, you’ve made a mess.

14903418_sPlanning to put a pool in the backyard? First, you have plans drawn, then pull building permits. Finally the backhoe pulls up and digs your yard into pieces. Now, you’ve got a great big dirty mess!

Have you ever moved? Moving is unbelievably messy! To pack all of your personal belongings into manageable boxes for transporting, you create an incredible mess. It’s just the way it has to be!

The good news is that once you’ve made your mess, you put it back together in the way you always imagined it. Going from messy to perfect is a process; one that we can all appreciate.

Getting started with a content marketing strategy for your website is messy too. Sometimes it’s challenging to know where or how to begin.

Here are 3 tips to help you build a content strategy that will help you attract the right kind of prospects to your website:

  • Develop a description of your perfect customer. Go beyond age/sex demographics. What do you know about their lifestyle, job title or how they spend their free time? Where else do they get information from? Do they have a specific job title? What do they believe? Think of it as creating the bio of a Perfect Customer. Write it all down and keep it near you as you work on your strategy. After all, everything about your business revolves around their experience with your company and your brand. If you try to create content that appeals to Everybody, you are creating content that appeals to Nobody.
  • Brainstorm content ideas based on your Perfect Customer. Invite members of your team to help you–especially those who have regular interactions with your customers. They may have a different perspective than you do. What to brainstorm?
    • What questions do your customers regularly ask you? Chances are they are searching those very questions before they shop with you. Answering them on your website establishes your credibility and (hopefully) keeps them away from your competitor’s website.
    • What keywords are associated with those questions? Do a little research using Google AdWords Keyword Planner or WordStream’s PPC Management software. Both of them are free to use. Build lists of words and keyword phrases that are associated with the questions your customers are asking as well as the products and services you offer. This is a massive exercise and very messy—but well worth the effort!
  1. Determine the best way to deliver your content. For some, it will be an eBook. For others, it’s a video. It could be a white paper, a cheat sheet or simply a PDF. Your decision should be based on what your Perfect Customers prefer.

Have you made a mess yet? You will! Hopefully, it’s a hot mess and it moves you into the production phase. Someone has to write, produce and edit your content before it is published on your website and marketed.

If your writing is messy, it’s best to delegate it to someone more qualified than you. Perhaps you have someone on your staff who has a marketing-edge and is good at explaining ideas through the written word. If not, find a pro. You don’t want to come off looking unprofessional with typos or spelling errors. A professional writer is worth their weight in…words.

Another thing to remember, brevity is good. Use pictures, charts and graphics to get your point across. The last thing your visitors want to do is spend hours reading your content, no matter how useful it may be.

Marketing is messy. Brainstorming is messy. Producing quality content that resonates with you Perfect Customers is messy.

Embrace the mess. Get started.

Your customers are looking for you online. Are they finding you or your competition?

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