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Creating a robust content marketing strategy can be a challenge but is extremely important for SEO. Search engines crawl content for information that helps them index your pages correctly and help you rank in search results. Having a good SEO content strategy improves your website's visibility on search engines, helping to drive traffic. Furthermore, well thought out content will increase conversions by encouraging people to purchase your products/services.

The Top 3 Challenges of Content Marketing in 2021

1. Creating content that drives traffic

Solution 1: Create a content strategy based on the buyer journey

Truly understanding your customers is the first step in content marketing. If you understand customers' needs and expectations throughout the different stages of the buyer journey, then you can build a strategy that drives traffic through each stage of the funnel. Your content decisions should be based on user behaviour data that you continuously collect and analyse.

Solution 2: Research and understand search intent 

Search intent is the reason why someone conducts a specific search, and forms part of the buyer journey. For example, are they looking for information, are they searching for a specific website, or are they looking to buy something? Keyword research will play an important role in planning content for search intent. Read more about the different types of searcher intent on SEMRush's blog.

Solution 3: Make use of long-tail keywords

Long-tail keywords are usually more specific search phrases, and are particularly beneficial when there’s a lot of competition in your market. Although long-tail keywords get less search traffic, they usually have a higher conversion value because competition is lower and they're targeted. Spend some time researching long-tail keywords before writing each content piece.

2. Keeping the target audience engaged in your content

Solution 1: Get creative with content formats

Diversify your content and get creative with different formats. Blogs will always play a major role in content marketing but by getting creative and focusing on user experience you can really engage with consumers and stand out from the competition. Research and test new formats of interactive and immersive content across all digital channels.

Solution 2: Regularly review performance and update your content strategy 

Content marketing works best as an ongoing process. By auditing your content on a regular basis, you can test and learn what works best and is most favoured by your audience. Consumer behaviour is always changing online which is why regular analysis and an agile strategy is important for continued success.

3. Creating content that converts

Solution 1: Have a specific goal for each piece of content

Content should never be created for the sake of it, instead, you should have a clear, measurable goal in mind for each piece of content. This brings us back to the importance of understanding your audience and creating content for different stages of the user journey. Some examples of content goals include boosting blog traffic, growing an email list or increasing landing page conversions.

Solution 2: Create content for each stage of your funnel to create paths to conversion 

A content strategy should look at each funnel stage. Plan an equal amount of content for each stage in order to create conversion paths that assist your customers through the buyer journey.

From your regular content audits, choose the content that already converts well and ensure there’s stable traffic flow to this content. Make sure other teams in your company know about this content, especially your sales team who can hopefully use the content in their own efforts.

By investing in an SEO Content strategy, you can help ensure long-term success by building stronger relationships with your customers and improving brand recall. We are here to help you with the many challenges of content marketing.

Our Content Team at Bell can help you create an SEO content strategy by helping you understand your audience and the different content formats. We use analytics to make optimisations and improve your long-term strategy.

Want to know what other SEO trends will be important in 2021 and beyond? Check out our 5 SEO trends to include in your 2021 strategy article.

If you are interested in hearing more, get in touch. Follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook for the latest updates.

Ad formats for your Facebook campaigns

The best way to get the most out of Facebook advertising starts with high-quality creatives. However, in practice, a creative can perform differently depending on your ad format, so it’s important to choose the right one for your campaign’s objective.
Facebook offers a plethora of ad formats and once you start playing around with them, you will quickly learn that some are more performant than others, depending on your different objectives. Here, we’ll mainly talk about the ad formats that are most useful for driving traffic and conversions for your website rather than for increasing Facebook likes and post engagement.

Simple Image assets

The easiest and probably most prevalent ad formats are Image and Carousel ads. These formats are simple to use because you only need images, titles, descriptions and links. One Image Ad shouldn’t take you more than two minutes to create, whereas Carousel ads are essentially multiple Image Ads in one and would take slightly longer. Both of these are good for achieving objectives such as generating traffic, leads and conversions for your website.

Video or GIF assets

The go-to format would be simple Video Ads. This format is just as easy to use as Image Ads and is one of the best performing formats on Facebook. Videos used should ideally be short in length (under 10 seconds), with good rhythm and limited text. Too much text in a Video or GIF could lead to your ad being served less by Facebook. With Video Ads, you can also choose to use formats such as Carousel or Stories, the latter being a placement that is fast-growing on Facebook and has already proven itself on Instagram too. The reason that you might consider this as an ad format, is that you can use it as your only placement. It is always important to make a video that has the correct specs, which in this case would be portrait. We have discovered that Video Ads are best at generating conversions.

Different types of creative assets

If you have different types of creative assets, it’s a good idea to try different ad formats at the same time, within the same ad set. On Facebook, it is always good to test different formats to see which is most effective. Having both Image and Video Ads running in one ad set, at the same time, can be an excellent way to see what is best for your business and for your campaign’s objective.

More complex ad formats

If you’re not afraid of using more complex ad formats, then try Collection or Instant Experience Ads. These formats are good if you have multiple products or assets to promote. They offer more customisations with Title & CTA positions and formatting. There are three templates that you can choose from, or alternatively, do it yourself with a custom instant experience. This ad format essentially creates a mini-website for you, which usually looks better than your typical ad. However, due to this, it takes more than one click to get to your website, which can cause high bounce rates, even before the prospect reaches a landing page. We have often noticed that these ad formats are great for engagement but less so for conversion-focused activity.

Make sure to test your ad formats

If you have the assets, we encourage you to test every ad format you possibly can. Here at ESV, we provide our clients with catered insights, built through previous experience, whilst always encouraging them to test new formats and placements. Something that would not work for a certain business could provide excellent results for another. Moreover, giants such as Facebook and Instagram are constantly tweaking how their platforms work and it is very likely that a format that never worked out for you in the past could end up working six months later.

Do you need advice on which format to choose for your paid social campaigns? Get in touch through the contact form below and our experts will be in touch.

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For the most effective online branding in a growingly complex environment, brands must resist the temptation to put the cart before the horse.

BRANDING BEFORE BRAND ACTIVATION

There are no shortage of articles and blog posts with tips to how to get the most out of online branding. Invariably, they focus on activation – how to make your brand work online through specific activities. It feels as if the ‘branding’ part of the term has taken a back seat.

The first question to address should not be ‘how do we make our brand work online?’ – it should always be ‘how do we make our brand work?’ To cut to the chase, it doesn’t matter how good your brand activation strategy is if your brand itself is weak, or convoluted, or poorly thought out. Online brand activation needs a solid brand platform from which to work, in the same way as ‘offline’ brands. If you don’t have a solid brand foundation already, the temptation to skate over the brand itself and just get on with it should be resisted.

Although there are differences between online and offline branding, the fundamentals are the same. Online branding is just branding online, and as such, should adhere to the rules of branding, which means taking the time to understand and develop your brand. A brand that encompasses not just what you do, but also what you say and how you behave. A good brand should be unique and timeless, a promise of value that connects with customers, users or a community through both functionality (what the brand does) and intangibles (how the brand makes people feel).

It can be argued that the intangible, ‘emotional’ foundations of your brand are even more important in the digital sphere, as in many cases the customer journey no longer includes actual, physical interactions with the brand – and people representing the brand – before purchase or engagement of service.

This is not to say that brands should not be developed specifically for use in an online environment. Far from it – an appreciation and understanding of the channel is imperative. Rather, if your brand will be specifically or primarily ‘online facing’, just apply brand fundamentals with that in mind.

Fundamentals such as: know your audience journey and touch points. Understand your sector and competitors. Develop values. Have a personality. Make promises. Have an ethos, or essence, or core proposition, or purpose, or any of the other monikers branding agencies like to use. Provide meaning and experience for your audience, and add value through intangibles.

Don’t leave these behind in the rush to activate your brand online. Without it, you will risk being seen as inauthentic by those you need to connect and converse with.  As with all branding, promise must equal experience. In short, you can’t build a house without foundations. The same is true for online brands.

CONCLUSION

To get the most out of online branding, ensure your brand foundations are ‘spot on’ before you consider specific online activation strategies. In turn, this should make activation far simpler, logical, and economical.

If you want to find out more about getting the most out of online branding, get in touch through the contact form below.

 

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