Writing content for the web is about far more than just sharing your best advice in text form; it's about cutting through the noise of the rest of the endless web content to make sure you're reaching and engaging the right audience.
Start by setting goals and identifying your ideal customer, and keep that in mind throughout the writing process. Who are you trying to attract? Which call-to-action should readers follow after interacting with a piece of content you’ve shared? Knowing the answers to these questions will help drive conversions and lay the groundwork for success.
A big focus during goal-setting should include consideration of where your audience is in the buyer's journey. That's how you know not just who you're speaking to, but what their current level of interest or engagement will be.
If you're trying to attract new audience members, your content should be more broad in scope, also known as "wide" content. Conversely, as you strengthen your relationship with customers you've already interacted with, your content should narrow in with "Deep" content that digs into the subject matter with a more in-depth approach.
Let’s see how these differences apply and help you move customers down the sales funnel:
Wide content offers a general look at a topic that’s designed to attract new leads and introduce them to what your business has to offer. Though wide content will keep a general tone, it’s essential to present a unique look at the topic at hand. This will help you stand out as a thought leader in your industry. For example, if you did research about a trend in your industry, you could add your opinion on how this will be applied.
SEO is crucial to creating wide content relevant to your buyer personas. Select relevant topics and keywords to help ensure that your content will draw in readers likely to become viable leads.
Deep content is designed to target a specific group, often a segmented portion of your leads. These pieces will build on the relationship you started with a wide piece of content, offering more details to help move the lead farther down the sales funnel. To use inbound marketing terms, wide content works best in the “attract” stage, while deep content will move readers through the “convert” and “close” stages.
As you identify the type of content, you also need to think about where you will share that content, and buyer personas should be the biggest determining factor here as well.
For example, if you plan to share content on social you'll need to consider what content formats and social platforms your personas are most likely to engage with so you can make the strongest impact. If your leads and customers tend to follow you on social media, then sharing deep content here could make a strong impact. If you use social media more in the “attract” stage, then wide content will work better for you. Again, it's all about knowing your personas and tailoring your strategy to their wants and needs.
Marketers will often use email for sharing deep content so they can create segmented lists based on a group’s interests and needs. However, you might consider enhancing existing wide content as you develop the deep content, rather than starting from scratch. Add details on the content that first engaged the user to help nurture them down the funnel as they progress in their journey.
In summary, every piece of content you create should be directed at moving your personas through the buyer’s journey. Ask yourself: What do you want the people reading this content to do? They could download a guide, make a purchase, or get in contact for more questions. Create a strong call-to-action and design your content around it. That way your content, be it wide or deep, is more likely to get you the conversions you need.