5 Ways to Earn Business with Content Strategy

You’ve probably heard of content strategy. You’ve most certainly heard of “content”, and you probably have a strategic approach to all your marketing efforts. But what is content strategy?

At VI, content strategy is the game plan that gets the right content to the right people in the right place at the right time. It’s one of the best tools for maximizing your existing marketing efforts. Ready to whip your content into shape? Check out these 5 tips for creating a killer content strategy to meet your goals, your client's goals, and earn business. 

1. Know who you are.

Your brand has core beliefs, values, and standards—lean into ‘em! Identifying your brand tone and voice helps everyone on your team know who they are emulating when they’re creating for your brand. Would your brand ever say “cheugy”? What’s your stance on puns? Are you formal and straightforward? Casual and friendly? Make the rules and stick to them.

58% of people are more likely to buy from brands with strong personalities, so don’t be bashful.

2. Make it personal. 

If you’re writing to everyone, you’re connecting with no one. Your brand isn’t here to pander to every Tom, Dick, and Harriet. Hone in on who your most profitable audiences are and create personas representing their demographics, motivators, hobbies, and core beliefs. Give them each a name and a photo and think of them as real people who are experiencing the content you’re putting out.

When you know your audience so intimately, you create more useful, usable content that drives clicks, conversions, and sales.

3. Map it out. 

Instead of a one-size-fits-all approach to your content, think about how users—and not just any users, but your target personas—experience things differently on different channels. For example, Pinterest is a planning platform. The term “Christmas” starts seeing a significant uptick in searches on Halloween. But Twitter is more of an in-the-moment channel, great for live, timely updates. Creating a theme map ensures all your content is aligned, cohesive and makes the best use of a medium.

The more naturally content fits into a user’s life at the right time, the more useful it is.

4. Listen.

Find out what people are saying about you (and your competitors!). Social listening can provide valuable insights into what you’re doing right and where you can improve. According to Mention, only 9% of customer service messages are directed at brands on social.

91% of complaints or customer service requests won’t tag or mention you. Social listening keeps you in the conversation.

5. Serve up responsiveness.

Listening alone isn’t enough. Engage with users who are talking about your brand or commenting on your posts with questions or complaints—it truly makes a difference. 60% of internet users say bad customer service is a concern when making an online purchase.

Customer service, when it counts, can be the difference between a troll and a brand loyalist.

Craving more content content? Here’s what you need to know about content writing in a world without cookies.

Posted Jul 15, 2021

Why Your Website Needs an SEO Sweep to Perform at its Best

Search engine optimization (SEO) is an essential part of any digital marketing plan. Not only does SEO help increase website visibility and improve site rankings on Google, Bing, and other top search engines, but it can also help improve UX, drive site traffic, help elevate your other digital media tactics, and more.

Posted Jul 9, 2021

VI Welcomes New Group Account Director, Chelsey McKnight!

Chelsey McKnight Joins the VI Team.

Posted Jul 5, 2021

Schools Keep Digital Top of Mind: Setting Yourself Apart in Higher Education

It’s no secret that when students begin the college application process, they turn to Google. Here at VI Marketing and Branding, we’ve helped our clients like TCC and OCU Law create a digital-first approach that allows them to maintain — and even increase — enrollment rates. At VI, we know the Key Performance Indicators (KPI) in the higher education sphere are the application start and submit rates. Marketers use this metric to measure the quality of each lead based on their behavior. 

The Pros and Cons of Paid Search

In 2019, Google released a BERT algorithm update highlighting changes in how search results are displayed. When converting leads into prospective students, Paid Search Ads are king. They are a highly effective marketing tactic because Google awards the top three search results to paid listings. Since they have an organic look, they attract more clicks before the searcher scrolls to an organic listing.  

 

The downside? Paid Search (PPC) advertising can get pricey. And higher education marketing is already one of the most expensive and competitive fields in digital marketing. But don’t rule it out just yet. If you focus on user intent and the digital-first approach, you can create a cost-effective marketing strategy — and your return on investment (ROI) can be tremendous. For example, you can use long tail and brand-related phrase match keywords. Their search volume may be lower, but they’re very effective at capturing user intent.  

The Three Types of User-Intent Marketing

Before you start your keyword research, build your Google Search Ads campaigns or even talk budget, you need to understand the behavior of your target audience — which requires identifying user intent. User-intent marketing falls into in three distinct categories. 

Informational Intent

If your prospective student’s intent is informational, they’re searching for specific information on a topic or school. Having a relevant blog, FAQ page or other types of informational content will be invaluable resources to attract them to your site.

Navigational or Commercial Intent

If your student’s intent is navigational or commercial, they’re looking for a specific website. This potential student is closer to action but needs more information before taking the plunge. They’re likely comparing your offer to your competition. Be transparent and forthcoming about your school, tuition costs, class sizes, and any other information that can help make a decision. 

Transactional Intent

Lastly, if your student’s intent is transactional, they’re ready to take action. In this stage, your application process must be seamless, convenient, and mobile-friendly. A convenient and user-friendly conversion path for your prospective students will guarantee higher-quality results. On top of that, it’ll cost less than your competitors. 

 

 

VI Marketing and Branding’s digital wizards are sharp as tacks. We’re always up to date on strategies to make your program more visible and convert prospective students into enrolled students. Learn more about the results we've garnered for our higher ed clients by viewing our case studies here.

Posted Jun 24, 2021

Two Rising Stars at VI Recently Promoted

Caroline Cocanougher Can't Be Stopped. 

Caroline joined VI fresh out of college. She rose from Media Coordinator to Ad Ops Specialist… and today, we’re proud to promote her to Senior Ad Operations Specialist! Caroline has sat on every floor of the office and served the TSET account her entire career. She’s a go-to leader with a digital skill set that’s second-to-none. Way to go, Caroline!

Posted Jun 23, 2021

Hani Sayegh Joins the VI Team!

Welcome Aboard, Hani Sayegh! 

We’re thrilled to announce an exciting addition to the VI crew. Our new IT Director comes to us from Chesapeake, where he served as a Tier 3 IT Specialist. His impressive credentials include certifications from Google IT, Richo USA, CompTIA and Palo Alto Networks Cyber Security. Hani’s infectious smile is spreading like wildfire through the office.

Posted Jun 19, 2021

Greta Anglin Promoted to Vice President of Strategic Marketing

Meet VI’s Newest Veep!

We are stoked to announce Greta Anglin’s promotion to Vice President of Strategic Marketing. Greta is a brilliant marketing mind with deep experience in behavior change. She’s spent the last 15 years managing multi-million-dollar budgets for some of Oklahoma’s biggest state agencies. Greta’s singular vision and relentless commitment represent everything we stand for. This is a huge win for us and every VI client.

Posted Jun 9, 2021

2021 SEO Update: Core Web Vitals

Hosted within Google Search Console (GSC) is an SEO gold mine. Not only does GSC offer performance metrics and site ranking enhancements, but it has also evolved to a new focusUser Experience (UX).

Posted Jun 8, 2021

Content Writing in a Cookie-less World

Here’s the thing about the good old days: you never miss them until they’re gone. In the world of digital advertising, we’re the living exception. Because today, we can still track users across the web to deliver relevant ads to targeted audiences. But the hand is ticking toward midnight. And the good old days are almost gone.

Posted Jun 2, 2021

Everything You Need to Know on Apple's Recent IOS 14.5 Update

Apple recently announced and implemented a new privacy update that involves an anti-tracking feature. For user privacy, many believe this is a step in the right direction but, there’s one big question: What does this mean for the Marketing and Advertising Industry?

Posted May 28, 2021

7 Must-Know Financial Marketing Trends

As consumers transition their banking experiences to digital platforms, financial institutions look to gain market share through new offerings and service opportunities. Trends in banking accelerated due in part to the pandemic where customers had little choice but to use online services such as P2P (person to person) payments, mobile deposit, mobile banking and online lending applications and approvals.

Posted May 24, 2021

TravelOK and VI Marketing and Branding Win YouTube Works 2021 Award

YouTube announced the winners of the 2021 YouTube Works Awards, recognizing the most effective use of its platform in ad campaigns across the country. VI Marketing and Branding, along with TravelOK, won The Underdog award for the #RoadTripOK series.

Posted May 5, 2021