Think about your content as an extension of your company — because it is one. Content marketing can be positioned as the leading edge for expansion into new markets. As a business about to expand, it’s important to be prepared. Your content strategy will develop your brand identity and awareness, while also collecting information valuable to your business.
Start With the Right Information
What’s the first thing you do when you expand into a new market? You investigate the buyers. Your buyer personas are going to be significantly different from market to market. They have varied interests and needs, and may reside in different locations, situations, and environments.
In terms of market expansion, you need to understand the culture of the demographic that you’re working with. Often, this requires hiring a cultural expert, or those who are experienced in localization. To properly personalize your content, you need to have a thorough understanding of your buyer personas, and understand how those buyer personas are going to relate with your brand.
The more information you have, the better your initial marketing analysis will be. However, your information is also going to grow over time: with the right analysis, you’ll be able to glean more information, and customize your content moving forward.
Developing Content through Localized, Customized Micro-Sites
When testing the market, businesses often begin through the use of localized, customized micro-sites. Micro-sites are smaller landing pages or clusters of pages that are dedicated to a fairly narrow focus. They are intended to test out the reaction of a market before investing in a larger content strategy. This type of experimentation is often necessary, as it isn’t always intuitive what will become popular.
Localization is incredibly important to building content that is actually relevant to an audience. Careful localization makes the difference between truly resonating with your audience and potentially alienating them. Moreover, different audiences are interested in different things, and conduct searches tailored to their own culture.
Culture controls how an audience phrases searches, what words they are most likely to use, and what content is going to feel most useful to them. A good localization isn’t easy to achieve: it requires an expert in the local culture, who understands the way that culture works, and who understands the native language and culture of the content.
Begin With Your Major Content Pillars
Content pillars are lengthy, detailed, in-depth pieces of content, often including additional media such as infographics. These are intended to be the most valuable portions of your content strategy, linking out into clusters of related pages. Content pillars are search engine optimized and promoted through social media, and they boost the other pages that they link to.
A content strategy will grow like a tree, with a content pillar forming the trunk and branching out into progressively smaller branches and leaves. As your content strategy grows, you’ll add more branches: but you’ll always begin with the pillar, as a way to investigate interest in a content path. As you view your search engine results and your analysis, you’ll see which keywords are being searched for, and be able to use it to build out the rest of your content.
Research Your Competition Within the New Market
Your competition is the perfect place to start when developing your content strategy. By reviewing your competition, you can identify areas in which their content may be insufficient. Not only will you need to be able to produce better content than them, but you’ll also need to investigate potential gaps in their content strategy.
If your competition is entrenched, you may not want to go after the same keywords or content pillars that they are: instead, you may be interested in investing in slightly different, but related, content and keywords. Investigating your competition will also teach you more about the culture, which you can use to improve your localization.
Integrate Social Media With Your Content Marketing Strategy
Social media is one of the most powerful tools that modern advertisers have when building out a content strategy. Through social media tagging and geographic targeting, it’s easier than ever to distribute your content to those who are likely to be most interested in it. Social media can build upon a content strategy by promoting sharing and linking, and by generally increasing the traffic on your domain.
When content marketing and SEO work together, they have a compounding effect. Search engine optimization makes it more likely that your content will be shared on social media, while social media makes it more likely that your content will rank highly in search engines. Together, you can create a complete content strategy that drives your traffic and builds your audience.
Content marketing is in a state of constant evolution. Your content strategy is likely to continue evolving as you continue to learn more about your market. However, when used properly, your content marketing can be used to grow organically into a market without a significant upfront expenditure.