Growth Driven Design and Inbound Marketing for Real Results
Creating content for growth | A guide to GDD and Inbound
At Centurion Design we understand that content that doesn't deliver results, that has no objective and does not support your goals has no value, Thus we strategize and plan prior to creating anything, we look for gaps in your content and all of our efforts are to attract, engage and delight the clients you want to have.
We know that exposure doen't pay the rent, profits do. Content for the sake of content has no value, planning the content and optimising for the best Inbound results is the goal.
Everything is about user experience and engagement, Without engagement there are no sales.
Creating content with a Return On Investment as a goal
At Centurion Design we create content to get results, Our goals for every blog we write, every image, video and other content is to get your customers to engage, It's about the ROI and your customer experience.
Content can be created for every stage of your buyers journey, with the goal of getting sales or leads. As a small business owner I know that exposure doesn't pay the rent, for that to happen sales are essential.
Websites with blogs get up to 77% more traffic. This is for sites with 50 or more blog posts, sites with 24 posts or more get 30% more traffic.(HUBSPOT)
Content should add value, fluff pieces with self promotion and nothing of interest to your target market don't work.
Blogs are not the only content that can make a difference, you can use video, infographics, education and more to attract people to your website.
Every piece of content should have a stated goal, that goal can be "get more people to take action on an offer" or "educate people on how to use our systems"
All content must support the goals of your business and lead to a great customer experience.
Growth Driven Design [GDD]
Growth Driven Design is at it's core all about Strategy and Planning, for the best results it's important to understand the purpose of your business, your client profile and your goals.
Creating a plan and strategy for your website include defining the goals and objectives of your website and content. Tying those goals in with the goals and objectives of your business is a large component of the stragey. The web design is to support the growth of your business, and this needs to be looked at as a whole, not a seperate entity.
Constant and Never ending Improvement [CANI] is the strategy for getting the best results to meet the goals and needs of your company and your customers. Supporting your clients is the answer, user centric design and content creation is the way to go.
Everything is about your user and content creation needs to fit in with the overall strategy of your business. GDD can increase website conversions by up to 400%, and improve website usability as well.
91% of companies fail to meet their website goals and never get a single search engine result.[ahrefs] Traditional web design is at fault for not using a more data driven approach to success. GDD can help you achieve the results that you desire.
Creating content for the sake of creating content is not a strategy. Let us show you how to create great content that will help achieve your goals. Put it up and forget it is not a strategy. CANI is the goal, it prevents stagnation and allows your website to evolve and adapt over time.
CANI allows you to make small incremental changes to your website rather than trying to overhaul everything at one time.
Inbound marketing is known as pull marketing, Outbound marketing is known as push marketing. Let's discuss this in networking terms.
If you go to a networking meeting and you stand in a corner screaming "I do web design" over and over, annoying the other participants you are doing push marketing, In web terms it's the person on facebook posting the same flyer every day, your reaction, well if you are me is to stop listening, so you hide their posts so you don't have to see them again.
Outbound marketing staples are Banner Ads, Pop ups, and adverts designed to make you aware, Be honest here, You have an ad blocker on your browser to avoid them, don't you? I do.
Pull Marketing or Inbound is about attracting clients by offering value. Offering content that pulls them in. Can you see the value of attracting, engaging and delighting your prospects and clients?
Content used in inbound marketing is rarely about self promotion, it's always useful information adding value for the user. It's user centric content designed to attract, engage or delight the user.
It assist on the buying journey, think solving problems rather than pushy sales people.
When thinking about your content and your web presence holistically, aiming to improve the user experience you are going to be thinking GDD and Inbound.
Integrating GDD, Inbound and ContentCreation
GDD, Inbound and Content creation may seem like indepent ideas, yet all of them combine to form a powerful platform to generate leads and sales.
Creating a website that offers value to your clients is a no brainer, not annoying them follows, and creating content that is designed to meet your goals, attract, engage and delight your clients mnakes total sense. Do you agree?
Attract, Engage, Delight.
Creating content that attracts new prospects is creating awareness of solutions to problems they may not even know they have, Every person has problems that they can identify or not, they are aware that something is not as it should be.
Our job is to help them define those problems by creating content that makes them aware or helps define the problem.
An example would be "You have a website, it's not bringing in results, you have no idea why" My task is to make you aware that there are solutions to the issue, My goal is to create awareness to attract you to my content so that you can then identify your problem,
The next phase is to start researching and engage with my content, downloading and viewing so as to gain an understanding of your now identified problem.
Educating you and offering you opportunities to give me details, so that I have leads that become sales.
This give me the opportunity to delight you, by offering you all the content you need to understand the service or product you bought and to gain the best results from it.
This could lead to upselling or referrals to your network where the process will play out again.
It could also lead to me spending less time on trying to help you figure out how to find good keywords, optimising any self created content, creating the perception that my after sales service is way better than my oppositions because I have a video for you to watch that makes it easy to do what you need.
Content can be useful for all stages of the buyers journey from being marketed to, to understanding your billing process. In fact every aspect of your business can be made easier with the right content.
Can you see how important the right content could be to the process?
Content Creation best practices
There are more than 6 million blogs on the web, you will be competing with less because you are targeting the niche that is your business, From Wordpress we know that their users post more than 70 million new posts every month and Wordpress is only one of many Content Management Systems[CMS]
I say this not to discourage you, but to help you understand why using best practices can make a difference. Content Marketing starts with your audience.
Who are you aiming at?
Knowing this can affect the direction of any content creation efforts. Choose the buyer persona you are aiming at. Is it DIY Dave? Maybe it's Busy Barney or Lazy Larry? All of them will have different needs, DIY Dave wants to know how, Busy Barney just want the answers and Lazy Larry wants to know what you are going to do to allow him to chill with his Computer games or the goggle box.
Targeting the right audience is one of the key factors in the success of the content. Who are your clients more likely to be?
Where are they in the buying process?
Mapping out your buyers buying process can help you create content aimed at someone that has just become aware that they have a problem.
Has DIY Dave already started considering his options because he has identified his problem and looking for solutions.
Is Lazy Larry about to make a decision and needs some info to put him over the top?
Are we creating content to retain Busy Barney as a client.
Can we create content that will delight Serious Sue so much that she will Advocate for us and tell her network just how we solved her problem?
Do we have a marketing strategy?
Everything starts with a goal and a plan. If you know where you want to go it makes everything easier.
Reminds me of Alice in Wonderland. "Alice: “Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?” The Cheshire Cat: “That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.” Alice: “I don't much care where.” The Cheshire Cat: “Then it doesn't much matter which way you go.
Having a goal makes it easy to create a plan.
At this point we need to identify what metrics we want to use to define the success? Do we want to generate leads? get more organic traffic? Get signups to a seminar? sell some product or just create awareness?
Audit existing content
Do we already have content that we can improve or update to get better results, maybe we have a great article that we could add some infographics to, make a few changes to optimise it and get better results right there.
Our goal is to identify gaps in our content that need filling, content that is not getting the results it should, maybe we can change some keywords and the layout, add some more info, thin it out, focus it and push it to page one on Google.
It could be repurposed to use on social media, You could take a video, transcribe it and use it as a blog, Create a pillar post rounding up all the info and linking it to content that you already have.
Talk to customers
Ask you customers what stops them from buying, could their pain points be relieved with a video, a blog, a how to guide, an e-book, an infographic, a calculator, a tutorial, a case study or white paper?
Remember we want the content to make the customers life easier no matter where in the buyers journey they are.
Now that we have some of the best practices in mind lets talk about the process of creating the content.
Creating content for success
At Centurion Design we have a process, once we understand the goals, the buyer persona, the buying process and what we need to do, we start with:
Starting with the Product or service we research so that we know what we are selling, we need to know who the opposition or competitors are, we look and see what content they have so that we know what we need to do better,
Next we do keyword reasearch because having keyword strings that we can rank for is important, creating more content that is already over exposed or over used is a bad idea. We research keyword phrases to find out what people are searching for, why they are searching like that, are these keywords money terms or tyre kicker terms?
We need to know we can improve on, give solutions that are under utilised, Will a video, or an image allow us to compete better, Sometimes we find a search term that has too much blog content, but we could nail it with video or content designed for Instagram or Pinterest. Research helps us determine the best path toward our goal.
We sit down in a room with stakeholders and get as many ideas as possible whittling them down to the best ones. Getting ideas is not a trask for just one person, it needs input from you, your staff and maybe even some client input.
Creating the content
Once we know what is needed we create the content. Much like this page you are reading, I start with writing, to see where the ideas lead, I start with the body, writing and developing the story, editing, adding subtracting focussing on the goal, the objective,
Once I have it down on paper, I reread, edit, make changes and then decide what imagery is required, adding a introduction, a conclusion and looking at how to include click through actions [CTA]
Thereafter time is spent photographing, designing and including images, creating a video to add is the next phase.
I look at the SEO elements first and see what needs to be added, can we include outbound links, where can we place internal links to other content on the site, where can we place inbound links to this content. How can we improve the titles? the metatags, what url should we use.
Initial optimisation is done on publication,
After publication we chack and follow up on the results, making changes using analysis and data. We will need CANI to ensure the best results and endurance of our content.
In conclusion we use a goal, a strategy and create content to achieve the best possible results.