Planning Cluster Topics for Inbound Campaigns
Planning a digital content strategy can be difficult. Visualising how content fits together and influences the journey a lead will take through your website is critical. By using the Cluster Topic approach, where a central piece of Pillar content is supported by shorter, complementary topics, designed to appeal on a range of related issues, is a powerful way of grouping content to maximise visitor conversion.
On the diagram (click the expander to open in a new tab), you can see how content is divided into Pillar and Cluster. The role of the pillar content is to cover the core topic broadly and also convert visitors into leads. The cluster content that is built for each of the subtopics focuses on gaining greater topic visibility and funnelling traffic through to the pillar content in order for those visitors to convert.
Have a look at your buyer personas and think which one you’re looking to interest (remembering that we’re looking for some quick wins here. The sort of BOFU (Bottom of Funnel) leads your team needs to acquire/develop)
You want your content to appeal to the needs of the chosen Buyer Persona. So, how you ‘spin’ these topics will be important (i.e. someone actually developing software will be engaged by a different, potentially more granular post than someone who has a strategic overview of products, even though both posts are approaching the same subject.)
You want to create a journey, which is your conversion path. This journey is not necessarily linear (you’ll need to take account of multiple potential entry points) but the destination will be the same (your CTAs and pillar content). So, - What will that journey look like? Including all of these topics in your campaign might be a stretch, so what are the priorities for your chosen Buyer Persona? - How will these pieces interconnect to guide a visitor through to becoming a lead? - Will they connect to other pages on your website? If so, that’s great, but you need to be mindful of not creating a ‘break’ in the prospect’s conversion journey. - And what will the CTA be for the destination (pillar) content?
You want to make sure that you’re getting the maximum SEO ‘juice’ from each topic: - Make a list of potential keyword phrases around each topic (it can be valuable to get colleagues’ input on this too) - Use a keywords tool to research variations on these (you can also try Google to see what other people are doing on these topics) - Make a note of the best keywords for each topic
Plan a schedule of who is writing these and when. Be sure to set deadlines based on your desired start date, and also be mindful of any input that the writer(s) might need from colleagues.
Now that you understand the pitch of the content (in terms of its intended Buyer Persona, the style and keywords you want to incorporate): - Who do you currently know who might provide a backlink to these pieces? - Do you have relationships with anyone who might blog about them? - Are any of these better potential sources of leads than others (remember, while backlinks from credible sources are great for SEO and we want them, for the campaign it’s going to be good to prioritise sources that might provide actual leads) - Start to think about how you will reach out to these individuals in a personal way
- Once you’ve launched the campaign, measure topic success and refine. - Which topics perform better at driving traffic? - Which topics earn you the most leads? - Which topics drive the most revenue to the business? - Which topics earn the most backlinks/coverage?
By taking this approach, you’ll apply logic to your digital marketing content, making it easier to draw visitors along a clear conversion path. Want a better understanding of where you are with your campaign planning? Click below to download our powerful Ultimate Checklist for Attracting Leads Online.
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