By: Lori Smith
Content strategy, not the most exciting subject, but imperative as part
of the overall strategic plans for your business. If you want to be
successful, that is.
What Is Content Strategy?
The planning, creation, and delivery of all content that is in line with
your specific business goals, and is of value to your target audience. It
consists of all content related to your business – blog posts, audio,
copy, videos, etc. – that you create to engage your audience – and
delivers results according to your business objectives. Simply put,
content with a purpose.
Content strategy is right up there with branding, as being one of the
key components to your business’ success. You need to know the type
of content you need to connect with your potential clients. If you
don’t, then you’re losing out. Losing out on building authority, and
losing out on making sales.
In the online business community, it’s well known that content is
king. With the overabundance of content on the web, it’s essential to
get yours right. Your content – created in your unique voice – is what
helps you stand out from the competition.
Just writing random content does not make a business. It won’t help
you get ranked in search engines. Nor will it help people identify your
brand’s message, values, and mission.
Purpose Of A Content Strategy
The purpose of a content strategy varies based on the ultimate goals
of a business. The type of content you create depends on what goals
you want to achieve. A strategy to increase conversion rates will differ
from one to increase backlinks.
Having a defined strategy will help you to stay aligned with your
brand’s message. It enhances your credibility and will ensure your
content delivers on your objectives.
Long gone are the days of just promoting content on social media.
The practice of updating content every 6 months on your website is
over too. Times are a changing.
Google’s newest algorithm changes have made them better at
identifying higher quality results. Longer posts are now ranked higher.
The longer an article is, the more value it’s perceived to have. This
doesn’t mean, however, that shorter articles will rank lower. It’s all
about the quality of the content.
What you post is not as important as your why. Your why is what will
establish the value of your content. Content is the driving force in an
online business. It’s what attracts customers and drives sales.
According to the National Center For Biotechnology Information –
“customers attention spans have dropped to less than that of a
goldfish.” Seriously? Then how do you go about capturing the
attention of human beings? Having a well-planned strategy that
produces higher quality content will engage your audience. They will
be more apt to like and share it.
Without a well laid out content strategy, you won’t know
– the type of content you already have
– the types of content you still need
– the content that’s most effective in reaching your objectives
Using Content Strategy To Target Potential Customers
Social networks have come a long way. They now serve as shopping
platforms for consumers. Facebook’s buy button and Curlate’s Like2
Buy for Instagram, are changing purchasing habits of consumers.
If you intend to include buy buttons in your marketing plan, you’ll
need a strategy for managing your brand’s community. You will also
need content that will compel people to buy. Even if you don’t plan
on using social platforms for direct sales, you’ll still need to target your
audience in a strategic way.
Concentrate on creating content that addresses every stage of your
customer’s purchasing journey. Focus your message on their needs.
You want to speak to their pain point, and offer solutions. Tell your
story in a way that will trigger an emotional response, and will make
your customer want to buy what you’re selling.
Developing A Strategy
There’re 3, key areas you first need to research before developing your
Company research – delve into your company’s core strengths and
values. What is your company best at? What does it stand for? You’ll
also want to assess whether your current content, is in alignment with
your business objectives.
Customer research – Find out what your customers want and need.
What path do they take in the purchasing process? You’ll also want to
determine how, where, and when they consume content.
Competitor research – Examine what your competition’s unique
selling point is. What brand values do they convey? How is their
content communicating this to their customers?
You need to find a gap where you can establish your brand. You want
to set yourself apart from your competitors and find a unique place to
fit in that ideally, has little competition.
A solid strategy will outline the needs of your customers and business.
You’ll then need to decide how you will concentrate your content to
Documenting Your Strategy
Investing the time to develop a solid content strategy is an important
part of your marketing plan. A specific strategy will take you where
you want to go faster, will less uncertainty, and much better results.
Having a strategy in place will help you create content on a consistent
basis that’s on target with your business goals.
What To Include In Your Strategy:
Inventory of your content – List all your content. Decide what you will
keep, update, or delete.
Auditing your content – Analyze your content by determining what’s
working and what isn’t.
Metadata – Metadata is key to your readers being able to find related
content, becoming more engrossed, and reducing bounce rate.
Agile marketing – Is a process that helps you focus on what
things need to be done for your business and holds you accountable
for completing them.
Content strategy statement – A single statement that defines your
business goals, target audience, and audience needs.
Data asset management – Digital assets are your copy, images,
videos, etc. – storing all this in one central location makes it easier for
you to find and use.
Guidelines For Your Brand – Define your voice and be consistent in
maintaining it. You want your audience to recognize your content as
Best Ways To Create Valuable Content:
1) Be reflective of business goals while also addressing customer
2) Communicate to your audience, in a way that’s easily understood.
3) Make your content useful.
4) Be sure information is up to date and factual.
5) Make your content accessible to everyone.
6) Be consistent.
Implementing Your Strategy
Once you have your strategy documented, start implementing each
aspect of your plan. Measure the results to verify it’s working.
– Make your strategy effective by focusing on quality content.
Information that is useful is what will be of value to your readers .
Write about the topics your customers care about.
– Become knowledgeable about SEO. Use the right keywords that
best represent your content. Ranking higher in search engines will get
– Provide a variety of ways for your audience to consume your content,
blog posts, videos, visuals, webinars, etc.
– Focus on building a social foundation. Establish a presence on the
social media platforms where your ideal clients hang out.
– Align your content marketing with the right advertising efforts.
Develop responsive advertising for your content on the right
– Engage with those who share and comment on your content.
Engage with your audience by liking, sharing, and commenting back.
Measure the effectiveness of your content strategy by recording
data for the following.
1) Unique Visits
2) Page Views
3) Bounce Rate
4) Inbound Links
10) Time Invested
As you can see, having a content strategy is imperative to engage
the readers it is targeting. When content is beneficial to an audience,
and it’s something they enjoy reading, they won’t feel like they’re
being sold to.
Success today is about having an actual plan behind the content you
publish. Random content without a clear purpose is a surefire way to
kill your business. Don’t commit murder by ignoring your content