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

content strategy.

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

address them.

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

yours.

Best Ways To Create Valuable Content:

1) Be reflective of business goals while also addressing customer

needs.

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

you noticed.

– 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

platforms.

– 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

  5) Consumption

  6) Sharing

  7) Engagement

  8) Sales

  9) Expense

10) Time Invested

Final Thoughts

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

strategy.

 

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