Content strategy may sound like merely a fancy addition to the more pressing business needs but this is a wrong notion. Why?
Content is no longer merely a marketing tool aimed directly at your customer. The content on your website is monitored by search engines and it directly influences the visibility of your business online. If you think that all you have to do it to find a good papers writing service, order from them a long-read for your landing page with a precisely calculated keyword percentage and you’re done once and for all – you are wrong again.
First of all, Google wants your site as you want your salad – fresh and organic. That means the content must be up-to-date, relevant, posted regularly, and be genuinely interesting for people. Second, the quality of writing is no longer measured only with word count and keywords. Interesting for people means that there must be real engagement – people should interact with your text, stay on the page longer, scroll to the bottom, leave comments, quote you on Twitter, etc.
All these requirements can only be met if you have great content that real users will want to read and will find useful. Such quality is hard to maintain without a comprehensive and well-thought content strategy.
Outline your goals
First of all, you need to define your goals. Content is not some magic ingredient that solves everything. It’s a tool and it must be mindfully applied. For some of your goals, even the best possible content can be powerless. For example, it is hardly going to convert users at the bottom of the sales funnel.
Decide whether you want to educate your audience, entertain them, convert them, raise brand awareness, improve search results, or generate leads. When you’ve defined your goals, you can see which type of content fits best to achieve them.
Study your audience
This is another crucial piece of knowledge – without it, you are as good as blindfolded. You cannot create good content based only on your perception of quality and taste. Good content is not what you like. It isn’t even what your customers like – it’s something that influences your target audience the right way.
As a business, you must already know who your audience is. However, ongoing research is necessary to learn what type of content appeals most to them, what is the most engaging for your audience. That means researching the platforms they frequent, social media they choose to share the content to, types of content, themes and topics they find worthy of interest, etc. You can do this using Google’s Demographics and Interests Tool.
Find your focus
On the whole, the narrower your niche, the better your chances at being the authority in it. Of course, there are businesses with a wider reach. Still, they know the particular subsets of their audience and they tailor their messages and campaigns to target each subset independently. One very beneficial practice is to target your devoted fans in order to build a deeper connection with them and increase brand loyalty.
Content is also a means of establishing your points of difference and telling why your product is unique. How else will your customers know what makes you better than or at least different from your competition?
Decide on the type of content
With all this in mind, you must have some idea what type of content you need – how-to guides, case studies, reviews, entertainment, and what should be the format – blog posts, infographics, videos, podcasts, e-books, etc.
At this point, you may brainstorm the topics. If you need some ideas, there are plenty of places created for exactly this purpose: BuzzSumo, Feedly, HubSpot’s blog ideas generator, and BlogAbout (a tool by IMPACT).
Monitor your performance
To develop a successful content strategy, you must always check what works for your audience and what doesn’t. To get this feedback, you should regularly monitor the following metrics: consumption (how many people saw your content), social sharing (how engaged your audience is, what types of content they share, and on which platforms), conversions, and leads.
This must be an ongoing process, otherwise, you may end up creating useless content that no one ever sees.