Why Is Content Strategy Necessary?
Without a written plan, it will be hard to achieve your goals, so start with a written plan. In doing so, you will feel a lot less stressed, have more free time to devote to your content that will need to be regularly written.
Make sure that your content supports your goals. Sometimes it is hard to know what will succeed and what won't succeed. As a result, you may need to shift and pivot your plan after a few months.
At Cube Creative Design we want to make content strategy easy for you. By following these ten steps, you can whip your online content into shape and make it work hard for your customers.
Start by Setting Your Business Goals
Common goals to model your strategy on are:
- Improving brand awareness
- Growing leads
- Improving revenue
- Increasing traffic
- Increasing email subscribers
Define Your Target Audience
Your target audience is essential. You may be speaking to multiple buyer personas and prospects interested in your topic. As you create your content, you will be writing directly to these prospective clients.
Research Your Audience Content Needs
When planning content, it is helpful to research what the audience is looking for. Start by conducting keyword research and looking for trends. Then, think about questions related to those trined and try to create content that answers those questions. If you can do this, you will be rewarded handsomely in the leads that will come.
If you already have a lot of content generated, try to do a content audit to see what content is performing best and get rid of underperforming content.
Develop a Content Marketing Plan
Based on your buyer persona and your keywords, you can develop a content plan consisting of:
- What format:
- When publishing content occurs
- Steps to promote content
- Social Media post(s)
Creating Great Content
The trick to creating great content is to say it better than your competitors. While some say you shouldn’t put anything out unless it is new and unique, I disagree with that statement. You may be able to say essentially the same thing to your audience that your competitor is saying, but it might resident more with them, thus giving you the boost. Therefore, your content should be better than your competitor's. Try to cover every aspect of the topic and include graphics, photos, or videos where necessary. Make sure that your content is trustworthy, and include data to back up a claim if necessary. Also, don’t be afraid to present data in different formats, as I mentioned in developing the plan.
Optimize Content for the Website
- Make your URLs short, easy to read, and if possible, add a keyword to them
- Optimize your page titles with your keyword
- Use the target keyword in the first 100 words.
- Link to suitable and authoritative resources
- Link your own internal or external articles
Promote Your Content
Generating content is but one part of the plan. You also need a plan to promote it. First, you will need to promote the content. One way of doing this is to mention well-known brands within your content and link to their site. Be sure to let them know that you have mentioned them in your post. Other ways of promoting content include:
- Social media
- Paid advertising
Evaluate Effectiveness of Your Content Strategy.
Analyze how your content is performing to determine what topics are resonating with your audience. Measure using the following Key Performance Indicators (KPI):
- User Engagement
- User Behavior
- Search Traffic
- Conversion Rate
Having your best content strategy in place can produce good results for your small business. This will occur by increased targeted traffic, increased revenue, and more influence in your field.
Publish Quality Content
To do this, you will need to have a consistent publishing schedule. Keep covering important topics keeping the flow steady. Don't even start to write until you have a good strategy in place. If it is your first time having a content strategy, you can't yet be sure what will work and what won't.
Keep refining your strategy and see what your reader response is.
Focus on Good Quality
Even if you are not writing large amounts focus on consistency and quality. To start with, do one-off pieces as a stand-alone item and see how well they are received. This way, you will be able to publish a steady flow of content.
This is what you will want to analyze,
- What content is performing well?
- What is not performing?
- Are you publishing regularly every week?
- What are your current keywords?
Use E-A-T Standards
This is how Google evaluates your credibility on a topic. So scoring higher on these metrics will rank you higher, and that is something to aim for.
Create Pillar Pages
Once you are more experienced, create some longer pillar pages. Do one extended, in-depth article to see how well it is received. Make sure it covers every detail of the topic. A page like this can set you up as an authority on the subject.
Not all sites need the same level of content to thrive. When thinking of your audience, think of whether they would be the type of person to browse a blog or connect with Facebook. Consider how much time and energy you want to invest in your website content. Do you have someone on your staff who would like to post recent work regularly? Or would you prefer to get the basics online and drive customers to contact you? Either strategy may be best. It all depends on what your target audience needs and wants from you.
Speak their language. Some acronyms may be commonplace in your industry but may be lost entirely on potential customers. Use a clear writing style and be consistent. Not only will this be more relevant to your users, but it will help you find new customers through SEO (search engine optimization).
Once you start to transform your business, you will find it quite exciting. However, it also comes with a steep learning curve. There are many people out there who have been in your position, and finding a 'mentor' is worth doing, just to keep you on track for the first year. Of course, some things will work better than others, but once you have your content strategy in place, there will be no stopping you.
Now, if this all seems a bit much, consider using a content strategist such as Cube Creative Design. We have experience tailoring existing content and creating new content that will help you meet your business goals. Contact us today for a free consultation on how we can help your small business grow with an effective content strategy.