Content Strategy Is Not:
- Throwing up as much content as you can and hoping something sticks
- Stealing content you Googled and posting it to your own site
- Using your site to share random, irrelevant information
- Posting dozens of articles or blogs, then walking away
Content Strategy Basics
Content strategy, thanks to usability.gov, involves the planning, creation, delivery and governance of content. Its goal is to make for a good user experience on your website by using words, images and interactive elements in a way that is well structured and relevant.
We at Cube Creative Design want to make content strategy easy for you. By following these five steps, you can whip your online content into shape and make it work hard for your customers.
Five Steps to Good Content Strategy
- Identify your audience.
Hint: your audience is not you. The first step toward any good content strategy is to have a goal audience in mind. Are you marketing to consumers or to businesses? Is your target user a mom or a corporate purchasing agent? Use this perspective when thinking about your content.
- Take inventory.
What content do you already have? This can be text content about the history of your business or it can be images you’ve taken of your business or your products. Once you have this inventory it will be easier to see what needs to be created.
- Fill in gaps.
Put yourself in your target audience’s shoes. What content would be useful to them? What will compel them to do business with you? Now, do you have that kind of content? What will it take to get that content? What does that content look like? Is it straight-forward information that never changes, or is it more dynamic? For instance, do you need to describe your services or do you need to show new portfolio pieces on a regular basis?
- Test your site.
Once you’ve published your content online, be sure to test it regularly. Is it helping you meet your business goals? Are you getting good leads from your website? Check your traffic using tracking software like Google Analytics.
- Alter as needed.
Once you see how your content is performing, make changes as necessary. Perhaps you have a blog post on your home page that isn’t getting any traffic. Consider archiving it and posting a different blog post. If you have a lot of traffic going to a product page, but people aren’t completing a sale, look for ways to make the checkout process more user friendly.
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 on a regular basis? 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 completely lost 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).
If this all seems a bit much, consider using a content strategist. These folks have experience tailoring both existing content and creating new content that will help you meet your business goals.