Developing a Content Marketing Strategy
One of the most powerful things you can do for your website is creating amazing content. Content has the ability to generate high quality traffic to your website. In fact, Google has put a significant emphasis on contents. Basically, they have said they will reward sites that focus on providing value and contribute to the knowledge available on the internet. Google has gone as far to develop training and seminars strictly focused on developing content strategies and content marketing. This focus on content has developed the area of content marketing to be a cornerstone part of web site development. Content marketing is developing quality content that informs and provides value to your readers. It’s not stuffing a ton of keywords or copying and pasting content. Content marketing is developing quality, researched and well written content. This content can include website copy, articles, blogs and infographics. Again, the focus is not just getting clicks to your site, but really understanding what the reader wants and providing it to them. Is developing a content strategy a difficult and complicated process? No but it does take time to focus on the what and who. Further you have to remember that content is an extension of your brand. So, bad and disjointed content, can have a negative impact on your brand. What does your content marketing strategy need to include? Great question. Here is a list of 4 key elements that your content marketing strategy needs to focus on. Focusing on these can help you get reader and views, but most importantly it will help you with getting the impact and results you are seeking with your website.
Understand your market
Understand who you are writing for sounds pretty obvious, but this is usually where things start going wrong. Your audience is the most important part about of this element. So, lets say you are a cleaning company, providing service to office building. Your content needs to focus on the person making the buying decisions for these organizations. This means that your content will have topics like, “How to go green and still stay in the black” or “5 Keys to having a successful relationship with your cleaning company”. You want to focus on value and things that make their life easier.
Do your Research on topics
You need to know what you are writing about and why it’s important. Your research doesn’t have to be complicated, but it needs to be thorough. Read other articles, read comments, and do google searches that go beyond the first page of results. Your goal is not only to better understand what is being said about the topic, but as important is what’s not being said. Creating this picture is your first step to getting a focused and concise picture of your topic.
Have a process for developing your content
Now you have a topic. How are you going to write about it? Are you going to do it yourself? If you are doing the writing, what’s your schedule? I think this is where many people fail with the content strategy. The intentions are there, but the mechanics are missing. “The How” hasn’t been articulated. The how is as easy as siting down and starting to write. Just put words to paper. They are several methods that outline a writing process. Some people write a few words a day, some knockout the entire article or blog post in a couple hours. It doesn’t really matter, but you need to start. Putting it off until that “perfect day” doesn’t work. That day will never come, believe me I’ve waited and I’ve never seen it. But the right day is always today.
Have a process for promoting your content.
How are you going to get your content viewed? Social media, your website, guest posting, or all of the above. You have several options here that will be effective. My approach is to post on my website and link them on Twitter and Facebook. This ties back to number 1, understanding your market. Our target market are people referred to us, people that have had some firsthand contact with it. This could be in the form a workshop or presentation where we communicated with them directly. Our goal with content isn’t to get plastered across the internet. The objective is to educate people that come to our website and make them better informed users about web development, digital marketing or social media management. Now your strategy focus might be to get 50 new leads via a blog post. If that’s the case then your promotion might involvement pay-per-click ads. It all really depends on your target market and the goals you have setup that define success for you.
These 4 points are just some areas to get started. I didn’t really discuss goal setting and metrics here, but I think you have enough to started with your content strategy. Obviously, the most important part of the strategy is to start somewhere. Strive for perfection but the goal in the end is completion