It’s probably no surprise to you that the entire web is comprised of content. Written words, photos, videos, etc. that we see each and every day are pieces of content. One of the things we often take for granted, is how we find content. Whether via search engine or a friend on Facebook, content you come across on the internet is usually in front of you for a reason. Creating compelling content that ranks in search engines or friends will share, requires some thought, goals and hopefully a plan of action: These things, in a nutshell are included in a content strategy.
What a content strategy isn’t. It is not:
- Determining which sites to borrow content from and how often.
- Agreeing that there are awesome youtube videos online that your website would instantly benefit from, thus concluding one should be on every page.
- Getting your cousin “who writes pretty well” to write every page of content as the sites being built, just because they write better than you.
- Adding pdf’s of content to the website because it’s easier than making real pages from them.
- Typing all your valuable content into images through photoshop because it looks better.
I could go on and on, but I think you get the picture.
What a content strategy really is: A flexible content game-plan with achievable goals and real tracking.
Pull out a calendar, determine the frequency of content, or how often new material will show up on your website. If you’re just getting started, it’s ok to start maybe a little slower than the average. Something regular, possibly few times a month is easier to sustain than few times a week. Some work on it for awhile and after seeing the results find ways to make it a daily commitment. However often you decide to do it, try your best never to lose that pace. Analyze your results after you’ve built a decent amount of content and decide whether they are on target with your goals. If so, great! If not, make some changes and keep going – staying with your plan.
Some things to think about:
- Types of content — not all content needs to be written. Webinars, ebooks, blog posts, reviews, interviews, etc. are all great forms of content.
- Content quality — Before publishing, ask yourself: Are people going to find this useful? funny? interesting? Would they share it with others? It’s extremely important that you have your reader in mind when you publish content.
- How will the content make it to your site — will you be doing it yourself through a CMS or blog, or having a web design firm/person do it? We suggest having the tools to do it in house.
- Who are you writing to? — very important to know who your audience is. If you’re presenting a very technical topic but your customer isn’t very technically savvy, it’ll be important to write to their comprehension.
- Length/Attention span — if your topic isn’t all too exciting, find ways to break it up into more appropriate formats and lengths. If you’re call to action is at the end but nobody last that long to read it, you won’t be seeing much benefit from it.
- Understand this isn’t an overnight success plan – No magic bullet here. If you can’t afford to invest time into developing something great, your website will need to take a different path. One I honestly feel won’t be as effective in turning your website into a profitable asset.
- How best to use the content you create — general site content, blog posts, sales copy, landing pages, ebooks, product guides, etc. All of these have a purpose and content usually fits one of them perfectly. When a blog post starts becoming a quality landing page, allow yourself to re-purpose it.
Now that you know more about planning content, I challenge you to put it to work for your website.
If you’re having trouble visualizing its benefits, look at it this way… Your site is not too different than a physical home investment, adding good content to your website is a lot like upgrading your kitchen or flooring, buying more energy efficient windows or doors, replacing traditional light bulbs with ones that last longer and cost less to use. All these things are common sense because they improve the value of your home. Adding content improves your relevance to search engines, and ultimately your availability to consumers looking for your goods or services. Using a content strategy lays the framework for building equity in your domain which will grow as you publish content to it.