In a world bombarded by constant content, how do you stand out? How can you make sure the energy in creating your content and all that you are putting out is actually worth it? We are all reaching for the same thing when it comes to content creation...we want our content to help us reach a specific business goal. Anyone can create content, but in order to have your content work towards your goals, you need to have a content strategy.
Creating Your Strategy
A content strategy is about planning the creation, the promotion, and the measurement of your content. It’s all about attracting the right audience to your website and creating meaningful interactions that your people actually need. But in order to do that, you first need to know who’s your audience.
Step 1 - Know Your Audience
What are their job titles?
What do they need?
What motivates them to buy?
What concerns do they have?
Where do they spend time online?
Step 2 - Create Your Mission
Once you know your audience, the most important step is creating your content’s mission. This is different from your overall company’s mission and is the key to unlocking a successful content strategy. Andy Cretodina, content strategy guru and co-founder of an award-winning web design design company, Orbit Media Solutions, breaks down content strategy with his course at the CXL Institute and why a content mission is essential. Here’s where to start:
And boom! There’s your mission! Who’s your audience? What information do they need? What will the benefit be? The mission is all about who you talk to, what you talk about, and why you (or they) care. This will create the platform of what to create, and where you can interact with your people. From your content mission, you can then start to build out your topics, always keeping your mission in mind and making sure the content matches your mission.
The biggest difference in companies that succeed in content marketing and those who do not are those who create a documented content strategy. In fact, marketers who document mission statements are 3X more likely to succeed.
Step 3: Source Topics
Creating content should always be strategic. Whether that content is informational, useful, or entertaining, there are smart ways to get to where you want to go. Choose the right topics by starting with quick and easy research.
Keyword Search: type into google a couple of keywords and see what automatically populates. Google is handing to you frequently searched for topics that correspond to your keywords, and you can then run with them!
Q&A Websites: Ex. Quora. See what questions the people are asking about your industry or similar product/service and create content surrounding how you can address those questions that your audience may be having.
Listen To Your Audience: Talk to your sales team, customer service, and customer stories. What areas does your audience need addressing? Another great way to listen to what your audience needs is through your inbox! What questions do your clients frequently have? Put those emails into a separate “Future Content” folder and let those topics drive your content!
Step 4 - Pick Your Format
There’s more to life than text my friends! Great content should be interesting and useful for your audience and you should create a mix of formats to see which performs best, and what your audience prefers!
Text: articles, guides, ebooks
Images: infographics, diagrams, memes
Video: How to, explainers, animation
Collaborative: Roundups, interviews
“Movement is more powerful than images. Images are more powerful than text.”
You can always repurpose your top performers into a new format. Andy Cretodina uses the below easy method:
You get it.
Step 5 - Collaborate
Content is not about being solely on your website. Content should not just be created by you, but co-created with influencers. It’s wherever your audience is spending their time and your audience is already out there and most likely being targeted by an influencer.
There are other ways to collaborate out there and you want to expand your reach and your audience. If you are not making friends, you are doing it wrong!
5 ways to collaborate:
Quote and mention in an article
Ask for a contributor quote
Include them in an expert roundup
Invite them to guest post
Deep dive interview
Authority & Relevance for SEO
Content should be designed to attract visitors and be optimized for search.
SEO is not just about rank - it’s about durable traffic. Your rank is based on offsite traffic (traffic being sent to you from another site) and on page traffic. In other words, your rank is about links and keywords.
To take it a step further, it’s about authority and relevance. This is how Google works. External links to your site increases authority (aka collaborate and collaborate and the more external links that send traffic to your site, the better)! The more links, the more authority. However, the page that the traffic is coming from should not have a ton of external links because if one page has many external links, it attributes less authority per link.
MOZ is a great tool to see what your domain authority or link popularity is.
What makes a good link?
From a site with high domain authority
From a page with few outgoing links
To a deeper interior page
Includes a relevant phrase in the anchor text
What about relevance?
Choose the right key phrases. Do people search for those keywords? Do you have a chance of ranking? The ideal key phrase is relevant to your business, has high search volume, and low competition. Use that target phrase in the title, the header, and the body of your content. To further your relevance, find and use words and phrases that are semantically connected to the phrase you’re targeting.
Measure and Adjust
Everything comes down to data my friends. You always want to measure the topics performance in Analytics. What topics and keywords are getting the most attention? What actions entice people to visit your site? What makes visitors take action on your site. The great thing about the digital realm is you have the ability to always change, edit, and tweak for better performance.
Wrapping it up
Content is more than just creating. Know your audience, create your mission, find topics that are useful for your audience in line with your mission, have fun with different formats, COLLABORATE COLLABORATE COLLABORATE, measure your success, and adjust where needed. It’s not just about creating to put something out there. It’s about creating with intent towards your business goal. Set the stage, and go get ‘em!
Need help with Growth Marketing? Here at M&P we have a team of experts to make all your content strategy dreams a reality. Reach out today and let’s start optimizing your website and ultimately, your brand!