Content creation is the search engine optimisation method ‘du jour’, and has been ever since Google’s Panda update algorithm changed the way the search engine ranked web pages. Websites with thin content and lots of ads were shunned in favour of those that were stacked full of relevant, high quality content that met their users’ needs. Ever since, webmasters in the know have been filling their website with top quality content in a bid to help their customers and work their way up the search engine rankings.
Quality content marketing is not something that can be done without planning. Creating content for the sake of content marketing, without thinking about how it should be structured, presented or delivered, is a waste of resources and time. Putting a strategic plan into place helps to focus your resources and maximise the effectiveness of your content marketing.
What is a content marketing strategy?
A content marketing strategy is the high-level vision that guides the development of content against a specific business objective. It dictates the planning, creation, delivery and governance of content to produce online assets that are well structured, easily found and can improve the user experience of a website.
Content marketing strategy basics
In more simple terms, a content strategy will help you identify what content already exists, the gaps in the market, and customer questions that are going unanswered. In this context, the term ‘content’ refers to infographics, white papers, videos, online guides, how-tos and anything else that helps your users.
To draw up a successful content strategy, you need to focus on the content you intend to create, and the people responsible for creating it.
- The content – Identify your goals and think about the types of content that will help you achieve them. This includes the most appropriate content type (videos, blogs, guides etc), the intended audience, the voice and the tone. You also need to think about how the content will be structured to make it accessible for the user.
- The creators – Focus on who is responsible for managing and maintaining the content and draw up a calendar that dictates when it will be created. You should think about the standards and guidelines that will frame the content creation process, and how the content will be managed throughout its lifecycle.
The content lifecycle
The beauty of content marketing is that once it’s posted, it’s online forever. This makes it an extremely cost effective form of marketing. It can also appreciate with age, working its way up through the search engine rankings as the content matures. The lifecycle of content can be mapped in the following way:
- Audit – Take a look at your current content and identify the gaps. What questions do your customers frequently ask? If you’re not answering these questions online, someone else will.
- Strategy – What are your particular areas of expertise? Think of the topics you can write about with confidence and create a workflow for your content production. You should also define your brand’s tone and voice.
- Plan – Carry out keyword research to identify terms that attract plenty of search but have low levels of competition. Think about metadata, sourcing pictures and where you’ll publish the content.
- Create – Now it’s time to write the content. Make sure all content is optimised and proofed before it’s published online.
- Maintain – Plan to audit and update published content to keep it relevant and fresh. Are there any pieces of content that are performing particularly well? Perhaps you can create similar content in the future?
Following these content strategy basics will help you create meaningful and relevant content that:
- Reflects the culture and goals of your business
- Communicates with customers in a way they understand
- Can easily be found through the search engines and your internal navigational structure
- Is genuinely useful
- Is up-to-date, relevant and factual
- Is consistent with your brand
Drop us a line
Want to know more about how a content strategy can help you achieve your business goals? Get in touch with the DGTL team today to find out how a content marketing agency can bring in more traffic and position your brand as an expert online.