A robust content creation strategy is no longer just a nice-to-have for your business. Without great content and a high-ranking internet presence, your business practically doesn’t exist.
Content is both an important facet of your company’s reputation and a critical factor in achieving its business goals. Your content educates your readers, engages your audience and establishes you as an authoritative subject matter source. If you’re not already set up for content success, here are some ways to give your brand the content makeover it needs.
1. Be Everywhere and Be Useful
You can’t just rely on weekly subscription-based emails anymore. Your company needs a comprehensive strategy that bridges multiple channels and covers all angles. Your website should have a blog that’s updated regularly—at least once weekly. You also need well-researched white papers and studies to demonstrate your industry expertise. Use data and infographics to illustrate your points. Round out your written content and visuals with videos, podcasts and webinars.
And don’t just use your content to talk up your company. Think about what will make readers want to come to your site. Feature actionable advice that your readers will turn to, time and again, for help. Where possible—and appropriate—consider timely newsjacking pieces that link your company’s offerings to current events. These pieces should showcase why your product or service is more relevant than ever.
2. Find Your Audience
Before you get too far into content creation, think about whom you want to appeal to. Who are your readers, and what can they stand to gain by immersing themselves in your content? If you offer a B2B technology solution, maybe your blog can provide actionable tips for small business owners. If you sell beauty products, consider common skincare complaints and position yourself as a solution. Whatever the product, think of your content as helpful advice, not advertising.
Finding your audience doesn’t just mean knowing your target demographics. It also means meeting your potential customers where they are. Do you need to be on Instagram? TikTok? The hottest new beauty blog? Figure out where you should post your content, especially on social media, so your most likely readers will stumble upon it.
3. Explore New Content Solutions
If you’re feeling out of your depth in deciding how to meet the content needs of your organization, you may want to think about partnering with an experienced content solutions provider. They can assist with services like preparing technical and software documentation and developing employee and customer training. They can also help pair you with scalable technology solutions or transition to a new type of content management system.
Some content creation solutions providers, like Contiem, can do an audit of all your content needs and walk you through each stage of revamping your entire content ecosystem — whether that’s creating, managing, or delivering the quality content your business needs to succeed. When you’re struggling to gain traction, the right provider can take a close look at your content and figure out what is and isn’t working. And then they can set you on the right path.
4. Boost Your Search Results
To be truly successful in the content world, you have to stay on top of search engine optimization. Plugins like Yoast SEO can boost your Google GOOG +0.2% rankings by helping you optimize your keyword distribution, assess your content’s readability and more. Use alt tags and metadata wisely, and make sure your links are current and flow naturally within the sentence structure. Pin your links to relevant keywords, avoid overlinking and don’t force links or keywords in where they don’t make sense.
In short: don’t go crazy. It’s no longer so easy to trick the search engines into doing your bidding. The most important thing is that your content be relevant, interesting and updated regularly. For optimal traffic and rankings, you should post on your site or blog about two to four times a week. But don’t just post garbage (see point 1). Make your content pertinent and educational so your readers will keep coming back for more.
5. Analyse and Iterate
Once you’ve got your content up and running, you’ll require a system for tracking what’s effective and what’s not. Which channels and types of posts are performing well, and which can you spend less time on? A host of tools and tips are available for measuring content engagement and effectiveness. Use Google Analytics and other services to keep an eye on your metrics.
You should be monitoring not just how many people visit your site, but who they are and how long they stay. You’ll also want to note how many visits actually turn into conversions. Track the number of people who like your content enough to share it with their circle. In addition, consider who’s choosing not just to read your content, but to subscribe to updates. Lastly, look at your costs and figure out what to cut or invest more in.
Great Content Serves a Need
It bears repeating that the most important component of a good content strategy is usefulness. Your customers don’t read your content because they want to be advertised at. They come to you because they believe your content has something to offer them. Think about what causes you to remember a great piece of content or makes you want to share it with friends or co-workers. The best content centres the reader and builds trust in you as someone who can make their life easier.
Feature Image Credit: getty
John Hall is a top motivational speaker and the co-founder of Calendar, a scheduling and time management app. He’s also an adviser for the growth marketing agency Relevance, a company that helps brands differentiate themselves and lead their industry online. You can book him as a keynote speaker here.