Is your client's website effective at gaining new customers and increasing sales? If the answer is no, it is time to re-visit their content strategy. What's that? They don't have one? Well then, it is time for your clients to get serious about their online content marketing efforts.
Content strategies are plans to develop and populate your website with useful information that readers will incorporate into their decision to purchase goods or products. Implementing a good content strategy plan will take a website and blog from being a boring chore to a deadly weapon in your client's marketing arsenal.
Develop, implement, and revise a plan based on feedback to optimize their web content. Use these 10 tips for creating a content strategy that will take your client's website from boring to brilliant:
1. Know your target market.
Both traditional and new marketing rules dictate the importance of identifying and studying your ideal reader in order to truly understand what they want. Create one or more customer profiles of typical buyers or readers in order to focus the content you will provide.
2. Choose content topics for relevance and timeliness.
What's new in your industry or area of expertise? How are current events effecting your business and customers? What do your readers want to know and how can you answer their questions to encourage them to make a purchasing decision?
3. The best plan in the world is ineffective if no one benefits from it.
Include search engine optimization research in your content strategy to improve your inbound marketing, and provide content that online users are searching for. Appearing on page one or two of search engine results greatly increases your success with chances of driving traffic to your website and blog.
4. Brainstorm available resources your team can use to help provide content.
Go old-school and review paper-based manuals, textbooks, annual or corporate reports and white papers. Look at competitor websites, brochures from recent seminars, workshops or conferences to find information your customers want to read.
5. Select a variety of methods to present your web content.
Many small business owners use a combination of blog posts, articles, tutorials, or case studies on their websites. Remember, online users are notorious for having short attention spans, so keep blog posts between 500 - 750 words, use short lists and try introducing videos, graphs or other images where appropriate.
6. Identify, assign or hire content creators.
This is a great opportunity to engage employees. Have your clients assign regular writing or blogging duties, or ask for guest posts from suppliers and satisfied customers. Approach companies who offer services or products complementary to yours, and ask to exchange guest posts. If content production is just too large a responsibility for you and your staff at this time, consider outsourcing to a content marketing firm where professional writers will create quality content for your sites.
7. Use a social media business campaign to support your content strategy.
Study your customer profiles to choose the most suitable social media sites and applications for your business. Once your accounts are set up, drive traffic to your website through carefully crafted posts, tweets, pins, interactions and comments.
8. Set up an editorial calendar to schedule the next month or quarter of web content.
This is important to keep your content strategy on track. Include several flexible or open dates where "breaking news" type blog posts can be slotted.
9. Publish, publish, publish! Be disciplined in working your content strategy.
There is no point in creating a wonderful plan only to abandon it. Consistently publish blog posts at least 3 -5 times a week. Carry out social media marketing on a daily basis. Keeping your client's website fresh and relevant are key to a successful web presence, and disciplined, consistent work is crucial to a successful plan.
10. Analyze traffic and website information to modify or streamline your content strategy.
Which blog posts get the most comments? Provide more information or different angles on these topics. Look at your inbound marketing efforts - which social media sites are driving the most to your website? Work on promoting your client's business there. Which search phrases are sending users to your site? Analyze the data regularly to identify new customer profiles, create content they'll love and optimize the content strategy to make more money for your client's business.