In the past, a content strategy may have consisted of nothing more than the regular churning out of keyword-rich content to keep a top spot in search results. Today, however, such a practice would be highly ineffective. Instead, you need to use an editorial calendar to plan the release of well-targeted, quality content that matches the unique needs of your audience. To do this, you need to develop a content strategy that will work for you.
Define Your Audience
To create content that resonates with your readers, you need to know who makes up your audience. By using analytics software, surveys, and data about your customers and prospects, you can find out demographics, interests, and other key pieces of information. Turn this information into a few buyer personas that describe your ideal customers and regularly target each one of these personas through your content.
Specify Your Goals
There should be a specific reason why you are launching a content strategy. Common goals include to increase brand awareness, maintain the interest of past clients, generate leads, improve your online visibility, and convert more prospects into customers. You should ensure you produce content a mix of content to meet each one of your goals.
Conduct Keyword Research
Organic search is one of the top ways to draw users to your content. An essential part of optimizing content for search engines is to use keywords. However, you cannot rely on your intuition to choose the most appropriate keywords. Instead, you will need to use keyword research tools or examine your analytics data to discover the terms your audience are using to reach your content.
It is important to note that keywords consisting of a single word always have the highest competition, which usually means no chance even reaching the first page of search results. A better option is long-tail keywords that relate directly to your niche or include a location, helping you to appear in local search results.
Choose Topics to Cover
The Internet is already filled with content. If you produce another piece of generic information, your chances of receiving any attention from readers and search engines are low. When choosing topics, think about what your brand does best and what makes you different from any other business. Think about what information only you can provide to your audience. This will ensure you bring value to your readers and present your company as an expert in the field.
Monitor the Results
Analytics are essential in a content strategy. They tell you what you are doing right and where you need to make changes. Areas to monitor for your content strategy include:
- Types of content. Look at engagement rates to find out what kind of content is best attracting each buyer persona. For instance, you may find that one persona reacts best to email newsletters whereas another responds better to blog posts.
- Content topics. Equally important, use your data to find which particular pieces of content are proving most successful. Look at metrics including page views, bounce rate, engagement, and conversions.
- Social media platforms. It is impossible to maintain an active content strategy across all the major social media platforms. It is also unnecessary. It is better to focus on a couple networks where your audience is most active. If you are unsure of which to choose, post content to several likely contenders and weed out those that receive the least attention.
A successful content strategy involves constant work — it is not something you set up once and never examine again. Bearing the above in mind, you will need to make constant adaptations to your strategy to ensure it continues to perform at its best.