Every successful website has two key components – relevant design and fantastic content. No matter how attractive and visually beautiful your website is, without a valuable content it’s just an empty shell. Simply put, the content is all text and multimedia you put out there. You should have a content strategy in place to determine what content and how are you going to create it, how to distribute it, and how will it convert the viewers to customers. We created a step-by-step guide to help you with that process.
1. Identify your goals
In order to produce successful content, you need to know why you’re doing it. What is the main goal you want to accomplish with your website? Getting more leads, bringing more traffic to your site? Or is it to provide useful information to the viewers in the first place? Answer to this question will help you determine what is the right type of content and stay on track having your ultimate goal in mind. Your entire content strategy must be tailored around reaching your goals.
2. Identify your target audience
Ultimately, your product and service is for the people. There’s a great chance your product is not for everyone, and there’s a certain group of people that like like it more than others. Who are they? To connect with them, you need to speak their language, know where they spend their time, what are their preferences, etc. Every decision about your content strategy should be made with keeping your audience in mind.
3. Stay on brand
Communicate your message through your brand. If you have a defined brand, be consistent – it will help people identify you faster. The style of your content needs to match your brand voice as well.
4. Think of what problem is your website solving for your customers
After all, people came to you because they need some kind of solution. Offer knowledge and advice, and remember to stay relevant. Show your expertise and people will trust you.
5. The formats to focus on
Nowadays, we have many choices when it comes to format of our content: blog, Video, podcasts, ebooks, photography, to mention a few. Which one should you choose? Think of your target user preferences – do they prefer watching a video, or reading a long text?
Video has been proven to get a lot more engagement than other web formats, however it is not the case every single time. Another factor to consider is what is relatively easy for you to create? Do you have necessary resources (time, money) to publish new content regularly?
6. Channels where it will be published (and advertised)
If your target market hangs out on Instagram spending countless hours scrolling the photos, it’s a good idea to focus on creating content for that platform. If it’s a weekly newsletter they like to read, write exactly that. Consider where are your prospective customers most likely to find you.
7. Brainstorm topics and research
Now you know who you want to reach, and the best ways to do it. It’s time to start coming up with the ideas for topics you will be covering in the various formats. Start with research and inspiration. Study competitors websites, see what they’re doing, and more importantly, what you could add to that. Is there a question that hasn’t been answered yet? Get inspired, see what others are writing or talking about. Pay attention to the keywords and buzz phrases other use. Start making a list of anything that’s relevant. You will refine it later to narrow down your focus keywords. Try to think of what your users would type in Google to find you.
You can use the help of ideas generators, just type your keywords in and search for interesting topics in the results.
8. Make a plan to manage creation and publication of your content
Realistically, how many blog posts can you publish in a week? How much time can you spend on promoting them?
There are applications that can save you some time relatedo to schedule management, like Hootsuite. But the creation process usually needs significant human input. Make a detailed plan for at least 2-3 months ahead, with regular publication schedule and promotion tactics. And then stick to it!
You must write to become a good writer. Your copy needs to not only be interesting, but invoke people’s emotions. People like stories, and most successful websites incorporate them into their design. Video is a very effective way to tell a story and connect with people emotionally. How can you make those people share your content with others?
Tie your website goals with the solution your product or service offers, and communicate it to your viewers. Don’t forget to incorporate the keywords you researched earlier.
If you need help, hire a professional copywriter or digital agency.
Even the best content won’t do its job is people can’t find it. Promoting your content is even more important than producing it, and you should set aside a chunk of time every week to work on it. It’s a vital part of your content strategy, and there is no one formula that works for everyone. Every business requires a custom strategy, tailored to their audience.
Most common way of promoting your content these days is utilizing social media platforms. It’s easy, relatively cheap, and has great potential for expansion. Email is one of the most effective promotion strategies, so start your newsletter on day 1 and include it in your overall content strategy. If you’re a blogger, you might want to engage with other bloggers from your industry. If you refer to somebody’s work, let them know about it – they might mention your article too!
Sounds like a lot? Remember, you only need to check First 6 points when you start out, and maintain remaining four on a regular schedule. If you can afford it, hire someone to do it for you, while you focus on doing your job. Otherwise, don’t forget to have fun with it!