How to Create a Content Strategy that Really Works
Few people would doubt how important it is for the overall performance of a website to create quality written content. Regardless of the field you’re in or the size of organisation you’re working on behalf of, we all know by now that good content makes a massive difference in terms of SEO performance but also from the perspective of audience engagement.
So how should you be aiming to create, manage and implement a content strategy that really stands a good chance of being effective? Let’s take a look.
1 – Identify your audiences
The process of identifying audiences and the types of people who you imagine might visit your website is far from a fine art or a precise and rigorous science. Nevertheless, some efforts to pin-point the key characteristics of the kind of audiences you’re aiming to reach are essential if you want to create a coherent and effective content strategy.
2 – Establish key benchmarks
It is also important at an early stage to establish a sense of what the goals of your content marketing efforts are really going to be. Do you, for example, what more page views, more monthly visitors or more follows on Twitter? Or, is it going to be all about sales and ensuring that visitors to your website make their way through to the point of being fully fledged new customers?
There are no right or wrong answers here and, even if they aren’t necessarily all going to be achievable right away, it is generally well worth being clear on what the underlying goals of your content strategies really are.
3 – Brainstorm
It may well be obvious what kind of content will be useful for you and interesting to your target audiences but, where this isn’t the case, it is important to invest some time and effort into figuring out what content for focus on creating.
Even brief but focussed brainstorming efforts every once in a while can provide the fuel required to get good content ideas flowing and to keep an associated strategy from being too one dimensional.
4 – Assigning tasks
As crucial as anything else in the context of putting a content strategy together is the processes of assigning relevant tasks to particular individuals. What you’ll want is to create a situation whereby much of your content can be created by drawing on the talent, expertise and enthusiasm of people already within your organisation. There are other ways of having quality content created but using the resources at your disposal will tend to deliver the best and most keenly focused results.
5 – Set out clear timeframes
Building a measure of flexibility into any content strategy can be crucial to success but establishing timeframes for the implementation of various aspects of these efforts can help maintain the right focus. Plus, methods of analysis should be established early on as well so that progress within specific timeframes can be properly monitored and assessed.
Sticking with these notions should help give your content strategy a coherent thrust and a valuable sense of direction. In the longer term, success in these areas relies largely upon trial and error and on grasping as swiftly as possible what kind of content is most useful to your organisation and its audiences.
Mark Halstead is from Red Flag Alert, part of the Begbies Traynor Group, and is now in his 10th year with the business. He’s worked at companies across the financial services industry and is a fellow of the Institute of Sales and Marketing.