There is nothing more fundamental to marketing than content. It’s the words on a page, the images that catch our eye, and the videos that captivate us. However, businesses and organizations don’t just create content for content’s sake; they create it for people.
The problem is, brands that generate content without a strategy often feel like they’re just stockpiling blogs, photos, and videos and doing little with them. So don’t just pump stuff out to check the content box. Put together a plan so that you can strategically leverage your content for growth.
Whether you’re transforming a series of blogs into a downloadable eBook or chopping apart your film footage to produce a year-in-review video, there’s a wide array of methods you can choose from to maximize your ROI. If you’re curious about content strategy, why it’s essential to your brand, and where you can turn if you need a helping hand, then this piece is worth a read.
What is Content Strategy?
Content strategy is a plan that outlines what content an organization will create, how they’ll use it, and why. Typically you’ll hear the phrase used in conjunction with “content marketing,” which is the practice of using content as a marketing tool.
There are good reasons to make content creation the core of your marketing efforts. Done properly and with a plan, it can:
- Build trust in your brand
- Improve search authority/ranking
- Amplify brand awareness
- Attract talent
- Position you as a thought leader
- Increase leads/sales
Those benefits are just the tip of the iceberg. From lowered pay-per-click costs because of increased page relevance, to in-house advantages like understanding the latest trends in the industry, a good content strategy is well worth the investment. However, these returns can only be realized if you have a proper plan in place. If you don’t already have a strategy worked out, here’s where to start:
1. Pinpoint Your Audience
Look let’s be real about this, most people aren’t going to be particularly interested in your content. You need to define your customer segments and produce niche content that appeals to their narrow interests.
For instance, let’s say you make high-end wood carving tools. Well, less than one-third of one percent of the U.S. population is, or is employed by, a wood manufacturer, blasting out an untargeted ad on Google or Facebook would likely yield poor results. You’d be barking up the wrong tree (heh heh).
Instead, you need to consider the demographic and psychographic information about your ideal audience, as well as their location and potential search terms. There are a variety of tools that can help you determine keyword frequency, competition, and relevance including, but not limited to:
- Google Search Console/Analytics
- Google Keyword Planner
If the search engine optimization (SEO) side of content strategy isn’t your cup of tea, partner with a digital marketing agency that can help you determine your audience and help you get prepared for the second step of content strategy.
2. Create Valuable Content
With your audience determined, you can start producing the content that they’re looking for. Whether you’re educating or entertaining them, make sure your media is providing value.
If it’s an instructional blog, answer all of their questions. If it’s an “About the Company” video, ensure it’s not a sales pitch, but rather, a close look at your team and culture. Further, while piling on industry buzzwords and jargon may be tempting, aim for authentic over mediaspeak, sincere over salesy.
You can even ask the big dogs: Google says the single most important action you can take to increase your ranking is to provide high-quality content. When your brand creates valuable information, people are more likely to interact with you, share your content, link to your site, and ultimately, give you business.
3. Optimize It
In the great puzzle of content strategy, high-quality content is only a few of the pieces, albeit the biggest block of them. As you publish blogs, images, or videos, there are a plethora of search-optimization factors to address. For instance:
It’s essential to remember that SEO is an ongoing process. From site audit to content optimization, it's a year-long process of fine-tuning your site.
4. Reuse, Repurpose, and Reach Out
Your branded content isn’t meant to sit untouched on your site. People, including your in-house team, should use it as a resource. One significant, yet largely untouched, purpose of a blog is to use it to bring new hires up to speed. Have them get a sense of what your company does, what the culture is like, and your brand’s voice.
Digital content can be endlessly reused and repurposed. To drum up new traffic, impressions, and leads, consider including it in your next:
- Email Newsletters
- Google Ads
- Social Media Posts
Aside from video, it’s important to remember that your content doesn’t need to solely exist behind a screen. Use your written content and images to produce:
- Event flyers
- Hard Mailers
- Print Ads
Finally (and this may sound strange), you don’t want to just publish content on your site. You need to reach out to online publications that accept guest blogs. By doing so, you increase the number of backlinks to your site.
Considering that roughly 40 percent of Google’s algorithm is based on backlinks, this step is critical. However, it’s equally as important only to gain backlinks from trustworthy, authoritative sites. If your backlinks are spammy, your website may get flagged.
Who’s Using This Approach?
According to the Content Marketing Institute, the most successful B2B marketers spend 40% of their budget on content marketing. Basically, if you’re trying to battle it out in this era of digital marketing, content should be your weapon of choice. But, you also need an army.
Put Us to Werk
There are too many moving parts of content strategy for one person to handle. Plus, it’s exceedingly difficult for one person to master every facet of marketing.
Empower your business or organization to grow by partnering with Werkbot. By having us craft your content strategy, we can keep ahead of the digital-marketing curve so you don’t have to. If you’re interested in how you can create and leverage your content, reach out to Werkbot by visiting our contact page.