At NoA Ignite, we believe in strategic planning. No matter what you do, marketing or sales-related, you can get to the expected outcome by following a strategy. It’s the same story with content writing and marketing.
Designing a content strategy is not necessarily easy. There are many factors to consider, while listening to the needs of your current and potential clients. In this article, we describe what to think about when working on a content strategy and plan. After reading this post, you will know:
Let’s start by answering one of the most important questions – why do you need a content strategy?
A successful content strategy will attract your target audience at every stage of the funnel and keep them engaged even after a conversion. According to Content Marketing Institute, 62% of B2B compagnies that regard themselves as most successful have a documented content strategy, and 90% of them measure their content performance. A content strategy is a comprehensive document explaining:
After defining your content strategy, you can create a content plan to execute it. With your content strategy and plan in place, your editors will know what to communicate and how often. You will be able to distribute and promote your content, while measuring the efficiency of these actions. As a result, you can save a lot of time on your content processes.
There are no unified approaches when it comes to creating content strategy and plans. Usually, the strategy document has a form of a descriptive guide, while the content plan is a matrix, for example in Excel. There are also available templates and ready to use editorial calendars. The main rule to remember is to make your content plan intuitive and transparent. Make it easy to check, update and modify when necessary. So, your content strategy and plan must be comprehensive, but there are several elements that need analysing and explaining. For instance, defining a content strategy for SEO purposes is extremely important. Let’s have a closer look at some key aspects.
Your content plan can have many different goals. It’s important to select them and stick to them. For example, you can create content to:
The content you create for each purpose should be a bit different. For instance, to attract more traffic, you might create content that answers frequent requests and is SEO-friendly. If you want to improve the User Experience, you can enhance your microcopy with the help of a UX writer, and create detailed how-to posts or educational materials. The actions your content plan defines depend on your goals.
You need to know who you are talking to. Your current clients/users will have different content needs than people who have never heard of you. Create buyer personas and decide what kind of content format will appeal to each of them.
Additionally, it’s vital to divide content by stage based on the sales funnel. The content needs of a person who’s browsing potential solutions will differ from those of someone who’s almost made up their mind. Suppose you’re offering pricing software for online shops. On one hand, someone who’s about to start that kind of business will be keen to read why the pricing strategy is important and how to go about it. On the other hand, an experienced e-commerce manager might want to know why your solution is better than others and what can be done to further improve the pricing strategy of their business.
Here, it’s all about making your texts SEO-friendly. To achieve that goal, you should keep track of your current organic traffic and perform a keyword analysis. Despite SEO is no longer about keyword stuffing, keywords are still important. Each text you produce should have a unique set of SEO requirements that includes:
All these five elements are of vital importance, as each of them will help you get higher up in the SERP. An SEO analysis should be conducted for every text and post you publish on your website. Of course, you can analyse the entire website this way. There are other SEO-related elements to bear in mind. Google values high-quality, unique content. This means that, you should primarily write for your customers and users, not Google bots. Only when the text is useful and informative from your readers' perspective (potential customers) will it rank high on Google. For the same reason, you should avoid duplicate content at all costs. Forget about low quality and copy-pasting.
CMS is an online platform that enables you to add, manage, update, modify and publish the content that you create. The most popular CMS system is WordPress. Estimations are that over 450 million web pages are supported by this platform2. However, WordPress has its limitations, and this platform is intended mainly for single website owners. What to do if you manage several different communication channels, including social media, mobile apps and email marketing?
In such an advanced setup, consider an enterprise-level CMS system, or Digital Experience Platform (DXP). We have been working with them for many years now! Some of the most comprehensive and flexible systems are Optimizely, Umbraco, Contentful and Sanity. With them, you can do almost anything with your content, no matter how big your company or content team is and how many channels you have.
When it comes to content, you are really spoiled for choice! You can create and publish at least five different forms of content. Let’s have a closer look at them:
Of course, you can't expect to design a perfect content plan on the first try. It will be trial-and-error for a while, but that's ok. It's all about progress and consistency. Analyse everything you do that is content-related and align your efforts with your findings. Sometimes you will have to let go of ways that are not effective and stick with those that work well. It's part of the process.
At NoA Ignite, we help companies of all sizes grow online through content creation. Our advisors can help you implement an effective content strategy and measure its results. Do you want to know more? Simply drop us a line or schedule a free consultation. We are looking forward to hearing from you!
Elisabeth is a Client Director and Advisor with over 12 years’ experience in digital content services. She supports global organisations in growing their business with strategic content management, content localisation and optimisation.
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