Writing a quantity of content is the easy part. Anyone can simply churn out a bunch of copy. The challenge is creating quality content that appeals to the right audiences and knowing what you hope to achieve with the content.
A key part of creating a content strategy is first having a handle on what your brand is known for. It can be tough if you operate with the concept of being a “jack of all trades.”
Try to focus on your primary areas of expertise and develop your content around these core areas. Once you have that down, think about how to break down those larger areas into topics you can discuss in your blogs, articles, videos, and white papers.
And keep these following points in mind:
What’s your packaging?
Have you thought about how users will absorb your content? That determines the best ways for you to package it. Some users may want to sit down at their desktops and go through a 2,000 word article. Others may prefer to absorb content on the go and read a 200-word update on their mobile phone while waiting in line. This also has to do with your audience’s learning style. If you’re not sure of their preferred method of learning, you will want to package your content in several different ways. If your content is instructional, create a 5-minute video or podcast to go along with it. You could also trying working the written content into an infographic if it can visually explain your main points well.
Is your content recent and relevant?
If your topic area is constantly changing, are you keeping up with those changes with your site’s content? From experience, Google Analytics is a tough area for writing and presenting on specific content because of the number of changes. There are some things that are constant, such as creating goals in analytics with your business KPIs in mind. There are also some significant changes such as classic to universal analytics, or use of the Google Tag Manager, that necessitates staying current if this is a topic you write on. If you are tackling an area that changes regularly, make sure you address these changes in your content so readers know you are current.
Do you have a good grasp of your resources?
When I talk to clients who want to start a blog, I suggest they start it quietly by having their team contribute to it privately. After a month or so of creating content, they can look back and decide if it was easy to find the time and topics to write on. If it was easy to manage, then it is time to launch it publicly. If the team had very long days getting blog content and it is a stressful process, then it may not be time. Another strategy could be to outsource the writing. Remember though, that you often get what you pay for. If your offer to freelancers is $1 for 500 words (and yes, I have seen that!), the content you get is probably a cut and paste from another site or just poorly written. Remember, these freelancers are representing your brand. Beyond the writing, it is having the resources to do the measurement. Is there a team member with at least a rudimentary knowledge of Google Analytics? Do they know how to measure results and use the data to make smart decisions? You need constantly evaluate your content’s performance so you can adjust accordingly.
How are you managing it?
A very simple way to lay out the details of your content strategy is to use Google Docs.
With a Google spreadsheet, you can note the topic, type, author, and date for every piece of content. Since Docs can be shared in the cloud, it is a great solution when your team is spread out. Everyone knows who is responsible for what and when. You can use the same place to record metrics, such as number of views and comments on content, as well as whether it leads to a conversion. Each month, the team can review these numbers and make changes for content in the future.
Content can be a tough thing to work on since there is so much of it already out there. However, to stay relevant, current, and competitive, it is important to demonstrate your expertise and content is what helps you do that.