Successful online marketing for businesses of all sizes has become an increasingly complex mix of SEO, email marketing, and social media. These tools and others used for attracting and engaging online audiences have one very important commonality. It’s content.
The words, images, and videos that a business publishes online can dramatically impact the ability to build a brand, communicate a message, sell products and services, and ultimately retain customers.
According to a recent survey by the Content Marketing Institute, 86% of business to consumer companies are keeping or increasing their current content marketing spend this year. For business to business companies, more than 50% are bumping up their content production in 2013. Knowing that more businesses than ever are leveraging content is a clear indicator that having a smart strategy in place for its creation, publication, and governance is no longer just a good idea. It has become a must for staying competitive online.
One of the best ways to maximize the efficacy of your content is to have a clearly defined content strategy. This dynamic plan for your content doesn’t have to be lengthy, but it does need to spell out three very important components:
One of the most overlooked aspects of a content strategy is the creation process. Curating useful and usable content needs to be defined early in the development of a strategy. This includes:
- Evaluating the data you need to help formulate content such as what keywords and links are most beneficial.
- Identifying the audience who will be viewing it. This can include customers, prospects, investors, vendors and industry analysts.
- Defining a consistent message and voice.
- Determining who will create it. In many cases, a content team includes in-house staff, contractors, and even guest bloggers.
Once you’ve established how you’re going to create content, determining the ways in which it will be published is the next step. Consistency is absolutely essential!
Considerations should include:
- Where you will publish (a list that includes all social media channels, websites, industry sites, and more)
- How often you will publish (a content calendar)
- A plan of action for reviewing content before it goes live. (QA for identifying spelling and grammar errors, as well as broken links.)
Keeping track of content once it is published is also very important. Taking a done and dusted policy is never a good idea because to ensure content consistency it needs to be managed on an ongoing basis. So, a comprehensive content strategy must define the specific tools you’ll use to keep track, maintain, and measure your content.
What is your content strategy?