Content is the driving factor of any website. Your content conveys your brand values, informs your readers, and persuades them to choose your products and services over those of your competitors.
One of the most important things you can do to attract clients and generate interest in your business is to provide high-quality content.
But creating content does not happen overnight. It requires rigorous planning, team effort, and a good strategy. A good content strategy should be able to generate content pieces that achieve three goals:
1. Answer queries that users are searching for
2. Establish expertise and topical authority to rank high on search engines
3. Be able to convert a potential customer into a recurring buyer of your product or service
Developing high-quality written and visual content for your site is difficult but an essential component for the growth of your business.
This blog will share how you can create a successful content strategy that realizes all the three goals stated above and helps you reach your full digital potential.
Content strategy is the framework, tools, and techniques used to plan, design, develop, and track content. Companies use content strategy to increase awareness of their brand while building trust among potential customers.
When a brand wants to attract, engage and retain customers, designing and implementing a consistent content strategy can be one of its most powerful tools.
A content strategy provides a framework for your marketing and communications plan. It tells you what type of content you should be creating when you should publish it, who you should target, how often you need to publish new content, and how your brand will tell its story on social media.
Content plan and content strategy are two concepts that are often confused or used in place with each other. But there is a big difference in what these two terms mean. Let us understand.
Several content plans cycles can exist within a content strategy, but the other way around is not true. A content strategy is an ultimate framework that guides any content optimization cycles in your organization across channels.
A good content strategy can help guide your business's content plans and day-to-day content copy needs. Thus, every enterprise needs to put dedicated time, effort, and resources into ensuring a content strategy that converts and meets the business goals.
Content marketing is a modern marketing method that consistently creates helpful and relevant content for a defined audience. In addition, it helps drive profitable customer action.
Content strategy is the science and art of clarifying the content so that it meets your business goals. It's about understanding your user, mapping out a plan for attracting an audience over time, and creating a means for measuring success along the way.
While they may sound similar, content marketing is a subset of content strategy. Content strategy is like the glue in inbound marketing. It brings together all the elements in the process: SEO, content marketing, social media campaigns, email marketing, and much more to create a cohesive and coordinated strategy that helps convey the brand messaging and ensure digital growth.
Content strategy at its core is about accomplishing business goals through content in various forms across several channels published on different mediums.
Since content strategy is the framework that guides every and all content across all your channels, it is essential to spend time building the perfect mix. A good content strategy should not just guide the copy that your company puts out but also be relevant to customer expectations and industry standards. Some critical elements of a good content strategy include
A content strategy needs to align with your business goals. Content is the greatest form to convey brand messaging, pull potential customers into your marketing mix, and generate leads for conversions.
Content strategy should not just align and meet business goals but also help set them. Business goals are very open-ended. A good content strategy turns these open-ended goals into actionable and measurable outcomes and steps.
Any piece of content is created for the users. Whether answering a user query, providing in-depth information on a topic, or solving a user problem, content is at the forefront to serve the user.
Your content strategy should be based on user needs and motivations, understanding your target audience, and building a strategy specific to each customer persona.
Content is a great way to establish yourself as an expert in your industry. Long-form content pieces, in-depth videos, or a podcast series on key topics by employees from various teams is an excellent way to establish E-A-T (expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness) with our content.
Adding the lament of thought leadership within your content strategy helps boost the reach of your content and boost search engine rankings.
A content strategy is not a plan that defines what blog post to write next or how to expand the copy on your website, it is a framework for every form of content communication. Social media, emails, e-books, guides, videos, audios- a content strategy is a toolkit for all your digital channels.
A good content strategy ensures digital growth across channels by ensuring that the key messaging remind the same, but every channel brings in a unique perspective, target audience, and content flow.
While a content strategy helps guide what content to produce and ensure business growth, it is also a roadmap for the future. Do not shy away from including progressive opportunities that can have monumental gains in the future.
Include any big plans, ideas, and goals in your content strategy. Since a content strategy is a roadmap to the future, have some scope to include big ideas even if you do not have exact steps on how you can achieve those goals at the moment.
Content is king. It does not just include the copy you use to convey your messaging but also visuals like images, videos, and spoken words. A content strategy helps you utilize the power of content to its full potential.
When it comes to your digital presence, content strategy can mean providing valuable content to your website visitors, a high ranking on search engines, and increasing conversions.
Some of the benefits of having a content strategy in place include
1. Increase online presence and gain visibility on search engines
2. Rapid growth in traffic, conversion, sales, and lead generation
3. Helps retain customers and create brand advocates
4. Costs little money compared to the long-term effects good content reaps
5. Helps build a dedicated following that eventually grows into an online community
Having a content strategy in place helps you target and win three main areas- users, search engines, and conversion.
Successful content pieces are not only relevant but add value in the minds of the prospective customer you are aiming to win. Before you begin making your content strategy, you need to build your target customer personas. Persona building helps guide exactly what type of content, channels, and mediums your content should focus on.
Every piece of content serves a user’s query or need. Hence your content strategy should map out a user’s journey across your channel and how they will navigate from one piece to the other. Use the content funnelling system to turn prospects into purchasing customers.
Your content strategy should include types of content that will create an initial hook for the potential user base, keep them engaged by providing valuable information about the problems your product solves, and then convince them to purchase.
A great content strategy tells an engaging story of how your product or service will address and solve the challenge or need that your prospective customer has. Once we know how to serve the user best, we can move to win the search engine game.
Users employ search engines to find relevant and useful information. The primary goal of search engines is to understand the intent behind a user's search query and deliver the most relevant, useful, and informational content.
To rank your content on search engines, you need to make sure it is crawlable and indexable by search engines. Successful crawling and indexing of your content will give your web pages context and create a hierarchy in search engines. Your web pages will now be displayed for various search queries users type in. Next is to make sure you rank on top of search engine result pages for each of these search queries.
Ranking algorithms use advanced language models and machine learning techniques to determine a user's intention and rank pages accordingly. Google determines page ranking by weighing over 200 ranking factors. Content quality, relevance, uniqueness, page speed index, and keyword alignment with the intent behind the search query are some of the ranking factors considered when ranking pages.
Content strategy has evolved in response to changes in search engines. Earlier, there was a lot more emphasis on page-level optimization by focusing on improving the page for one keyword and ranking for it.
Today, search engines like Google can interconnect data, establish relationships between pages (Google Knowledge Graph), analyze the quality of content on a topic, and create a hierarchy across a website. Thus, today a good content strategy focuses not just on individual pages but instead provides a good content experience site-wide.
A responsive, agile, and detailed content strategy that merges your website's content optimization efforts along with technical SEO practices like optimizing for core web vitals is required for converting on search engines.
Content creation is the best way to lead generation and convert prospects into purchasing customers. The more content you create, the more likely you will appear and rank for search queries performed typed by your ideal customers.
Ranking higher means more visitors who read your content, regard you as an expert in your field, and then fill out a landing page or web form to receive a free item of value and become a lead.
Quality content provides value to the reader, engages them, and encourages them to stay on the website for more extended periods of time. This helps increase website conversions as visitors are more likely to take action when they are interested in the content.
When building your content strategy for conversions, think about a user’s journey on your website. Your content should keep the user engaged and create a roadmap for them to toggle between different pages of your website. A content funnelling system will help you with this.
Content funnelling breaks down content into three categories- top, middle, and bottom of the funnel. Content funnelling is essential for conversions because it helps to keep people on your website longer. The longer someone stays on your website, the more likely they will convert. Additionally, content funnelling helps keep people engaged with your website and its content, which can also lead to conversions.
Now that we know what factors to consider when building a content strategy for users, search engines, and conversions, let us understand the steps in building a good content strategy.
Every business’s content strategy is different, but the path to building one is the same. Here is a step-by-step guide on building a content strategy roadmap for your business that helps you achieve your business goals.
Content goals are the objectives you want your content to achieve. They can be anything from increasing brand awareness to driving website traffic or generating leads. But before you can set content goals, you need to understand your overall business objectives and what role content plays in achieving them.
Your business objectives can include anything from increasing website visitors to generating prospect leads for conversions. Every business has its own set of objectives, and thus the content goals for each business are unique. When mapping your content goals, you need to take a S.M.A.R.T.
1. Specific: Goals should be precise and narrow to create an effective strategy.
2. Measurable: Each goal should have a set of KPIs that will help establish when you have achieved them.
3. Attainable: While it is good to have long-shot plans when looking at building a strategy, focus on goals you can accomplish within a time frame.
4. Relevant: Goals should align with the company's business values and long-term objectives.
5. Time-bound: Set realistic, achievable end dates for each goal to maintain focus.
Once your goals are defined, align content creation and optimization to these goals. Examine how implementing specific content would assist your company's strategy and overall objectives. If you think they are compatible, you should include them in your content roadmap.
You must understand who you create content for. Researching your target audience helps create content that they are searching for and want to consume. Creating buyer personas is an effective way to accomplish this.
Persona companies are your ideal customers' blueprints. What are their age, gender, occupation, and interests? What questions or concerns do they have? How often do they visit the Internet, and what other websites do they usually visit? Know who you are targeting.
Once you understand that, it becomes easier to provide them with content that satisfies their needs. To create a successful strategy, ensure that everything in your strategy aligns with these personas and will be perceived as timely, relevant, and value-added by your ideal prospective customers. This will help generate interest in your products and services without making them look like an advertisement.
Before you start creating fresh content, you need to evaluate your existing content. Every webpage on your website should solve a purpose. See where it fits within your content funnel and how it aligns with business objectives.
Conducting a content audit also includes checking your website’s performance and understanding the results the existing content has generated. Map each content piece with KPIs achieved and goals that remain unfulfilled.
A content audit is a low-hanging fruit in your content optimization journey. Consider the audit phase, where you compile all the data and then use it to prioritize your actions. If you don't take the time to run this audit, you'll likely rush into creating new content too soon and miss out on opportunities that your existing content can unlock.
Now that you have a better idea of what content you have on your website, it is time to compare it with what your competitors are offering. Find the missing gaps in your content and note them down. These points will be helpful when you are planning what fresh content you want to create.
Competitor analysis can also help you find what is missing on your existing pages and why a user is more likely to click on a competing landing page than your web page. The key is to make sure that all the content on your website aligns with the user’s search intents your business objectives and improves your brand's visibility on search engines.
All the steps so far have given you a set of guidelines on what the next set of content you need to publish. Your strategy should account for two things:
1. What framework should a new piece of content follow?
2. How any new piece of content should be built?
A content brief can help set the framework of your content. A content brief should include an outline of the copy on the page outlining the heading structure, bullet points of what the body copy should include, and instructions of what images, videos, or other visuals need to be included.
A content brief should also include SEO-related instructions like the title and meta description of the page, what internal and external links to include, where this page will sit within your sitemap, and how the users will navigate to this page.
How many pieces of content to build is dictated by how vast the topic is and how many keyword clusters you want to target. The number of pages around a topic should expand or collapse based on how you are performing for search queries and intents. There is no fixed number but starting with a topical hub page and then expanding to answer specific search queries is the way to go.
Now that we have audited existing content and created new content pages, it is time to measure how each web page is performing.
Based on what your analytics are reporting, you need to tweak the content on your web pages. Look for new keyword clusters you can include, a shift in positioning, and how your pages perform against top competitors to gain market share and improve SERP rankings. Learn how to optimize web pages for keyword clusters here.
Tracking page performance and regular updates on analytics help understand whether your content strategy constantly aligns with user search intents, search engine algorithms, and generates leads.
Creating a content strategy is a continuous activity because your plan must respond to market developments and capitalize on new opportunities.
Thus, your content strategy should be frequently updated to sync with your shifting business goals and keep up with search engine updates.
As for how often you should update your content strategy? There is no fixed timeline. It all depends on the resources you have at your disposal. However, to begin with, quarterly adjustments based on your performance and analytics and bi-annual changes to your content briefs should suffice. Your posting calendar and social media content plan may need monthly updates.
In addition to these minor tweaks, the core elements of your content strategy roadmap may need annual updates to reflect changes and new directions in your business.
Each business has unique requirements and thus requires a distinct approach to content strategy building. A good content strategy does not just meet your business goals but also serves the needs of your end-user.
Thus, depending on who your end-user is - businesses or consumers and how they consume your product or service, let us further understand what tweaks you need to make to your content strategy.
Content Strategy is critical for B2B marketing. It has a significant impact on inbound and outbound lead generation, website traffic, customer engagement, etc. Your strategy will be a vital part of your long-term success as a business.
The first thing to consider when it comes to an effective content strategy is the size of your target audience. Once you’ve identified who you want to reach, you need to have a plan for delivering your message. Your strategy should also include how often you’re going to post new content, what type of content you're going to create (such as blog posts, videos, or infographics), and where you plan on publishing it (such as social media or your company blog).
Below are five steps for crafting an effective B2B content strategy:
1. Determine the size of your target audience
2. Develop a plan for delivering your message
3. Decide how often you’ll post new content
4. Identify what type of content you'll create
5. Consider where you want to publish it
In a B2C business setup, you are directly speaking to the consumer. Hence, you will need to tweak the content strategy and funneling to keep the user journey and searcher’s queries in mind.
The critical components of a successful B2C content strategy include
1. An audience persona: This is critical to your strategy and should represent your target demographic.
2. A brand story that answers the question, "What’s our business all about?"
3. Keyword research & search intent targeting: Keywords are a core component of any SEO strategy and content strategy. The keywords you choose should align with the intent behind your target user’s search, You need to identify keyword clusters and topics you want to rank for and build out the content for each.
4. A distribution channel: Deciding the platform/(s) where you will publish your content. For example, your website, social media channels, videos, podcasts, etc.
5. Content brief: Plan the content outline for each type of content across channels. Include what type of images, videos, or other visuals you should use based on your audience’s persona.
6. Content posting schedule: A content calendar is essential to ensure parity across channels and get the most from your content offerings. Mapping out a content posting schedule also helps create entryways for the user to your content.
7. Performance & Analytics: Tracking how your content is performing and tweaking your content strategy based on the reports allows your content to rank high and stay fresh constantly.
Ecommerce companies need a different content strategy than other types of businesses. Since they aim to generate sales, they should focus on content that inspires people to buy items.
Focus on creating detailed product and collection pages that group various products of the same category to provide multiple options to users in one go. Using proper structured data and schema markup on your product pages gives it the SEO boost and ranks higher on search engines.
Ecommerce websites should not only be about products but can also create content around how these products add value to the customer. Valuable tips, how-to guides, listicles with multiple uses of a product, or advice on how to care for products are just some content ideas eCommerce websites can explore.
Guides and articles help potential customers envision themselves using the products you offer. It will also give them ideas on which products they might want to purchase from the brand. It's a great way for eCommerce brands to provide value to their customers and encourage them to buy their products.
Building a content optimization system can be challenging when you are auditing millions of existing pages and looking to expand your market share for key intents. The Quattr platform helps your business overcome this problem.
The Quattr platform combines and transforms data from multiple sources like Google Search Console, AdWords, and Analytics into a single coherent SEO Data Lake. The platform then uses advanced analytics to score your web pages and top competitors' pages for keyword relevance and content quality. This helps you identify topical gaps and what keyword clusters you need to optimize your page for.
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