How to Plan Your Digital Content Strategy
Paid promotional activity and search engine optimisation are no longer enough to promote a brand on the ever changing web.
It is now also about the fabric of the content i.e. text, data, graphics, video and audit; a mix of published content (web page, social media, posts, web videos), reactive content (a Facebook ‘like’, a re-tweet or a reaction to a blog) and pro-active content (publishing on other brands’ platforms or leaving messages on their Facebook pages).
Amy Harris, Content Specialist for Expert Market (click here) helps walk you through some ideas for planning your web content strategy.
Questions to Ask Yourself
Hence, before setting out on the journey of planning your digital content strategy, three questions really need to be answered:
- Who do we want to reach?
- What do they want from us?
- What will it take to achieve this?
Be clear about your objectives and ensure these are communicated to the team responsible for putting the strategy together and managing it online. Make sure you get them all on board.
Research Existing Content
Research, research and research again. Take a good sized sample of the most relevant websites and analyse their content.
Look at what is already available as this may reveal under used material, or areas that do not exist at all, along with the needs of users online.
What content works for other successful brands? Research what you need to include within your strategy to engage and earn the attention of the user.
Ingredients to a Successful Content Strategy
Content is not just about words and pictures on a page, it’s about everything from posts on a blog and photos right through to the shopping cart and video content. This can then be pulled together and brought to life using good design, user experience and information architecture. Create content with the user in mind rather than the brand.
Always have a core objective, which, in most cases, will be to meet the user’s expectations and drive them towards buying the product or service whilst always ensuring every piece of information says something about the brand.
The content should always point back to this core objective; for example, conveniently placing a ‘buy now’ link at points where the user has consumed enough information to make a purchase, whilst still being careful not to dilute the message or create clutter.
Creating a strategy map can be helpful. Place your core objective in the centre and add branches from the core objectives outlining what the content will be; i.e video, photo, text etc along with an outline of what each branch is intended to do. This makes it easier to ensure all goals are met and each branch points the user back to the main objective.
Keep Changing & Experiment
If content is not working, you can break it down and rebuild it. If it is working, optimise and fine tune it. Ensure you alter your content as your brand goals change. Social media is playing a much bigger role now in search and if your search ratings are low you can consider using videos linked to your site and You Tube, or photos linked to Facebook. Also identify the keywords which are driving your site and ensure they are regularly reviewed and updated.
Constantly measure performance and test your content for success. If the content isn’t achieving results, adjust it. Use social sites to keep a watch for hot topics in your brand’s arena and adjust to what’s trending.