[vc_row][vc_column width=”3/4″][vc_raw_html]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[/vc_raw_html][text_output]How many articles have you read so far which promise to give the answer to creating an effective content strategy? My guess is quite a lot and if you are reading this, you’re probably still looking for the answer.
Something I should point out straight away, is you probably aren’t going to find that answer. There isn’t a secret sauce out there and I swear every time someone asks me ‘how do I make this go viral?’ a little fairy dies. There is only what works for you and for your brand.
As we all know by now, more and more budget is being utilised to build and promote great content. If content isn’t the main player in your SEO and wider digital strategy, then now’s the time to make changes or get left behind Blackberry style.
“We must stop interrupting what people are interested in and be what people are interested in.”
The first thing to bear in mind, is creating a content strategy is not as complicated as you may think. One thing many content marketers forget is that they themselves are a consumer, we all are. Everyday we are marketed to with great engaging content, drawing us in and encouraging us to share. Commonly, however, when creating a content strategy we forget this and we forget the type of content which draws us in. Your content doesn’t always have to be technical reviews of your product or service. Don’t forget about what attracts you to a brand’s website.
Look at any brand who are successful online and you’ll notice common characteristics. They all produce very regular, high quality, engaging content. In most cases that content is visual and extremely shareable. You only need to spend 5 minutes on GoPro’s site before you start wanting to share everything on it.
Before you start putting together titles and ideas, consider these key questions.
Who are your audience?
Audience, audience, audience. If that word isn’t at the front of your mind for every content piece you plan, you’re doing it wrong. Many brands will mistakenly write for their peers, rather than their customers. Your average runner, won’t want to know about the type of stitch in her shoe. She might however want to know alternate marathons she can enter.
So take time getting to know your audience, what makes them tick and how they behave. Personas can be one of the most effective ways of creating a structured and targeted content strategy. Utilise your GA data and employ social listening tools like Pulsar to gain insight into your core consumer base and their interests.
What is your end goal?
Content can be used in a variety of different ways to reach different goals. Ensure you have your goals in mind when setting your strategy. These four areas should lead how you analyse the effectiveness of your content in relation to your goals:-
- Brand Impact
Often brand impact and action will come at the top of many brands list of objectives when setting a new strategy. When using content to increase brand mentions and shift brand perception, the time spent on content and whether it was engaged with, are just some of the key metrics you can use to analyse the effectiveness of your content strategy.
What types of content?
So you’ve already done your research, you know who your audience are and you have an idea of how you hope to measure success, but what type of content is going to make it all happen? The mediums of content you use, should be completely tailored to your persona types and where they are in their purchase journey. Essentially we produce content for three reasons:-
- To educate
- To entertain
- To convince
Each of these play a key role in a user’s journey to convert so it is important to consider the types of content you will use for each. The early part of someone’s purchase journey, they are very much in the discovery phase. So brand blogs and engaging lifestyle pieces or competitions can be effective in quickly attracting visitors and introducing them to the brand.
Further down the line, users need convincing that you are the right brand for them. Social media can really play its part here as users will look to online communities for reviews and recommendations. By providing the user with creative content and opinion pieces, you will immediately begin to gain the trust of your user, tempting them to keep coming back.
Once in the conversion phase, it’s vital to keep your new consumers loyal to your brand. Content focused to entertain and add value, proves time and time again to keep consumers coming back. Regular themed pieces such as GoPro’s user video of the week is a simple, cost effective way to entice users to return and encourage them to become the video of the week themselves.
For the majority of the time, we view content online to be entertained. Creating a really great strategy is finding a way to use that for the benefit of your brand. Keep your audience in mind, what is it they want? What are they interested in? Avoid interrupting what they are passionate about and be that passion. Your competition is no longer just other brands. It’s the news or the latest idiot celebrity making a fool of themselves on social. Perhaps question how you can create a strategy that uses that momentum. The news can provide great opportunities to create reactive content with almost guaranteed success.
Oh and remember your audience. Don’t think I mentioned that.
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