Before writing texts for the website and blog, it is necessary to develop a content strategy – a general concept that serves as a starting point for further work. You can’t do without a strategy in a complex business: you can only succeed if you know in advance what you are going to do and when. Regarding content marketing: Before you start competing for your audience and clients, you need to understand what you are going to write, your audience, where to publish it, and how to evaluate the effectiveness of the work. You can create content chaotically, but the results of such activities will be like a lottery – do you need such risks when you can set things up in advance?
Having a specific and clear content strategy will allow you to :
- understand how to create content and for whom;
- get the audience’s loyalty and communicate with them in their language, understanding their problems, interests, and needs;
- get to know your competitors perfectly, their strengths and weaknesses;
- make the content better than competitors;
- use materials that will help the audience decide to order or appeal;
- understand where and how to place information, what channels to distribute it through;
- evaluate the effect of publishing certain materials using KPIs, experiment, and come up with your own “recipe for success;
do not wait for inspiration to write a content plan, have a clear concept, and work faster.
What to include in the Content Strategy: Types and Formats of Materials :
Content comes in different forms and engages several channels of information. These can be :
- Texts– a classic option that includes articles, checklists, cases. Suitable for almost everyone, but it a good idea to complete it with other ways of presentation, such as photos. Thus, in presentations, texts are organically combined with a visual component for easier perception.
- Video– tutorials, reviews, instructions. This format is becoming more and more popular because not everyone wants to read long manuals. Videos can clearly show how to do this or that action correctly and consistently. Also, they can easily “dilute” the text, add vividness and emotion.
- Photos, drawings, infographics. Serve as illustrations, help to break up the main text into blocks, show what’s going on in the workplace. Don’t try to describe your product or service in words, just show the products and the results of your work.
- Audio content– Voice recordings and podcasts are convenient to listen to on the way to work and while exercising. Someone perceives information better by ear, and someone just wants to combine pleasure with profit. You should not ignore this format: remember the popularity of the social networking site Clubhouse, which is based on voice communication.
First, study the interests of your target audience and the activities of your competitors: which formats they use more often, and which less often. Based on that, make hypotheses and experiment. Combine different formats and see which materials are more relevant to your business, which resonate more with your audience. Maybe your audience likes listening more than reading? Or users are more comfortable watching a visual instructional video before reading the text – it’s worth trying different combinations to find the “right” content format.
Creating a content strategy: a starting point :
To make the plan of action as clear as possible, you need to work through several points. Let us briefly discuss them on an example: let’s say we want to develop a strategy for an online store of toys. Content strategy will help to understand what materials to publish in the blog, how to present them, and where to find an audience. Let’s go in order.
The goals must be measurable and clearly articulated. As a goal, you can outline an increase in traffic and the number of subscribers to the newsletter, increasing loyalty and liking for your brand. For example, it can be useful for essay writing service to communicate with the audience and increase traffic through the processing of information requests on the blog.
You need to pay attention to three aspects:
- What your target audience is. You cannot take into consideration all the people of the world, so you need to focus on those who need your product the most. It is important to understand what problems people want to solve with their purchase, what bothers them, what their interests are. Then it will be clear what materials are better to focus on and where to find potential customers.
Let’s say our audience is students of all courses and completely different areas of study. They want to know about the conditions of writing their papers, the professional experience of the writers, and other features of their order. Students are interested in whether the service does certain types of work – whether they write definition essay or help with physics homework. In this case, you need to focus on the visual and informative component: the placement of information in separate blocks.
- What kind of content your competitors have? Pay attention to the volume, style of materials on their sites, whether there are blog and social media accounts, how active users are, whether they write comments. Such a summary will help you understand what methods are already working in your business, and what is still to be tried.
- What do you have on your site – which sections are well filled, and which need improvement, how optimized the existing texts are, and whether there is a response to them. It is also worth evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of the business.
The main mistakes in content strategy
- “Us and Us Only.” In content marketing, it is important to maintain a balance between promoting the brand and benefits for the reader. A publication often becomes a self-praise and a whole story about the exclusivity of the company – this will not help improve behavioral factors, rather the opposite. Content should be first and foremost useful for the reader, which is why you need to analyze the target audience. But do not fall into the other extreme – it is worth reminding about promotions and special offers, while you can add links to your products in thematic articles.
- “Something will get written, preparation is not necessary.” Without prior analysis, the content is unlikely to hit the circle of interest of the target audience. You’re more likely to take the guesswork and get no tangible effect.
- ” Why should I evaluate if everything is fine anyway?” – Make it even better. The competition is growing, the audience will get bored quickly with the same kind of content, so you need to take feedback into account and test different variants of the presentation.
As the competition grows, so do the users’ requirements for content – there are more and more exhaustive answers to the demands of the audience, which is why a careful analysis and improvement of the existing content strategies is necessary.
In recent years, sincerity and clear presentation, and openness have been especially valued – the audience is interested in the stories and opinions of specific people who have had successes and failures. Storytelling works perfectly on this wave, involving the reader in the story and arousing more sympathy.
Podcasts and various ways of presenting information are also growing in popularity. Don’t forget about texts, but it’s possible to combine formats.
There is no ready-made formula for content marketing, which is why the strategy should be developed individually. Taking into account different factors will allow you to get a measurable result so that you can later adjust plans and achieve greater success.