The Role of Content Strategy in Digital Marketing [2019 Update]
Today, content strategy is one of the crucial aspects of every successful site or digital marketing business. Without it, creating engaging, relevant, and easy to find content that is appropriate both for the demographics you are catering to and for search engines, would be complicated and almost impossible.
The duties of a content strategist are varied and include everything from research of the potential audience to creating a sensible content flow. In order to help you better understand how important good content strategy is for digital marketing, we have decided to familiarize you with the steps in the process, which can help you not only with your future marketing endeavors, but also with creating potent and engaging content for your website.
Here’s how to create the best possible content strategy for your business.
Define Your Goals Clearly
Before you start writing your content strategy you have to set your goals. As you probably know, a lot of sites and businesses know what they’re doing and how they’re doing it.
What represents the products and services they are offering to their customers and target audience.
How stands for the way they are providing their products and services to their customers. The thing that sets them apart from their competitors.
Knowing these things is important, but without determining your why, you won’t get far in digital marketing. The why is your ultimate goal, the thing you want to achieve, the very reason why your business exists.
To define your goals clearly, you have to ask yourself these questions:
Is your goal to…
- drive traffic to your online shop or office?
- increase sales, conversion rates or generate new leads?
- educate customers and your target audience on what you do?
- inform your customers on what’s going on with your business?
- build a brand?
If you have many different goals, you shouldn’t try to achieve all of them at once. Fighting on five fronts at the same time is not a good strategy simply because you are not able to commit to one task and do it properly. It’s usually a waste of your time, effort, and resources.
So, you should try to have one primary goal and stay committed to it until you accomplish it.
Identify The Audience
The two things you have to consider when making a content strategy are the message you are trying to get across and the expected consumers of the content you created.
The audience will determine the style and the topics that you will use, so you really can’t do anything before finding out who your target audience is and what they might find useful, informative or entertaining.
There are numerous ways to do this and the most effective ones are:
- browsing social networks
- checking the comments on the sites of your competitors
- performing different surveys
- and generally immersing yourself in the culture of the people you expect to find your content interesting
Offer Something of Value
Once you have identified your potential audience, you have to find a way to produce something that they will find engaging and useful. If you are working on a website which already has some content, your first task will be to review that content, and determine the reactions of visitors, what was it that they liked or didn’t like and whether there are any gaps in the provided content.
If you are, however, starting from scratch, you’ll have to determine key themes and the right register, as well as define the goals your content is meant to achieve.
Basically, your content has to:
- satisfy the expectations of your visitors
- offer something useful or interesting
- be relevant when you consider the time of publishing
- be future proof (which means it won’t get outdated in a couple of months)
- be something that your visitors will gladly share with their friends on social media
In order to be able to create such content, you have to have extensive knowledge of the subject matter and be aware of the norms and demands of the culture or group you are creating the content for. You must be well acquainted with current trends and people’s expectations, all the while keeping in mind that the content you create is not only meant to satisfy the needs of its consumers, but also the needs of your website or business.
Making The Content Work for You
Creating a potent and thorough content strategy necessitates a holistic approach to content creation, just like a piece of content has to serve more than one purpose, you must view it as a part of a whole, and not an isolated item.
This is to say that you have to keep a number of factors in mind, one of which is appropriate publishing frequency and content flow. Most people will publish several average (but still interesting and engaging) pieces of content, followed by a superb one, which will seem even better in contrast with the previous ones.
Naturally, if you are capable of constantly publishing amazing pieces of content you shouldn’t force yourself into mediocrity, but it usually takes too much time and resources for people to maintain that tempo for too long.
Then there are other demands that your content has to meet. First of all, it has to help with promoting your brand, both by painting a clearer picture of your ideology and by reaching new audiences.
If you want your content to attract new visitors, you can’t ignore SEO while producing it.
This doesn’t just mean that you should merely sprinkle a keyword here and there, but that you have to have an idea of where your content might be shared and to make it while having that notion in mind as well.
That said, here are some of the content marketing KPIs you should keep an eye on when creating your content, while you can also check out this interesting content marketing timeline interactive infographic to get a better idea of how the industry has been evolving.
Make Sure to Choose Potent Keywords to Target
Besides coming up with engaging and relevant topics, the big part of your content strategy is choosing the appropriate keywords to target. This means you have to conduct a thorough keyword research process.
Remember, without potent keywords, your content, no matter how good it is, will probably have a hard time ranking high on Google. Unfortunately, this means your organic traffic will suffer.
However, this doesn’t mean your keywords should determine what you will or will not write.
You must not abandon your writing methods and techniques in favor of keywords and other aspects of optimization. Instead, these two should coexist and only then will you be able to produce engaging, entertaining, and SEO friendly content.
Therefore, here are three things you have to remember when it comes to using keywords in your content strategy:
- Find the keywords with high search volume and low difficulty
- Write inspiring blog content that includes those keywords in the title, body, subheadings, and image alt text
- Try to use those keywords as anchor text to get backlinks to your site. However, you must be careful because Google doesn’t like to see too many optimized anchors in the text
Create The Content Calendar
Having a content calendar is rather helpful because it allows you to stay organized and on top of your tasks. It is the simplest way to ensure that your content is always well-written and published on time.
Creating a content calendar is easy and it provides you with a chance to make real-time updates, corrections, organize all of your content, and have the most accurate information on your writers, their tasks, and deadlines.
In case you never made a content calendar before, you can use tools like Trello or Google Calendar.
They Will Judge a Book by Its Cover
Duties of a content strategist overlap to some extent with those of an information architect and web designer. You are not only in charge of the creation of the content, you also have to think about the way it is organized and presented to the visitors.
Most parts of this will be handled by other members of your team, but you can’t ignore this aspect of content strategy, and have to offer your input whenever it might benefit the way content is perceived.
Reaping The Benefits
If you take all of this into account, the content you create will attract a lot of attention and do wonders for promoting your brand. If skillfully made, your content can become both the message and the means for spreading that message around, with your audience doing most of the work on attracting new people.