There are many important factors in developing a successful content strategy specifically for digital. With the knowledge and tools that are available which show the effectiveness of producing a content marketing strategy, more companies are developing content planning teams. Although companies have increased content planning objectives, they are still not achieving the results they were hoping for. This is due to lacking critical factors when putting together the strategy which are important for success.
“With the advancement of technology, communication has now changed from being a written medium to a virtual medium through the growth of the internet.”
The first step is finding the problems within the existing content so you can offer solutions to convince others that a strategy is needed. The problems become solutions which lead to opportunities for a successful end product.
You will need to document what is wrong with the content to get started. The most common issues with content are:
- Weak calls to action
- The content is not speaking to the audience you are trying to reach
- Voice or tone is off brand
- Content is not directed to what you want them to do or their need
- Content is not updated
- Content is too long
You may use a combination of methods to review the site’s content to come up with a hypothesis of what is wrong with the current content.
- Conducting an audit of the site will allow you to examine the content. This will help you review the audience, broken links, accessibility and how easy it is to scan for the key message.
- To focus on the issues, you can conduct an analytics review which takes a look at the user experience. This includes pageview, user paths through content, search terms, how it was accessed and traffic sources. Understanding how the user experiences the site will help determine how the content should be written and placed.
- Another way to see how the content is working is to conduct user testing. Actual user feedback will help you empathize with the user and how they felt during their experience. This will include readability and being able to key word search.
Selling the need
Once you have identified the problems, the data and the solutions pulled together, you will need to get the budget approved to move forward. Compile your results and include it in your proposal and speak from the heart including any previous experience with results of using a content strategy.
- Claim – The statement you are asking them to accept
- Grounds – The data and facts that support your claim
- Warrant – How the data is relevant to your claim
- Backing – Information that supports your warrant
- Qualifier – The data that supports the warrant
- Rebuttal – The response to anticipated challenges to your claim
If you are not able to obtain approval for the budget in order to proceed, don’t feel discouraged. Business objectives change and there are several small changes that can be made in the meantime. Continue to collect data and revisit at a later date.
Preparing for success
Getting started you will need to identify the key stakeholders and project manage every step of the strategy to keep everyone on task. Set project objectives, expectations and timeframes for what you will need to complete. It’s important that you have this content prepared and ready to go well ahead of the timeline. In addition, you’ll need to know which type of content performs well in different contexts, that is, with different audiences and also across platforms. Using the data, you have prepared will help you plan out the content needed.
Possessing the ability to continually problem-solve and learn new things will help you be successful. It does take some patience, creativity and an analytical review; as well as, to some extent at least, experimentation. Have a clear vision of your goals, and a business plan in place as well as up-to-date tools to continue to review results.
The importance of content marketing is going to increase tremendously in coming years. Keeping up to date on trends, utilizing tools for data collection and analysis, conducting testing and updating content will lead to successful content strategy.
Talk Business. (n.d.). 5 essential factors for a successful content marketing strategy. Retrieved from http://www.talk-business.co.uk: https://www.talk-business.co.uk/2015/04/23/5-essential-factors-successful-content-marketing-strategy/
Verblio. (n.d.). How Agencies Should Sell Content Marketing Strategy to Clients. Retrieved from http://www.verblio.com: https://www.verblio.com/sell-content-marketing-strategy
Digital Marketing Institute. (n.d.). How Agencies Should Sell Content Marketing Strategy to Clients. Retrieved from http://www.digitalmarektinginstitute.com: https://digitalmarketinginstitute.com/en-us/blog/5-essential-tips-for-a-successful-content-marketing-strategy
Casey, M. (2015). The Content Strategy Toolkit.
Peachpit, a division of Pearson Education.