Content strategy is made up of several different stages. The most obvious and well-known part of the cycle is content creation. Although there’s a lot more to successful content strategy than this.
In this article we will be considering each stage individually and gaining some insights into how to formulate a kick ass content marketing strategy that will blow your competition out of the water. Buckle up, here we go.
The questions you should be asking are…
- What is my audience doing on site?
- And what are they (and my potential audience) doing off-site?
On-site and off-site analytics
At this point you should do some analytics. Although don’t get too granular and bogged down in detail. Look at your own analytics and wider web based analytics. Look at what drives social shares, links and traffic to certain pages on the site.
Organic traffic: Take a look at what keywords in the past few years have driven organic traffic to your site. This is a good way to gage the relevance of keywords for future articles. Here are a couple of content tools to help you.
Competitor analysis: Check out how your competitors fare in the content stakes. Look on SEOMOZ for tools on domain authority and inbound links. Check them out on social media to see how many connections they have and how frequently they post.
Taxonomy and Audit
Taxonomy is another word for information architecture. This is what drives how easily people find your content. It’s really crucial that you nail this down.
Category flash cards: Put the titles of your published articles onto flash cards on a table. Then sort these titles into particular groups or categories. This will allow you to ponder the categories and work out which ones have been given the most emphasis.
Tagging audit: Some CMS have too much flexibility with tagging. This means that you could end up with potentially hundreds of tags used only once that are redundant. This leads to unnecessary doubling up on tags and therefore duplicating pages under different categories.
Menu restructure: After auditing and sorting out categories and tags with an audit, it becomes easier to build hierarchical menus that allows people to find content easier.
Evergreen content audit
Evergreen content has a long shelf life. This is the best kind of content, as it never dates and can be wheeled out for many different future scenarios. It can also be altered to suit the changing needs of a client. So it’s content gold really. See if you can spruce up evergreen content for re-use in a different channel or context.
Take the time to look over really popular content from the past. See if you can improve it with editing or doing a follow up that will drive traffic and engagement.
Stock and Flow
These are two different types of content.
Stock: The solid, meaty, interesting and relevant content created by a content team. This is evergreen content that will build up a solid fan base in the months or years to come.
Flow: News items or a steady flow of pertinent information from partner or industry websites that is relevant to your audience but isn’t authored by the content team. It could be in the form of tweets or pictures, videos and so on.
Page Types: Develop custom pages in WordPress using the Advanced Custom Fields option. This allows you to create different page formats to serve different purposes such as for product reviews, blog posts or feature articles.
Editorial calendar: Allocate your stock and flow content to various content writers in a calendar. Your weapon of choice could be Google spreadsheet or Excel.
- Pageviews of content
- Average time on page
- Social shares
- Links built
- Words published per day (2,000 -3,000 is a good enough rule for maintaining a decent level of quality balance)
Headlines: These account for 80% of click through rates. So don’t rely on instinct for headlines. There should be some science behind it. Read the guide to writing headlines here.
Formatting: Conform to web conventions for content. Important elements such as writing content in bite-sized chunks for ease of scanning; the use of numbered and bullet point lists and so on.
This is all about being seen in the big wide world. This is a combination of link-building for SEO and online PR for your content through social media.
Distributable content: Ensure that you have enough high quality content. Blog posts and product pages are a dime a dozen. Instead think of infographics, videos, photo journals and long-form writing. Include this in the planning phase.
Social media: Consider creating several different social media accounts and drip feeding relevant information into these instead of doing an open slather on one account. This will avoid social media fragmentation.
Email marketing: Ensure that straight off the bat you define the stage of the buyer cycle that the recipient is in. Give your newsletter a purpose don’t simply just sell products.
Partner networks: Build up mutually beneficial partner networks where other parties will post your content and you will post theirs. This sort of relationship of trust builds over time and involves some nurturing, although it can be very beneficial.
Speak with Leon and his team about content marketing, strategy, branding and web design services today!