The right content strategy can make all the difference between business success and failure in the digital age.
The great thing about the Internet is it has the potential to put any two competitive businesses on an even playing field. Don’t have a six-figure marketing budget? It doesn’t matter. The right content strategy can help set your business apart from the competition.
So how do you get there?
Where does your audience spend time?
Let’s say you’re really good at and comfortable with LinkedIn. That is your social media platform of choice, and you’ve built your profile and developed your brand through the platform.
If you sell something in the business to consumer space (like party favors, for example), maybe it’s not the platform of choice for your audience. It doesn’t matter how good at it, or how comfortable with it you are, if it’s not where your audience is, you probably won’t sell much.
Same goes with Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Periscope, or any other social media or digital platform. It’s imperative to understand where your audience is spending its time, and focus your efforts there.
The same thing goes for blogging and video. It’s important to pay attention to your talents and what you’ll be good at, but also understand which medium your audience prefers. Are they readers or visual learners?
A Good Content Strategy Means Having a Plan
It’s easy to just start writing blog posts, or creating web content without any true goal, plan or strategy. You need a true content strategy to create more business online.
A good content strategy requires publishing the right content for your audience at the right time. That means having a solid plan. Think about writing down a whole bunch of blog ideas, and creating an editorial calendar. Think about fitting that editorial calendar in with your larger sales goals.
Work to fit your content in with your current objectives. For example:
- CPA’s can spend February-April talking tax season.
- Pizza places can capitalize on sporting events.
- Hardware stores can spend the late fall-early winter talking about snow removal.
Chances are, if you think about it hard enough, your business might have some seasonal opportunities to create the type of content that will help your business sell.
Do you need help coming up with ideas to fill that editorial calendar?
There are a number of questions you can ask yourself to start generating blog ideas that can generate you business.
- What benefit do people see from your services?
- What are the popular questions you are asked about your services?
- Who are the people your readers should know within your industry?
- What are the quality resources (other than your site, or competitor sites) that people should be reading/watching within your industry?
- What are the misconceptions within your industry?
- In general, how can you help navigate people through your industry?
The answers to these questions can all make informative and educational blog posts your audience will want to read, and benefit from.
Length and Frequency
One common question is how long, and how often to blog. The typical threshold for Google to index content is 250-300 words. For SEO purposes, content should be minimally that length.
Generally blog posts can range anywhere between the minimal length for Google, and 2,000 words or so. Long form blog content can be a great way to pack a bunch of quality information into a smaller amount of space. If you are going to write that long, you’ll want to make sure on a few things, however:
- It’s a subject that can captivate your audience for that long.
- You break the text up with several subheads, lists and shorter paragraphs so those who scan content aren’t overwhelmed with the heavy word count.
- You use quality photographs, infographics or other visual design elements to make the post friendlier for your visual learners.
As far as frequency goes, you are trying to establish credibility and keep your name in front of your audience. Blogging at least once a week can help you do that. You can blog multiple times a week, if you can sustain that kind of schedule, but be cautious about the quality of the content diminishing.
The right content strategy for you
All of these factors play into developing the right content strategy for your business. A series of short YouTube videos explaining how to do things within your industry may be right for your audience.
Reaching your audience in an effective manner can take some experimenting. Make sure you work at it until you find the right method for you.