In 2017, we made a great infographic on the insights and research on content marketing. It’s now 2019, and we are now talking about content strategy.
To say that your website is “the calling card for a business” is just repeating a truism, as there is hardly a business today on which the immense value of web presence is lost. Every business today – small, medium or large has some kind of online presence (and if you are reading this and know of one that has absolutely no online presence, well it would be interesting for us to know), and no online presence can exist successfully without content.
To define what we mean by an “online presence” would be if there is any existence of business itself listed on any medium on the internet. This could be their own website, perhaps a facebook page, a presence on an industry specific social network or even a directory listing.
So let’s assume that pretty much every business has a website. The differentiator then really is the content that is featured on the website. It is only customer-focused and strategy-driven content that can cut through the clutter and resonate with the audience.
Let’s explore how we can develop a killer content strategy for a website.
A solution to a problem
Why are you looking to create a content strategy? You probably want your content to lead people to an action. Let’s say – buy your product or service, or attend an event, or initiate a conversation with you, or even simply put, to educate the reader. Basically, offer solutions to problems. But, hard pressed for time hat they are, we know that they visit our websites looking for answers to specific questions.
Your website then should feature content that will address their needs, wants and aspirations. The visitor to your website should be convinced that you present a holistic approach to solving their problem, through contextualizing the message and facilitating dialogue. They need to connect their problems to the solution offered. Example: When a potential customer is looking for an experienced and professional web development company that can build a bespoke WordPress driven website, it would be ideal to make sure that your content talks about how and why you are the best WordPress website development company out there.
Your target audience
When you have placed your customer at the core of your business, it naturally follows that knowing the audience plays a foundational role in developing your content. It is a continual process wherein you keep researching about your audience’s personas.
In this data-driven world, you will do well to follow their digital footprint in order to be able to put a finger on their tastes, preferences and behaviours, and to see the extent and quality of their interaction with your newsletters and blogs.
A question that may arise is that, if a particular business has a disparate set of customers, how does one ensure the content speaks with everyone without distorting the overarching message.
Audience segmentation is the key. Once we have created sandboxes of different categories of customers/audiences, it will be easier to decide what kind of content fits what situation. If your brand sells men’s accessories – like wallets cuff links, belts and the like, along with women’s jewellery, then the content should focus on individual experiences for, say, the business executive and the social woman. More on the form of content in a bit.
BONUS: Video is content with the highest engagement.
We have blogged before on Video marketing being the most successful method of content marketing. As a digital agency in Dubai, United Arab Emirates we work with brands to consult them on various aspects of digital marketing. We also work with partners such as dubai On demand (affectionately called dOnd), an influencer agency that has a network of content creators primarily concentrating on the creation of content with video.
Talking of research…
One can not begin to stress the importance of research before putting the content out there. We just read that digging deep into the customer’s personas is absolutely important. A sound content strategy also necessitates deep and extensive research on: Competition, Communication channels, Analytical tools available, Communication trends, Macro economic trends and global events.
The more you research on, the better, as long as you expend your resources justifiably. It won’t be an exaggeration to say that one can smell a well-researched piece of content from a mile.
The content itself
Before getting into content creation, it is good to figure out what form of content would suit your business best. Would you rather publish long-form text heavy content as opposed to bite-sized snackable information supported by illustrations and infographics? Would a video-first approach help your business keep in line with the times? Remember – content is a combination of text, images and video.
The concept of user experience (UX) assumes an important role in deciding what kind of content you wish to produce. For instance, people mostly scan web content, and not read patiently like they would a paperback or a magazine. (P.S If you made it so far reading this article – Kudos to you)
So, the bonus will be on using the right keywords that will help the reader quickly get your point, even if you have written a lot. If you have an eCommerce website, then product descriptions could be cleanly laid out in bullet points, and smoothly blend in with user reviews. If you are creating videos, it is good to take pains to ensure that the length is optimal, and that it is not simply an animated version of the huge blog you had written on the same website. These are just random examples. Best practices for content creation merit a separate blog post in itself too.
Measuring the success of your content gambit
Content strategy and creation is an iterative process. You keep improving on the quality of the content based on your understanding of the pulse of the audience. There are any number of metrics available to measure the effectiveness of your web content. Some of the more important ones include:
- Geography: Which parts of the world is your website being viewed from? This is easily one of the most important metrics people track without fail
- Page views: What pages on your website got better hits than the others? Is a particular page not serving any purpose?
- Unique visitors: Typically, to understand the size of your target audience, unique visitors (those who visited your website for the first time) is a useful measure.
- Average time on page: If people are spending enough time on your web pages, it is an indicator that they are truly consuming your content. But if they are just skimming the pages, the content is probably not connecting to the audience.
- Bounce rate: When a visitor leaves your website in no time, he has bounced off without bothering to explore what the site has to offer. This is not a good sign and raises questions on user experience and design.
In 2019, it is clear that content marketing and an effective content strategy is a key factor that cannot be ignored in the digital marketing efforts. Come speak to us at Conceptualize for your content marketing, search engine optimization and content distribution needs.