“Content” is a big word in the marketing world. It can manifest itself in many ways—a blog, multimedia, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and the actual copy on your website. Before diving into writing for the web, it’s best to establish a strategy in advance so you have a clear vision and aren’t stuck spending hours re-editing content. Here are some steps in the process:
1. Re-evaluate your brand promise
When was the last time you seriously evaluated your mission and vision? Figure out if it still reflects your current business model and future aspirations and tweak if needed. This could mean including new industries you serve, a new product or service or simply changing the tone.
2. Determine the content goals
“Write copy for your homepage” isn’t a goal—it’s a to-do. There is no such thing as a wrong goal. Depending on the copy and the publishing platform the goals can vary from education, branding, lead generation, sales and more.
3. Think of your audience
I cannot stress this point enough. No matter what you write for your website, if it doesn’t speak to your audience’s goals you’re sounding like Mrs. Donovan from Charlie Brown. Determine their problems or obstacles and start listing those situations as a keyword list. That way you can easily skim the list to ensure all or most of the needs are covered.
4. Establish roles and responsibilities
With all the different types of content one business can generate, it’s important each tactic has an established team involved. It may be the same individuals each time or a mixture, but determine who should be looped in and when. Sometimes marketers have the great idea to create a timely infographic, but after drafting the copy forget the critical design component—resulting in the project being pushed back. Or if a business is launching a new website video, it’s important to pad in time it takes a web developer to upload it to the appropriate site.
5. Consider the medium
For all content, it’s best to remove industry jargon and get straight to the point. Yet another component to consider is how to elevate the content based on the platform. For example, creating custom images for social media posts, testing email newsletter send times, evaluating read times based on blog post length or finding what call to actions create the most conversions.
6. Analyze and act
Finally, be sure to analyze all your content and change if needed. Some common metrics to track include:
- Pageview rankings
- Average page duration
Social media copy:
- Social shares and likes
- Clicks to post links (if applicable)
- Open rate
- Click through rate
- Pageview rankings
- Social shares
- Post likes
Based on some of these metrics above, you may find want to modify and test new versions of your copy. For example, your homepage website headers may not be compelling enough for a website visitor to click deeper and learn more about your products/services. Simple changes to wording and tone can greatly improve pages per view as well as increasing the opportunity for a lead.
Building a content strategy can relate to many marketing tactics, including social media, blogging, email marketing and website design. It’s important to create a plan that can adopt to new tactics in order to increase productivity and ensure your ultimate marketing and sales goals are being met.
This post was originally published on the SCORE Small Business Success Blog on February 27, 2014.