content plus strategy

Math is fun, isn’t it?

Let’s face it, to market a business well, you must have great content where your users expect to find it.

Content is everywhere you look; it’s videos and blogs, website copy and images; it’s on your website and off, shared on social media and through email.

If you practice inbound marketing (or are moving in that direction), your content is used through all stages of the buyer’s journey – to attract, convert, close and delight. Without content, how are you going to charm the pants off your customers and prospects?

If success is the main goal, businesses have no business creating and implementing a content strategy without user experience (UX) at the very heart of it.

After all, if you’re not creating content meant for your customers and prospects, who are you creating it for?

What role does content strategy play in UX?

You’re a proponent of UX, right? You care about the experiences you’re providing for visitors on your site, followers on social media and the experience with your business overall. If that much is true, then you know that part of creating a great experience with your business is providing great content to be enjoyed and consumed by your target audience.

If I still have your attention and you’re still nodding your head in agreement, then I ask you this: If you care about user experience and content creation simultaneously, then why wouldn’t you care about creating a supreme content strategy?

Pass with a purpose.

I used to play field hockey in high school. Participating in any sport is a great way to learn valuable lessons about yourself and about life.

Perhaps the most important lesson I took away from playing on my high school’s field hockey team (besides being an effective team player), is that you must pass with a purpose.

I’m not entirely sure my coach would have expected me to take that phrase into life the way that I have (all teachers have a sneaky way of teaching you something without you knowing it), but I think about it in most everything I do. Pass with a purpose = have a purpose for everything you do. In this case, create content with a purpose.

Creating a strategy for all of the content you create gives all your content a purpose to fulfill.

This is where the 5 Ws of a UX content strategy is going to help make certain your content achieves its purpose. However, it’s important to understand that the content you’re delivering is subjective. There will always be exceptions and arguments because each audience is different with different needs. Consider this throughout your unique planning process.

The 5 Ws of a UX Content Strategy:

5 Ws of a UX Content Strategy

Who?

Who is this content being created for? Know your buyer personas (I’ve said it before and will again, this will benefit your business in so many ways!). Check out HubSpot’s blog Everything Marketers Need to Research & Create Detailed Buyer Personas. Great for any business, this post offers up some solid information on how to conduct interviews to gather valuable information about your buyers and it also provides templates to use when creating those personas.

After you have an idea of your audience, develop the content that your audience wants to receive from you. What will they deem helpful or interesting?

Where?

When you know who you’re creating for, you’ll have a good idea about their media outlet of choice. Different people spend their time in different ways and the places they prefer online are no different. In content delivery, it’s incredibly important to reach your audience where they love to spend their time.

When?

Timing is everything. In this day and age, people want to receive information when they want it. Are you going to be sending email content to your contacts monthly? Weekly? What kind of posting frequency have you decided is most successful for your Facebook or Twitter page? There is such a thing as delivering content too often, and it’s also possible to deliver it too little. Think of your audience as teenagers. They need the right kind and amount of love, when and where they want it, but they also don’t want to be smothered.

Why?

Beyond increasing your sales, why are you sending this content? Why does your audience want to receive the specific content you’re creating and what is it going to help them achieve. Are you trying to attract them to your business by proving your value to them beyond your products? Are you trying to educate a lead or customer about how your products work or give them solutions to pain points they might be experiencing (if you know why someone wants your products, you’ll likely know the problems they’re facing, too)? Are they loyal customers that you’d like to delight with offers and deals just to say thanks?

These are all key questions that must have an answer when you’re creating any content.

What?

I chose to put ‘What’ last because it depends largely on the rest. If you know who the content is going to, why they need it, where and when they’d like to receive it, then you can determine what kind of content it’s going to be. Does your audience love to receive monthly educational email newsletters or weekly blog roundups? Are they big on media (photo/video) content posted to Facebook midday? Do they want to see images of your business and products on Instagram or Pinterest? Are they all about the constant buzz on Twitter?

It’s not as easy as it looks, and nothing typically is when marketing your business. But if everything was easy, we’d all be world-class athletes, world-renowned authors and every business would be successful; we can all dream. However, If you care enough about your business to put in the time and effort toward creating a business that speaks to its audience, you can be one of those businesses success stories.

Quick Takeaways:

  • Create content with a purpose
  • Answer the the 5 Ws of UX Content Strategy (but remember that content is subjective)
  • Content – Strategy = Negative User Experience