If you're a business owner, you probably know by now that a content strategy is pertinent to success. However, you might not fully understand the proper way of developing a content strategy and putting your plan into action. Luckily, it's not as difficult as it sounds. All you need is a good plan in place and the right professionals to help you get started. To help push you in the right direction, here are three things to keep in mind when developing your business's strategy.
One: Keep Your Customers in Mind
Treating Facebook pages and blog posts as another place to advertise is a common mistake many business owners make. While they are intended to help you win new customers, they aren't the place to use traditional advertising methods. When a customer comes to your blog they're looking for information, deals and a demonstrated understanding of their needs. Use blogging, social media and other new forms of content to connect with your customers by offering them useful information. This will position you as a go-to expert in your field by showing off your knowledge, and you won't overwhelm customers with non-stop sale pitches.
Two: Make Your Content Relevant
Don't get off topic when writing articles, blog posts or social media updates. While it's great for your customers to see you as a real person, they probably don't care about your dog, your mother in law or your love of sushi (unless, of course, you own a sushi restaurant). Personalize your content, but don't go overboard with the personal details. Keep things focused on helping your customers, and save the updates about your upcoming fishing trip for your personal blog or Facebook page.
Three: Use a Wide Range of Tools
When developing a content strategy, you first need to find out where your customers are hanging out. Are they on Twitter? LinkedIn? Do they read news blogs or online articles for information? Do a little digging and find out the best places for your content to appear.
To enjoy the best results, it's a good idea to have a wide variety of places your content can appear. Do articles for search engines and casual readers, develop a specialty blog for more avid web users to interact with you, and create your own social media pages to directly address customer concerns and questions.
Four: Don't JUST Write for Search Engines
Many business owners focus too heavily on keywords and not enough on providing quality content. They find writers who are willing to work for peanuts, but who may not offer top notch work.
Don't make this mistake.
It's true that keywords matter when you're writing for the web, but they aren't everything. You also need content that engages customers and potential customers. Think about it: When you stumble on a website with broken English on its home page, does that website lose credibility in your mind? It doesn't matter if the website owner is highly skilled and knowledgeable in another field: You probably aren't going to hire him if his content sucks.
Your content is who you are to the online world, so make sure it's well written. If you can't do all the writing yourself, consider visiting a freelance writing marketplace to hire writers who know what they're doing. This will allow you to pay less than you would hiring a full-time writer, without giving up quality. A quality freelance writer will learn about your business and can help you develop the best content strategy for your goals.
It's important to keep in mind that combining all of these things is the best way to improve your content strategy, so be sure to experiment with several different options to find which one is best for you.