Content consists of all the written, visual and voiced materials – website pages, videos, blog articles, brochures, podcasts, social interactions and emails – associated with a business, non-profit organization or service provider. What the organization does with those materials is its content strategy. The most effective strategy is in place before the content is even created because it helps you determine what kind of materials you need.
Creating a Custom Content StrategyDeveloping a specific strategy that applies to all of your publications requires some advance planning. You must pinpoint the information that will add value to your customers’ experience and decide which formats will capture their interest. You also should have a plan for delivering that content, so you need to know where and when your target audience is most receptive, and how to keep in touch. While hard data from the U.S. Census Bureau and other research organizations provide some useful statistics, to truly customize your content, you must delve deeper. Some of the most useful techniques for learning about your target market and customer base include:
- Creating online surveys
- Posting website visitor questionnaires
- Tracking visitors’ online shopping habits
- Evaluating the demographics and interests of your current customers
- Looking at the traits of customers who buy from the competition
Role of the Content StrategistA dedicated content strategist has the skills to customize strategic policies, outreach and metrics for the most effective use of information-rich content. He or she ensures that your content is relevant and search engine optimized so people can find it.
Key Elements of Meaningful ContentOnce your materials reach your current and potential customers, they have to stand on their own merit. Strong, effective content should:
- Present information that your customers consider valuable
- Speak clearly in language your demographic relates to
- Be accurate and up to date
- Show consistency in style and tone
- Reflect your corporate voice and brand
- Refer back to your company, either directly or indirectly