The 5 pillars of an effective content strategy
What is a content strategy?
They say that Content is King and Content quality is Queen…You say nothing new under the Sun.
It is nevertheless your best ally for any web marketing plan! To get there, nothing is easier. Just put in place an effective content strategy, otherwise called brand content for the most hype of us. Yes, but what exactly is it? It’s about creating content that’s right for your target audience, highlighting your strengths, products, and services.
These content broadcast on the web are imperative in terms of SEO! You can position yourself on certain keywords or improve your long tail. The whole thing is to gain positions in SEO. It is also the best way to control your brand since it is you who speak by carefully choosing your elements. By distributing it in the right places you will be able to develop your image, boost your fame, demonstrate your expertise and gain legitimacy.
A little fuzzy? Do not panic, I suggest you follow a simple methodology with 5 essential pillars to create an effective content strategy!
Pillar 01: Challenges and positioning, the basics of your content strategy
Determine specific goals
This is the first key step in your content strategy! You cannot (should not) neglect it! To ask the right questions in advance is to know why you write. Identifying the right goals is the best way to initiate a good strategy! (By the way, it is also valid for any type of strategy).
I propose a list of objectives, which is obviously not exhaustive:
- Develop your reputation
- Create services for your customers;
- Increase sales ;
- legitimize your positioning;
- Improve your traffic from search engines;
You can define one or more goals, and then prioritize them with a primary goal and secondary ones. The key issue of your strategy is to convert and sell!
Know who you are
Writing and talking about yourself provoke sometimes anxiety. We’ve often been told that we have nothing to say or say…! We all have something to tell!
Companies, brands, people, each entity has an experience, a history, assets. You just have to find the art and how to tell it well. And to talk about oneself, one must know oneself well. The idea is to define who we are, it’s positioning, what differentiates us from our competitors, which is our strength, our values, our mission.
To finish this step, it is obviously necessary to have a global vision of all the offers, products, and services that we sell.
Define your targets
The challenge of an effective brand content strategy is to know who is talking so that our content is read. The more you know about your audience, the more relevant you will be, the more you will interest your targets and the more your content will be read. Who do we target (general public, BtoB, …), what are their needs, their purchasing process, …? To go further and be closer to expectations, do not hesitate to think about your personas! (imaginary characters representing each of your targets).
Unique, tailor-made content and adapted to your targets can strengthen your brand image and add value to your business. It is also the best way to interest your customers and your prospects since you will stick close to their expectations.
Pillar 02: A precise editorial line as a guideline
Create an editorial line
Editorial line, an expression that can be scary! Still, if you followed the previous steps it should be a child’s play. To put these few lines is to define a course, a guideline for your content taking into account your objectives, who you are and your targets.
The idea is that in one or two sentences, you recall the previous points: your positioning, the main mission of your product/ service/brand. It’s kinda your signature, brand content version!
This editorial line must always be present in mind because it will allow you to remain consistent during your various speaking engagements and differentiate yourself from your competitors. Then, you just have to pull the string by defining your tone, your style, the image you want to convey: a pedagogical or playful tone? Humor or rather institutional?
Define and segment topics
You must choose the key messages you want to share. This may be transparency, quality, a wide range, innovation, benefits, etc.
You now have to list all the topics that allow passing these messages. Gather them into categories to see if the package is well articulated and meets your original goals. Grouping your content is organizing information and facilitating its understanding with your target audience.
To help you create this segmentation of content and find complementary ideas, there are several solutions:
Conduct a keyword audit! Thanks to this semantic analysis carried out on your site and those of your competitors, you will be able to refine your topics;
Think imperatively about the structure of the site to make this content strategy a true ally of SEO;
Do monitoring on social networks: look at what is said, how, etc. ;
Use this site which allows you to properly map your content and find unique topics to treat.
After these 3 sources of ideas, the hard part will be to segment your content so that it is easily understandable for your targets!
Pillar 03: Quality, varied and optimized content
Vary the types of content
Today there is a lot of possibilities to create content! Editorial, visual, video, you find what is best for your target. A small list of non-exhaustive ideas once again:
- Articles, interviews;
- White paper, webinar, ebook, polls;
- Photos, charts, graphics, visual gifs;
- Customer cases;
- Contests Etc.
Above all, vary the formats so as not to bore your audience! But keep in mind your editorial line to stay consistent. You will also have to create a graphic chart for your visuals in order to be quickly recognized and remain consistent in your different speeches. If you do not master publishing software, do not panic! There are now practical online tools to realize your visuals. For this article, I realized, for example, the visuals with Canva.
Vary the types of contents, it is also adapting to the ways of consuming information today! The practices have evolved significantly, so we must create brand content that adapts to different contexts of the web ecosystem! Keep in mind that the smartphone is the first screen in our way of consuming the web today.
Writing for the web is also to ensure your content is well optimized. Whether your texts, your visuals, your videos, on your blog as on Youtube, Facebook or Pinterest, … Each type of content, streaming media requires optimization. However, be careful about finding the right balance between the quality of your content and optimization.
The idea is to work on your keyword strategy to position your site on the desired queries, it is using the right keywords on networks to allow as many people as possible to discover content in line with their interests. You must rely on the keyword audit previously performed. This is the best way for you to meet the needs of Internet users!
Pillar 04: A web ecosystem to make a soundboard
Broadcast your content
The more your content is shared, the better will be your reputation and your visibility. Yes, but where? Your main tool must belong to you, so I would say that your website and/or blog is the cornerstone of your device!
Then you will push your content on different social media, you determine in advance which network to publish first according to your objectives, your targets and your content!
Warning! Each chosen social channel requires a different speaking tone. The same content can obviously be shared on several networks, but you must adapt it to each one, to each target. (a public tone for Facebook, a professional angle for Twitter and Linkedin, …). You will also need to adapt to the most relevant broadcast days and schedules that vary by network.
Challenging, in parallel or practical, do not hesitate to amplify the diffusion! Here are some ideas to go after:
Buying space ;
Relations with influencers
Press releases ;
At this stage, you now know what to say, how to say it and where!
You still have to plan to gain peace of mind in your daily life. The principle is to speak regularly to stay in the minds of your customers, your prospects. But you should not fall too in speaking too regularly at the risk of boring your targets or even to address all your topics too quickly and lose your momentum.
Create an editorial schedule where you will spread your words by varying your topics. All you have to do is animate your presence. However, anticipation and planning do not mean a lack of responsiveness! Keep in mind that you must be present on your various media to moderate and respond if necessary, as well as when it’s relevant, react to the news!
Pillar 05: KPIs to track your performance
Measure your actions
Test and learn, I’m sure you know this expression! This is one of the foundations of the digital worldwide web. Seen as this one evolves quickly, just like its users, which was true yesterday, it is not anymore today. So, test! But most importantly, measure every time!
From the objectives that you have defined, choose relevant KPIs of the order of quantity (Number of views, shares, …) or qualitative (traffic sources, typology of the fans, …). Besides, do not forget to carry out a marking plan for your website, to allow you to place in the right places the markers which will then go back to your analytical tool.
By analyzing the successes or failures of your strategy, you will adapt to the needs of your audience to offer them a better user experience closer to their needs/desires. You will be aware of the content that works best on your site, those on Facebook, what time it is better to publish, etc … A good way to refine your content strategy!
An effective content strategy in 5 points
With these 5 pillars, you should now be able to create quality content, designed for your target audience and optimized for search engines. And what better than a video to explain how this content methodology is important?
A strategy of contents thought in advance and adapted to the different channels is your best online marketing ally in the service of commitment and performance!