Ask the Expert

3/25/2015

- Judy Thomas, Web Content Editor

Q: I’m ready to create a content plan, but I’m not sure where to start. How do I develop a content strategy for my brand?

A: A content strategy is a plan designed to help a brand create and deliver meaningful content to their audiences online. You know you need to create content to rank well in the SERPs, but without a content strategy, you could be blindly creating content and simply hoping for the best.

Research, Research, Research

Before you even consider writing a piece of content, it’s important to think about your target audience. What kind of information are your customers looking for?

Google Analytics can help with this by showing you which pages or blog posts are the most popular among your current website visitors. This will help you gain a better understanding of what types of content are currently performing well, but it only tells part of the story.

To learn more, you will want to take a closer look at the high and low performing pages so you can maximize what is working, as well as identify ways to improve preexisting and new content.

Audit Current Content Assets

There are a number of things to consider when evaluating current content, such as:

  • Is it well optimized for SEO?
  • Does each page target a unique theme or keyphrase?
  • Are the calls-to-actions clear?
  • Is the content well written for the web? Is it short and concise?

These questions are a great guideline, not just when evaluating your current content, but when you move forward with your content strategy and begin creating new pieces. You will also want to look at the following when conducting your content audit:

  • Which types of content are driving the most engagement? Do your customers prefer videos, download your white papers, or share your infographics?
  • Do certain types of content perform better on different social media platforms? Additionally, which platforms are most important to your industry and business?
  • Does the look and feel of your content match your branding and enhance readability?
  • Is your site navigation logical? Is your information easy to find?

Build a Content Plan

A well-balanced and targeted content plan, in conclusion, will successfully marry your company goals with your customers’ interests and needs, and deliver content to them in their preferred channels and platforms.

At a high level, the plan should include:

  • Building upon what is already working
  • Actions for improving suboptimal content
  • Creating new types of content, based on your research and learnings

For more information on building a content strategy, check out our Web Content Strategies blog post.

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