Web content strategy basically constitutes of publishing what your target audience is looking for, and then making it easily findable.
Are you publishing content on your website or blog for a particular reason? There are two ways of publishing it on your website and leveraging its potential:
- Publishing regularly hoping that it will generate enough buzz that will eventually turn into business
- Regularly publishing and streamlining it according to your business needs, continuously analyzing the performance of your content and taking follow-up steps
The second way of publishing is what you basically call “web content strategy”. You publish content with a certain intention and continuously try to make sure your web content strategy achieves what it is intended to achieve. Here are a few things you can do to fire up your web content strategy.
What do you want your web content strategy to achieve?
This is a very important question. Don’t simply publish content on your website just because your competitors are doing that. For an effective web content strategy you must need to know what you’re achieving and what are your long-term and short-term goals vis-à-vis publishing content on your website. Do you want to
- Improve your search engine rankings by publishing keyword-rich content?
- Make your prospective customers and clients more aware of your products and services?
- Make your prospective and current customers and clients more aware of the overwhelming benefits of your products and services?
- Want to keep your visitors engaged?
- Strengthen your brand presence?
- Rake up socially relevant issues?
- Educate and inform your visitors so that they can make better decisions regarding what they should be buying and investing their money in?
Frankly, there can be 1000s of questions you can ask yourself before publishing content but the basic idea is, you should know precisely why you are publishing. The more clear you are, the better direction you will have.
What sort of audience you want to cater to through your web content strategy?
Last year I partnered with a client who wanted to address an audience who remains at the forefront of technology: people who would buy the first iPhone or the iPad or who would start using a pioneering service without waiting for someone else. For instance, people who started using Facebook and Twitter in their early years. The direction of the content was totally different.
So before going ahead with your web content strategy you must know who you’re talking to on a daily basis and then produce content accordingly.
What format of content your audience prefers?
I am a content writer but this doesn’t mean I always recommend text as the most preferred format of producing and publishing content. Different types of content formats can play a crucial role in your overall web content strategy such as video, audio-visual, audio, graphics, images, presentations, slideshows, and of course, text. The format of your content depends on your audience preference and the devices they use. If your audience prefers reading, by all means provide text. If they are more visual types then provide them images and graphics. If their devices can handle streaming video and they prefer that, then provide it.
Make sure that you stay away from the “me too” approach. Just because an XYZ website uses video doesn’t mean that you should use it too. Maybe it works for them, maybe it will, or maybe it won’t for you, or maybe it doesn’t even work for them but they still use it. It’s important to understand what format actually clicks for you and then produce plenty of it.
What channels you use to spread your content?
No matter how outstanding content you’re producing unless people know about it they are neither going to consume it nor promote it. You need to spread your content using proper channels. It can be your website/blog that enjoys lots of traffic. It can be your social media profiles such as Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr. It can be Youtube if video is your primary content format. Nurture different channels and then use them to engage your audience and distribute your content.
How do you track the performance of your web content strategy?
Without tracking performance you are simply throwing darts in the darkness. You need to know whether your web content strategy is delivering or not. Although you won’t have enough data to analyze within a couple of weeks, and you need some ground for scientific analysis, once that initial hurdle is crossed, you need to constantly evaluate how your content performs with different parameters.
You can analyze individual webpages/blog posts in terms of
- How much traffic they were able to generate
- What important keywords and key phrases they were able to attract traffic for
- How many people retweeted and shared them
- How many people left comments
- How many people explored further pages of your website after entering through those particular pages/blog posts
- How many back links were they able to generate, etc.
Please note that these webpages and blog posts may also have indirect effects such as getting you more Twitter followers and Facebook likes and there are surely tools to measure even these indirect effects.
In the end, web content strategy is not your backyard activity. It requires lots of effort, understanding of your own market and figuring out a slew of different matrices.