Any Strategy Is Better Than No Strategy
There are so many parts of content marketing and you need to be hitting on all of them if you want to see some success. Above all else, your content strategy is going to have the biggest impact on whether or not your content is doing what it’s supposed to.
Most people I see just jump in blind creating content without any strategy or promotion at all, and they think that’s what good content marketing is. Wrong! They’re forgetting the whole “marketing” part of content marketing.
I want to share with you my process for developing a content strategy and how that increases the overall effectiveness of my content.
What you end up with will be a living document that your writers (internal and external) will be able to review and then write content with ease knowing the heavy lifting on the strategy side has been taken care of.
Even as a solopreneur, building out your strategy will keep you aligned with your core mission and stave off burnout.
The first thing I typically do with clients is to outline some of the basic parameters regarding their content. This means things like Tone, Style, Voice, and Language used.
This is where we decide how we want to come across in the content. Do we want to be funny? Or do we want to be professional and authoritative?
There are no wrong answers, it all depends on your brand and objectives, but consistency is key. Most of the time we’re creating editorial content so we want to be casual but factual and speak in a conversational tone.
Don’t over complicate your sentences, keep them on the shorter and more simple side so as to reach the most amount of people.
Next we’ll look at Content Length and Structure. We like to run Content Audits on our contents and then, using analytics and link scraping, we pull in everything they have on the web. Then we give them back our insights on what content actually works for the business according to those metrics.
The Content Audit is usually where we can determine what length of content works best by comparing social links and shares. We also look at engagement, comments, and time on site. 98% of the time I find we’re recommending longer form content due to it’s better performance.
Longform or Short!
If you’re creating a brand new site and want to drive traffic and engagement long-form is simply the way to go. As a refresher long-form content is anywhere from 2,000 words plus as a general rule.
Short form content is 300 to 500 words or less and typically doesn’t move the needle too much if you don’t have a greater strategy around it. We’ve had great results creating massive pieces of content for clients anywhere in the range of 30k – 40k, the length of your standard book.
Content in the 2,000 word range delivered on a consistent basis can drive excellent results. What matters is your objectives for each piece. Sometimes your content marketing isn’t directly aligned with leads and sales.
You may be creating the content for brand awareness or credibility building. Different types of content apply to different stages of your overall marketing funnel. At each point you’ll have a different call to action as well.
It pays to be methodical when producing content otherwise it’s hard to judge if what you’re doing is truly working and worth your investment.
- Choose a tone and style for your content, decide how you want to come across to your reader.
- Run a content audit and review all the content you’ve put out so far, look for insights from your metrics regarding shares, engagements, etc.
- Create long (2,000+ words) or short (300 – 500 word) pieces of content but make sure they’re in alignment with a specific goal.
- Create a call to action that suits your goal for that particular step in your funnel.
Result You Will Achieve
Your content strategy document ‘primer’ that will guide all of your decisions when it comes to implementing your strategy.
This article is based on an EHQ interview with the mentor.