Sitting down and developing a content strategy for the web isn't exactly what most people want to spend their day doing (except for me, but even I know it's a brutal undertaking.) But let's get this out of the way now: a solid strategy is unavoidable. Throwing pages and articles out into the web without prior planning is a recipe for disaster, but to be fair, you probably knew that. What you're probably really wondering is, "How do I make a strategy for creative content that will produce results?"
Well then, keep your seat just a little longer, and take a look at the approach to web content strategy I've found to be the most successful.
Step One: Identify your creative content goals.
In other words, what do you want your web copy to do for you? Would you like more subscriptions to your newsletter? How about increased social media engagement, or an increase in sales? Maybe you just want to come up with better blog topics. It's incredibly important to define your creative content expectations and goals before doing the heavy lifting of strategy development. This gives you a definitive objective to work towards and makes it easier to measure your strategy's effectiveness.
Step Two: Consider your audience
In addition to Googlebot, real people will be exposed to your content. If your content isn't crafted specifically to appeal to your audience, it's very likely it will be ineffective. A general (but not conclusive) list of factors when determining your target audience and how to speak to them:
Step 3: Developing your content strategy
You know what you want (your goals), and who you want to accomplish it through (your audience), now how to you turn that information into a strategy? I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but the effort that goes into steps one and two doesn't even compare to the effort required in creating the true game plan. This is where you combine everything you've learned about where you are, where you need to be, and who can help you get there. And hopefully, a functional strategy will come out of it.
Of course, there's more to it than that. You're looking at designing page content, planning blog topics and when to post them, as well as scheduling social media engagement--just to name a few strategy-crafting tasks. It requires a lot of dedicated time to researching your audience and what they respond to, as well as watching your competitors for ideas. Content strategy development truly is an exhausting, yet rewarding, task.
Consider a Content Strategy Consultant
If everything you read above has given you a feeling of dread, don't worry; content strategy consultants exist to relieve or ease your burden. Find a strategist that is committed to defining a thorough and original strategy and you'l be in good shape.
I (as well as our other writers) personally offer creative content strategy consulting, and consider it one of my most rewarding services for both myself and the client. Plus, I'm a little OCD, so I really like to plan and organize things. I work closely with my clients to develop a personalized copy strategy that's most beneficial to their goals.
If you'd like to work together to create a content plan that works for you, e-mail me directly or fill out our contact form for more information.
DON'T FORGET to post your digital marketing and creative content questions below! We may feature them in our weekly blogs. And check back for more information, tips and news related to copywriting and marketing.
Stephanie Baker, Freelance Creative Copywriter at Luna Creative Content
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