7 Tips for Developing a Winning Digital Content Strategy
Let’s talk about your digital content strategy for a moment.
Few people know business better than Bill Gates.
So, when he says, “content is king,” it is certainly worth taking a listen.
Time has proven his feelings on a lot of subjects to be overwhelmingly correct. For instance, the millennial generation now spends 11 hours of their day, on average, consuming digital content.
However, you can’t just throw content into the world and expect it to work wonders. Like all successful business endeavors, a strategy is fundamental to all success.
Boosting traffic, leads, and revenues through content don’t happen by chance. It demands an effective digital content strategy.
You have to know what to create, where to distribute, and how to promote it.
But you know that already. The real challenge is cultivating one that works. Are you in the process of formulating your content strategy? We want to help.
Read on for seven essential tips for doing it right.
1. Write It Down
First thing’s first, make sure you document your digital content strategy.
Don’t keep it confined to your head.
It might feel like you know what you’re doing. But consider that 65% of successful content marketers document their strategy. By comparison, according to the same source, only 14% of the least successful have their strategy in written form.
Of course, a documented strategy doesn’t guarantee success. However, it seems to help.
Think of it like hanging a calendar on the wall. With dates and times of daily events right there in front of you, forgetfulness becomes less of an issue. In the same way, a written strategy prevents absentmindedness impacting your marketing attempts.
Moreover, you create a physical document that you can distribute to your team. This new asset will facilitate both the buy-in and smooth-running of the strategy.
With that covered, let’s move onto the strategy itself.
2. Define Your Digital Content Strategy Goals
Goal-setting is central to progress in general but for this conversation specifically, goals are instrumental to the establishment and growth of your digital content strategy.
That’s why most content marketing strategists begin by establishing goals and objectives for themselves. Doing so creates a north star that keeps content endeavors on track.
Without a goal (or goals), it’s far harder to know you’re efforts are proving worthwhile. Goals focus your efforts and provide metrics for ascertaining levels of success.
Lay out what you’re trying to achieve.
Decide whether it’s sales generation, traffic, industry authority, search engine optimization, social media influence, etc.
Next, set out the figures you’re gunning for. Get specific- set out the key performance indicators; the specific goals you have for levels of traffic, sales, and so on.
3. Decide a Mission Statement
Mission statements can work alongside your digital content strategy and over all goals.
It’s akin to laying out the mission of the business itself. This time, though, it’s oriented around your content strategy.
In a few lines, state the type of content you’ll produce, and how it’ll benefit your audience. And, if you haven’t already, be sure to define the audience as well (more on this next).
The statement guides your efforts and keeps your team on track to meet your goals.
Working without a mission statement risks haphazardly creating content. This is a recipe for wasted time and resources.
4. Get to Know Your Audience
Successful content creation demands significant insight into your target audience as part of the core of your digital content strategy.
Imagine an interior designer decorating a house without understanding their client’s tastes, wants, and needs. They’re on a one-way ticket to disappointment; a happy outcome would be entirely coincidental.
In the same way, creating content for an ill-defined audience is a mighty risk. Your odds of writing, filming, or recording something of use is minimal at best.
When formulating your strategy, find out essential information about them.
Find out their demographics and what they’re searching for online; where they spend their time on the web, the social media platform(s) they use, how (and where) they spend their money, and so on.
This critical understanding will guide both the content and distribution stages of your efforts.
5. Establish a Customer Avatar
It’s tempting to see your audience as numbers on a screen.
But it’s far more beneficial to know what they look and sound like in the flesh! That’s where a customer avatar, or buyer persona, comes in.
Think of it as a mental (or actual) image of your ideal customer.
Establish a homunculus of them. Create an idea of how they look, think, and feel. Picture what they like and dislike; what they want and need in life.
Your bid to create relevant content gains an instant boost from doing so.
The data you gain on your audience will be an unparalleled help here. However, lacking accurate data, use your market research to build an idea of who you believe your audience to be.
6. Check Your Competitors
Here’s a quick one:
Take a look at what your competitors are doing with their digital content. Analyze what they’re doing well, and where the gaps in their content lie.
See it as a sneak peek behind the content curtain.
You gain an instant understanding of what your audience is already consuming. As such, you’ll be able to better orient your future efforts.
7. Decide the What, Where and When
It’s time to figure out the specifics to your digital content strategy.
First off, the “what.”
It’s time to plan the content itself. Use your mission statement and knowledge of the audience and competition as a guide. In simple terms: what topics will you cover?
For this, keyword research is critical. High-ranking content is built upon insight into the keywords your audience is searching for. Leverage a keyword research tool for this purpose; create quality content around popular, low-competition keywords, and you’re on your way to success.
Next, decide where you’ll distribute it.
The number of distribution channels can seem overwhelming. Realize that you can’t be everywhere at once! As a rule of thumb, start by focusing on a few channels, such as a blog and one or two social media platforms that align with your audience. You can expand your efforts as and when required.
Finally, the “when.” An editorial calendar will be key here. Create a plan of when particular items of content will be distributed on chosen channels.
Doing so will ensure you post regularly and in the right places.
Time to Create your Digital Content Strategy
As you can see, content really is king.
However, not all content is created equal; in the absence of an adequate digital content strategy, your content marketing ROI is far from guaranteed.
Hopefully, the information in this piece will help you cultivate the best strategy possible.
Want help with your marketing efforts? Contact us today.