Principle No. 3: Great content is cultivated
Rome wasn’t built in a day, and its buildings still stand — making it a treasure trove for visitors across centuries. So what’s the lesson here? You can retain great content longer if it’s optimized. And you can tear down and rebuild recent content that isn’t working. Do you have a content management system that lets you serve up unique experiences by user motivation? Even better — that’s more content for you to fine-tune.
If your business or brand goals change, you should change your content. As the industry changes, content needs to improve alongside it. For example, if your search rankings have been low as of late, consider adding video to YouTube and your site. Search is now inextricably intertwined with social. Bing includes photos from Facebook in search results and Google includes videos from YouTube. Facebook has its own graph search that returns results from both of those engines. As social continues to play a more significant role in search, and as consumer desires for other content forms grow, build both to give customers more to share.
Specifics to consider:
- Â Identify a company “content historian” who is responsible for archiving and tagging content. That way, you can store content for future use and update as needed.
- Create a schedule or text matrix for link testing so you can assess your site and schedule routine checks to confirm all outbound links are still active.
- Update your keyword strategy. Identify what keywords are driving to your topic, and update your current content to include new relevant keywords. Aim for theÂ 2 to 5 percent keyword density SEO experts recommend without sacrificing meaning or experience.
Principle No. 4: Content performance matters
This is where content specialists need to think like analysts and vice versa. Content should constantly be tested and measured for relevance and whether it’s achieving the desired objective (see the second principle). You’ll want to create, test, improve or optimize, and test again. Content strategists are like good football coaches. They need a game plan, but if the offense is struggling, they make changes at halftime.
That editorial calendar you worked so hard to craft? It’s a great idea, but if it isn’t achieving results, you have to make adjustments. The conversations that your industry is having change along with the industry itself, so you can’t plan too far in advance. Use social to listen for hot topics in your industry and adjust to what’s trending by providing a relevant point of view that sticks to your key goals.
Specifics to consider:
- Identify an in-house trend-spotter. Chances are, this person already exists and their hunger for knowledge is simply underutilized. Have them report weekly (or as needed) on hot topics of conversation on the web. Then, adjust your editorial calendar and content to include those topics.
- Implement user testing on content prior to launching it. Use this feedback to make content better prior to putting it on your blog, site, or social channel.
Here’s one more key to content strategy: Forget the idea that there’s one content master. Everyone who creates UX, design, copy, or any other piece of content for your site or social communities should think about content strategy. These principles are role agnostic, and emphasize a more thoughtful approach, regardless of the project.
Abandon your attachment to the search for one big idea inÂ favourÂ of these holistic principles. Or, as the old adage goes, “work smarter, not harder” and your marketing strategy will be set up for success.
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