The key alteration, responsible for a more strategic approach to content marketing, lies in its relationship to lead generation. Lead generation is
at the heart of every content marketing strategy, however, to deliver an effective content strategy it is important to understand the difference between content marketing and content strategy. Content strategy involves data analysis which in turn informs the reasoning behind the type, length and voice of the content. Content strategy should act as a brand narrative, engaging the consumer experientially with a certain identity. Before going about creating a brand narrative it is important to analyse the market and define the nature of your brand in relation to the current marketplace.
In terms of the data needed to help you formulate content, a good analytics tool should be able to provide an in-depth insight into how your developing site or existing site’s content is being received by users. This will enable you to better manage and satisfy user expectation.
It is also a good idea to think about whether you’re developing a content strategy for marketing or as a product or service. If you are developing content as a product or service, you will need to ensure your content links logically from one piece of information to another. You want your user to be taken on a logical journey. If content is your sole means of marketing, you will want to be guiding users through the decision making process. It is crucial that you have defined how users search within your market. Simply putting together keyword rich site pages, is not going to be good enough anymore; your content must be rich, engaging and above all, it must inform.
The user searches to inform their personal world. Your content strategy should therefore come before your user experience strategy; you want your site to be constructed logically so that each page has a specific user-centric theme. Each theme should focus on answering the need of the user. As the user goes deeper into your site their need or needs, gradually become more specific as they narrow down their search with the use of informative information. Your content therefore should reflect predicted alterations in the users mind as they come towards the end of the journey- the sales process.
Content and SEO have often been described as ‘two-sides of the same coin’, a keyword strategy is a great starting point for informing how your users are accessing similar products or services online. However, a content strategy should not be restricted to keyword research. Content should not be written for search engines but rather written for the user, even Google itself recognizes this! With the line between offline and online being continually blurred through advancements in social, local and mobile search, writing enagaing content for the user will automatically provide you with a higher ranking on SERPs.
Remember, the web is being crawled and algorithms continually updated to meet user demand. With this in mind, the best content strategy is an ongoing one. The trick lies in striking a balance between quality and quantity. Creating quality content is only effective in terms of strategy, if you create a sufficient amount, by extension, creating lots of short, unoriginal content will not do you much good either. This is why determining a strategy is so important, it will enable you to decipher how, what and when to post content. Quality content simply equates to that which will engage the user and reduce bounce rate.