Although we are more than 30 days into 2016, the planning and organizing cannot stop quite yet! Being an entrepreneur and business owner, you need to develop an in-depth digital content strategy for your website and marketing efforts in 2016. It’s a big deal for the success of your business, but it tends to get over looked because it can take a lot of time and energy to put together.
Some of us are natural planners. (I have a list for every day, week, and month…I’m not ashamed!) There is a sense of accomplishment when you’ve written something down and are able to cross it off once you’ve finished. If I could take any guesses, I’d say that most successful business owners are pretty good at making a plan and sticking to it. How else do you get where you want to go?
What is a Digital Content Strategy?
A digital content strategy is a plan of action of how you want your business to connect with your audience in a digital world. It gives you a road map to successfully organize and implement your content with clarity, relevance, style, and utility.
Do I Really Need This?
YES! If you have a small business or are a freelancer of any kind with a website, you need to make the effort to put together a content strategy. You will see that it was time well spent when you put a plan of action together, stick to it, and evaluate your results. Even if you’re just a one-person operation, a digital content strategy gives you clear and attainable goals to move your business in a positive direction.
Connecting Your Business with Today’s Digital Audience
There are so many ways to connect with your audience. Your website is your marketing hub, and should hold all of your marketing assets in an organized way that helps your audience get what they need from you. Content can include anything from web copy, blog articles, photos, videos, infogprahics, PowerPoint slides, whitepapers, and the list goes on.
What You Need to Build an Effective Strategy
Your digital content strategy should answer the following questions:
1. Who is your Audience?
2. What action do you want them to take?
3. What do they need from you in order to do said action?
These three questions should be top-of-mind when preparing your digital content strategy. Let’s walk through each section step by step.
1. Business Goals: The first step is to develop clear business objectives such as sales goals, ROI based calculations, lead conversions, or Google rankings. Make these goals as specific as possible and put a time frame on them.
2. Brand Persona: Have you ever thought of your brand as a person before? Think about it for a moment… What type of person would you expect your brand to be? Is it a wise elderly man, a young barista, or maybe a working mom? Your brand could be even be yourself. My point is to define who your brand is and let that set the tone for all of your marketing content.
3. User Persona: Now on to your audience and defining who they truly are. Think about your target clients. What are their hobbies? Where do they work? How are they using the internet? And most importantly, What are their struggles? This is a HUGE piece of the marketing puzzle that people find ‘too strange’ or ‘out there’ to put on paper. Give them a name, a job, a family life, i know this is getting weird, but DO IT. Be as specific as possible and try to construct your perfect customer on paper.
4. Style Guide: A style guide is an essential document used to define the design elements in all of your marketing initiatives. This gives designers exactly what colors to use (pantone and Hex numbers), what font to use for headlines and body copy, and what your logo should look like in print and on the web. Put all of this information down on one document so you have this information readily available to make your marketing material consistent across the board.
5. Content Calendar: The last element of your digital content strategy is your content calendar. Lay out each week or month and determine what content you are going to be publishing. Make a list of your topics and categories you want to target and start filling in the dates. Try out a variety of different content types, whether it be articles on your website, or videos for your social media pages. All of these pieces should should be well defined, based on your companies goals, be consistent in voice, target your audience, and have a “branded” look/feel.
Putting a digital content strategy is especially helpful before you build or redesign a website. But, It is never to late to put it into action! If you need help developing your strategy, or someone to help pump out your content, I can help! Send me a message today!