5 Steps to Retooling Your Content Strategy
Content strategy is the way that you determine what you’ll post on your website for your target market. The problem is that most people give very little thought to their content strategy when they’re first starting out in business. Even more experienced businesses often won’t take the time to ensure that they’re using a good content strategy. If you’re unsure about whether your content strategy is effective, follow these steps.
Step 1 – Review Your Current Content
Before you can retool your content strategy, you must first review your current content. No content? No problem. Write out a few topics that you’d like to introduce to your target market. If you have existing content, look at your website statistics. Which posts are getting the most shares? Which posts are getting the most comments? What about visitors? In short, which posts are the most engaging?
If you don’t have content, you can still determine what might best engage your target market. You can look at competitor websites. Make sure that the competitors that you choose are at the top of your market. Many blogs have a share bar that will show you just how many times a particular piece of content was shared through social media. Compare what they have to what you are thinking about producing. You can also use websites like BuzzSumo to determine what’s currently being produced about your chosen topics.
Ask yourself these questions about your current content:
- Is the content written in a formal way? Stop and think about what you like to read. Chances are, it’s not full of industry jargon. It’s most likely similar to this post – written in a conversational tone that close to anyone could understand. When your content is written in a formal way, it will have less engagement.
- Are you using the right pronoun to make the reader feel like you’re talking to them? When it comes to content strategy, you should make sure that you ‘talk’ directly to the reader. Instead of writing ‘they’ or ‘their,’ use ‘you’ or ‘yours.’ This is effective because the reader then feels included instead of thinking that they aren’t your target market.
- Are you addressing the needs of your readers? Your content has two jobs. First, it discusses things that interests your target market. Second, it touches on the pain points your target market has. It makes them think, “Oh, I know how that feels. This business knows what they’re talking about!”
Step 2 – Creating New Content? Work in Storytelling
While there certainly are people in every industry who would prefer that you just get to the point, most people don’t feel that way. Most people love a good story. Talk about actual case studies involving your services. How have you helped others in your target market? To do this, focus on the pain points of your target market. Don’t try to address too many pain points in a single post. You can use one or two (if they’re closely related) and explain how your company made the difference.
Step 3 – Use Fantastic Downloadable Content
Looking for a way to get more people to subscribe to your business newsletter or otherwise capture their contact information? Create fantastic downloadable content. There are two easy ways to do this:
- Go back and look at your list of the most shared content that you have used in the past. Find a way to expand that into a white paper or a free resource of some kind. In order for your target market to get access to it, they must give you their email address (at the very least). Just make sure that you really give them a lot of valuable content and that it isn’t just a total repeat of the original post. People value their email addresses. So, make sure that they’re getting a fair trade.
- Check out your competitors. What are they offering as a free download? Can you offer something similar? Does it inspire you to create something totally different? Looking at your industry and at what other people are offering is a great way to come up with fantastic downloadable content. Again, make sure that what you have to offer is truly valuable to your target audience.
Step 4 – Create Timely Content
It can be hard to think up new topics each and every week (or every day). Make sure that you keep a spreadsheet or a document that you can place all of your topic ideas in. Also, make sure that you create timely content. One content strategy we use is to watch the Google Alerts for collections lawsuits involving collection agencies that violated the law. We also watch for the most recent changes to debt collection laws. When these changes happen, we write about them. That is an example of timely content.
Step 5– Don’t Neglect the Call to Action
A call to action should be in every blog post, article, and piece of downloadable content that you have to offer to your target market. It should encourage the reader to pick up the phone and call you or to use your contact form. If you provide free initial consultations and you do not pressure people into buying, let your reader know.
Content strategy is useless if you don’t tell your target market what you want them to do. If you check out other blog posts here, you’ll notice that each one has a closing paragraph that encourages readers like you to reach out to us if they have questions or if they want to schedule a free, no obligation process review.
Remember the Ultimate Goal of Content Strategy
Always remember the ultimate goal of a content strategy. It is to give your target market the information that they want and need. It is to engage them. They are the center of the entire process.
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