Content strategyThe words content strategy seem to be everywhere you look where online marketing is concerned. Content covers a huge variety of material, from blogs to videos, infographics to photos to white papers and presentations.

Content has become hugely important because of changes Google has made to the way it ranks websites. Its Panda and Penguin updates have been created to penalise underhand SEO techniques and low quality sites or thin sites. This has been great for dealing with some of the cowboy sites out there but it has also affected legitimate sites.

Great content is one effective way of dealing with these changes and you can apply SEO techniques to videos, images and so on, helping to boost your search engine rankings.

Content also offers opportunities to reach out to potential customers by engaging them with different formats on different channels – hopefully in a way that will prompt them to make comments and share the content with their networks on social media. These social endorsements are also used as ranking factors by the search engines.

Online marketing is impacting all business sectors, small and large companies alike. Firms will get left behind if content is not a key part of their marketing strategy. Content, and the relationship with SEO and social, is not a passing fad but how marketing is being ‘done’ online.

Referring back to your business goals and translating them into a content strategy is the best way to see a return on the time and money spent on developing content. You can break this process down into steps:

1. What do you want to achieve – raises awareness of your company? Bump up sales of product X? Creating content can take up internal resources, so thinking about these goals can also help you prioritise

2. Who is your target audience? Try to define them as much as possible, is it small businesses? One of our manufacturing clients supplies products into different sectors – so content would have to be created tailored to each

3. Once you have your target audience, think about what information they would need to help them decide whether to enquire or purchase from you; think about their challenges, their problems, what issues they might be dealing with, what they’re trying to improve. Why they should buy from you as opposed to anyone else is part of this too. Talking to existing customers can be one of the easiest way to get this insight

4. Do an internal audit of the tools, knowledge and information you have in-house to meet and adress these needs – it could be audits, expertise, ‘how to’ documents, product details or case studies

5. The next thing to think about is the best formats to get this material out there; there might be more than one. Using different formats also makes the most of each idea. For example with case studies you can have them as a downloadable pdf or in a video format as a customer interview or you could create an image with a photo of the customer and a testimonial

6. Once you have all these ideas down it’s time to plan it out – which ideas will be produced first, when, by whom, how, what is the SEO angle? Create a content calendar to help you visualise your plan

7. And finally, once a piece of content is created promote it on every relevant channel, especially social media. Content can also be used offline – it can support sales teams making presentations to customers or at trade events for example

Get your content strategy in order with The Artlab – please call our team on 0161 875 2528.