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Planning a Content Development Strategy
Wednesday, March 03, 2010
Yes we know that content is king when it comes to SEO and online marketing.  Your content forms the core of your website. It is the major key in supporting your business objectives and in serving your customers online. Think about it, your website can be your greatest online marketing tool that you have that you can use to speak to your desired audience.  The messaging and type of content that your serve your audience can be the difference as to why users come back to your site or visit your competitor's site.

To be successful in the hyper-competitive arena that is the Internet, you need to provide useful, fresh and informative content.  Content development is challenging - you are asking people and businesses to act as publishers – which more than likely they are not. Content production is also time-consuming. Therefore, the need to plan a content development strategy is a key element of any online marketing campaign.  In the past, we have shared tips on writing content for the Web, but before you begin creating your content, you really need to establish a plan for content development as part of your content development strategy.

Planning is necessary in order to create a successful content development strategy. An effective content creation strategy can help unify your business’ approach to content development in a way that unites all your various stakeholders while factoring in the most important element, your audience.

How to Plan a Content Development Strategy
  1. Begin with an Audit - of your existing content.  Map out your web properties and the various sections of your website to see what you have to work with.  Use your analytics to determine which areas of the site users actively engage with the most. By knowing what content you have, a budget for your content project will be easier to scope out. 

  2. Perform Additional Analysis -  based specifically on the audit that you will have completed, further analysis allows you to consider all factors that will impact the creation, delivery, and governance of your content.

  3. Conduct Usability Research - find out what the users like and dislike about your existing content.  Try things such as A/B testing variation of certain pages.  Gain an understanding as to the type of content that will help get your messaging across and will keep visitors coming back to your site.  Make it easy for visitors to find your content, both in the search engines and on your actual web properties.  Working on controlling the bounce rates of your site pages with effective content creation.

  4. Evaluate Content Types - examine the best options for presenting your content to your audience.  Determine when it is best to present a certain type of content over another.  See below for examples of various content types.

  5.  Benchmark - Examine what your competitor's are doing on their sites... not so you can duplicate what your competitors are doing but to differentiate your content from theirs and to further enhance the experience of your site visitors.

  6. Map Out your Content Goals - at the end of the day what are you trying to get users to do when they arrive on your site?  Are you looking to inform them and have them subscribe to your content, or do you have a specific conversion trigger that you want to drive them towards.  Regardless, mapping out your goals can help clearly define your content development strategy.

  7. Think About SEO - ultimately content is for your users, but if the users cannot find your content, what's the purpose of having it on your website?  Optimize content for both the user and for Search.  Create content that other sites will want to link to, create content that is optimized with relevant title tags, page headings etc.  Be sure that you have the necessary keyword research processes in place to ensure that your content will be well optimized when launched to the world.
Examples of Various Types of Content

Here is a look at some of the different types of content that you can leverage on your web properties.
  1. Traditional Web Page - simply put, this is an HTML web page of content
  2. Articles
  3. Video/Webcasts
  4. News Releases
  5. Lists
  6. User Generated Content
  7. Images/Visuals
  8. Blog Posts
  9. PDFs
  10. Reviews / Forums
The need for a content development strategy cannot be emphasized enough.  Content is your life blood in the online space.  Establishing an effective content development strategy and method for implementing content throughout your web properties will help tie together online and offline marketing efforts, will help with search engine optimization and will help keep qualified traffic coming back to your site.


      posted by Jody @ Wednesday, March 03, 2010  
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