How to Create a Digital Content Strategy
One of the biggest buzzwords gaining traction in the marketing world is digital content. Companies are investing more in their digital content marketing strategy, and its optimisation for maximum success now compared to other traditional forms of advertising.
85% of marketers surveyed by Content Marketing Institute for its 2017 report stated that their success last year was down to producing higher quality content in a more efficient way.
What is digital content marketing?
A strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content online to attract and retain a clearly de ned audience—and, ultimately, to drive pro table customer action.
How would you describe your digital content marketing clarity? Let’s see how you compare to marketers interviewed by the Content Marketing Institute.
There is no denying its reach, but many brands are still trying to work out their own digital content strategy and what is best for them. Each company is different and has unique needs with different demographics. And unfortunately, there really isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to successful digital marketing.
This means that businesses need to refocus their efforts, and really dig deep to understand what digital content is, what it is used for and how best to leverage it for success.Digital content creation requires a laser focus intensity on strategy, and constant improvisation. Click To Tweet
It’s likely there will be a large amount of trial and error before finding the right formula that gets you the best level of engagement.
What Exactly Is Digital Content?
But what exactly does digital content comprise of? What are the key elements of it? Admittedly, the term can be a bit amorphous and encompasses a host of things. This is both a blessing and a curse because the options for digital content creation are really endless.
The term digital content can refer to the following:
- blog posts
- white papers/marketing collateral / ebooks / checklists
- emails such as e-newsletters and promotional content
- visual storytelling graphics
- live streams/live chats
This is not an exhaustive list by any means, these are just some of the more popular ones that brands choose to employ. Curious to see what else can be considered digital content? Here is a resource with 101 examples of digital content to give you some inspiration.
Admittedly, this could seem overwhelming, especially if you are starting to use digital content from the very beginning. Building a base of content is usually the most difficult part, but once a rhythm is established, it becomes easier.
Before going into the strategy, it is important to keep in mind that no business can do it all and in fact, no one is expected to do it all. Yes, user attention spans are short and it might seem like digital content creation needs to be fast and furious if there are going to be positive effects.The truth is, quality over quantity will reign supreme when it comes to creating a digital content strategy. Click To Tweet
Many brands create vast amounts of content, both on their own and user-generated, but do not see the results. It is extremely to oversaturate content and lose their market share. Most businesses end up using a mixture of different types of content and it is usually based on the type of company and the overall strategy.
Okay… So What’s My Strategy?
We have touched upon it a little in the previous section, but it bears repeating: always focus on creating quality content, rather than the sheer quantity of it. Newsfeeds are not all the same, and users are not always seeing the same thing.
The first step in creating a strategy? Defining your goals. This is just not the key metrics you want to measure (that will be discussed later) but what you are hoping to achieve from disseminating digital content.
- do you want to be a resource or thought leader in the industry
- are you trying to promote your brand?
- would you like to have more name recognition within the market and your industry?
The likely answer? You want a mixture of all the above. That is the right mindset, and it will make content creation itself a little easier.
The next step is deciding who you are trying to reach with this content. B2B and B2C companies will have different requirements and needs, and that will dictate content strategy. The key here is to sit down, and truly understand your audience and the targeted demographics.
What are their interests? What are their pain points? When they are searching for content, what are they specifically seeking out? This component of the strategy will require a fair amount of data and research, but it is worth the investment. Content will only go so far, but if it is unable to reach the right people, then it is not worth as much.
Once you have answers to those questions, the next step is a little bit more creative. What types of content would your audience like to see? Are they seeking out short videos and live streams where you can be a bit more interactive or would they rather read a quick blog post? Look at competitors and their digital content to get a better understanding of where the interest truly lies, and build from there.
Types of Content
The type of content you will create is based on numerous factors. The most important? What platforms is your audience using? This is integral because it will dictate the limitations and breadth of their content. You do not want to post on Facebook if everyone in your industry browses LinkedIn more often but different platforms need different types of content.
For example, if your primary target audience mainly browses Instagram, then your content will heavily rely on a mixture of photos, videos, and occasional live streams. If your audience is more likely to be on Facebook, it could be a mixture of outbound blog links on your page, photos, and other quick updates. For maximum reach, your content must be tailored to the platform itself – not just one quick automatic post across every platform.
Create a calendar, and really think about what kind of content will give the most value to your users and where you want them to seek that content out. Do you want more users on your website, or would you rather gain a following over social media? These are just some aspects that you must consider when deciding your content and platforms.
Best Practices for Optimisation
So, now you have some idea of what your strategy is, the kinds of content you want and where you will share it. But how do you make sure it is effective? And if it is really having the reach that it needs to? Optimisation tends to be tricky, and there is not necessarily one approach that will always yield success so it is important to flexible, and patient.The best way to boost your rankings is to understand what your users are searching for and create content that builds trust using those queries. Click To Tweet
Calls-to-action is also extremely effective as well as incorporating some visuals. A good resource for optimised content development can be found here to use a starting point.
But those are some broad-based tips. There are also considerations such as title tags (i.e. how you are describing the content), meta descriptions (what is displayed below the link in the search result) and using the right keywords in your URLs. More information can be found here, and it will take a good deal of tweaking and experimentation to learn what works best.
However, no digital content creation will be useful if you do not know its overall success. Take stock of what your level of engagement is now. This will include looking at analytics from your website, social media and email campaigns to understand what you are currently working with. For all of your subsequent digital content, establish benchmarks and goals. Whether the goal is to get more clicks to your website, have more comments on your Instagram page or all of the above…set attainable goals.
Realistic goals will help keep campaigns on track, and constant analysis of your engagement will help deliver actionable insights on how to move forward. It is crucial to keep looking at your analytics throughout – not just in the beginning and at the end in order to really understand what is working best and where there is need for improvement.
To learn more about digital content strategy and best practices to get maximum success, why not take JSB’s workshop?
[WATCH: Facebook Live with JSB on Digital Content Strategy]
[Digital Content Strategy | LIVE WORKSHOP]
Come along to my live workshop in Dublin on November 29th where you will write your digital content strategy.
You will learn my own digital content process which are covered in these 12 steps. You will also learn how to prepare highly optimised digital content from the list above.
- Audience segmentation: Planning content for my niche
- Micro-moments: Understanding my customer
- Keyword research: Producing data driven content
- Planning: My digital content calendar
- Long form content: Smart content production
- Bite-size content: Re-purposing for increased engagement
- On Trend: News-jacking tactics
- News junkie: Digital PR
- Own don’t rent: Building my digital audience
- Mobile-first mindset: Test on mobile always
- Optimisation: Search engine and social network friendly
- Social advertising: Testing and building audiences
[Digital Content Strategy | ONLINE WORKSHOP]
Take the online workshop in your own time and at your own pace.