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Driving traffic through killer content - Creating a cracking Content Strategy

Posted: 19 November 2014

It's all about content. If you want to hire the right talent, create the right content. If you want to create an awesome employer brand, create the right content. If engagement's the name of the game, create the right content. For too long content has been an afterthought, woefully produced on the spot and by less than knowledgeable writers. This just won't do. Whether you're selling a product, looking for the best talent or simply communicating with your audience, content really is the be all and end all.

So why oh why is content strategy lacking? In fact, in some cases completely neglected! What so many folks don’t seem to grasp is that by letting down content, you let down your relationship with customers, your ability to sell and your credibility. And it’s so easily remedied. The wonderful things about content strategy is;

  • it doesn’t have to cost the earth.
  • it breeds better practice.
  • it ensures you stay linked to your audience and brand message.
  • it can be implemented by anyone in any organisation.

By admitting that content needs to be a priority, you’ve taken the first step. Well done you.

Why go organic?

Organic traffic is the holy grail of engagement. Marketers don’t just stumble across the info worthy of driving this organic traffic, it takes time and know how to uncover and present them with their exact needs and wants. And herein lies the quality of organic traffic.

It’s all about creating a familiar experience, one crafted around their habits, behaviours and real needs. Your content should pop up where they search for it, it should anticipate their questions and demands and provide it all in the most engaging, valuable way. If you resort to deceptive black hat methods (boo hiss), then you’ll pay the long-term price. You might get the numbers but they’ll fail to translate into loyal, long-term relationships.

By going organic, you go clean. You invest in relationships, not just results and embark on a content quests that puts quality and audiences first.

The steps to content heaven - Say hello to your savvy strategy.

Creating your organic traffic-loving content strategy doesn’t need to be a time consuming, costly venture. A few key steps and some time invested will see your content do some pretty wonderful things for you.

Get to know your audience.

It all starts here. Nothing is more important than knowing who you’re communicating with and what their needs and wants are. Research will always be a cornerstone of communication. Content should always be shaped and catered to these chaps.

  • Where and how will they find your content?
  • What do they need and want?
  • How do they process this info?

Their goals underpin every piece of content you produce so get to know your audience very well indeed. Get active in your hunt for this solid gold insight. User personas are a great way to be specific and really focus in on a select group of your audience. When you can outline their habits and identity, you can create content that caters directly to them. Use your research to sculpt your personas - what is their background? What demographic do they sit in? Where do they get their info from?

Know how they search and process content.

Each audience, customer or user finds content in their own way. Some search through websites and social media, others receive messages through direct mail, newsletters or word of mouth. The ways in which your content is searched for and interacted with is key in how you create it. Do your homework and be sure to always ask the important questions.

How is my content found?

Most people hop onto Google and have a scout about. But what words, phrases or language do they use in this search? If you want to be where your audience is, then talk like they do!

Keywords can do and say so much. It’s about more than filling your about pages with buzzwords; it’s about recognising how and why people use the words they do and what it means. Keywords move you up the Google ranks but they can give you something even more valuable - an insight into audience habits, styles and needs.

Create a keyword bank that serves more than one purpose. Explore the tone, style, substance and frequency of the words and phrases they use to search for your content. Know your niche well and use their terms to inspire everything from blog titles to LinkedIn profile content.

What form will your content take? 

Content comes in all shapes and sizes. Picking the right ones to use at the right time is key in creating successful relationships and results. Don’t get stuck in a rut with the forms your content takes, keep finding new ways to communicate with your audience. A simple scour of social media will showcase the types of content they share and interact with.

From newsletters and whitepapers to videos and podcasts, always be sure that your content is getting to the right people and serving the right purpose.

  • Video is the perfect way to illustrate company culture.
  • Newsletters are great for sharing relevant company figures and partnership news.
  • Blogs are an impactful way of projecting your thought leadership credentials.
  • Infographics offer an engaging, social media-friendly way of communicating typically complex or stale topics in a fresh, new light.

Content will always be king. Failing to invest in a strategy is failing to communicate effectively. The fantastic thing about content is that it’s a chameleon, it changes and adapts to markets, people and trends. Your strategy is a commitment to changing with those times and keeping content flowing and relevant.

There’s always more you can do to keep your content output a big brand bonus. From style guides to content audits, the need to keep content on-tone and relevant will never disappear. Throw yourself into everything text, image or audio-related. Content is not a trend or phase, it’s here to stay and long may it reign supreme.

Do you like this stuff? Then join over 21,000 other awesome people who get tips on improving their employer brand, recruitment, marketing and the odd spot of career advice delivered directly to their inbox from me!

Twitter snippets

  • (Tweet This) By letting down content, you let down your relationship with customers, your ability to sell and your credibility.
  • (Tweet This) Organic traffic is the holy grail of engagement.
  • (Tweet This) By going organic, you go clean. You invest in relationships, not just results.
  • (Tweet This) Creating your content strategy doesn’t need to be a time consuming, costly venture.
  • (Tweet This) Failing to invest in a strategy is failing to communicate effectively.