Content Development StrategyMediotype Content Curation Strategy and Guide
Creating quality content should be priority number one for any website. The content itself should be easy to come up with as you no doubt understand your industry well and have a lot to add to the overall conversation. The difficulty is not writing content on a particular topic in general, but creating quality content that users will appreciate and engage with. You have to remember, you’re not writing blog articles, updating landing pages, creating videos, and uploading info graphics for your own amusement. You’re creating this content for your existing and potential customers to use. So understanding what your user base is interested in, the things they enjoy learning and sharing about, makes the difference between creating content and quality content.
In order to create the absolute best content you can, you first have to come up with a content strategy. Content strategies will obviously differ from business to business, and more so from industry to industry. But there are a few points that need to be considered by everyone.
Every content piece must be created with at least one of these four purposes in mind. Informative, Educational, Entertaining, Promotional. You soon realize that no matter what you create it will fulfill one of these purposes, but knowing which purpose you have in mind for creating content is important for staying focused on the point of the content piece.
The more often you are able to share quality content the better. But more specifically, there are times when certain content pieces should be released, such as holidays, new seasons, topical events, and for promotional sales. Once you figure out the times that you would like to content pieces to be released, you must be diligent and stick to the plan. This is of course not to be done by sacrificing the quality of the content for it’s timing to be released. Meaning don’t over extend yourself by planning to create more than you can handle.
Knowing the voice you will be using, either overall or for specific content pieces, is important for not only branding purposes, but for uniformity. If you have an ongoing blog segment that was written by one author in a fun-professional tone and received a lot of positive feedback for the first 4 weeks. Then another author writes that segment piece in a serious-professional tone, perhaps with heavy industry jargon usage… you might find that people don’t enjoy it as much. They were expecting to read another great article in the same tone and voice as they had before. Only to find out it’s not the same nor enjoyed as much. Knowing the voice and tone you use that users appreciate and engage with, and keeping that in line with everything you create, makes all the difference for creating quality content.
As mentioned before, content isn’t simply the written word. Content comprises everything from videos and images, to audio files and games. Content can be interactive, a tool or widget, or anything else that allows a person to engage with a webpage. As without content in some form, there would be nothing on a page to engage with. Understanding the type of content your users will enjoy, the cost of creating said content, and the frequency by which it can be published are all considerations that need to be made.
Creating unique content is important for 2 reasons. 1. Search engines hate duplicate content. You should ABSOLUTELY NEVER repeat word for word what has been said before, but if you have to, keep it to a strict minimum. The rule of thumb is that if you are writing content on your site, keep it 80% unique where no more than 20% of the content can be linked or matches another website. 2. If you’re writing what’s been said before, what difference is it going to make? Being a business/site owner, it is assumed you are the authoritative voice in your field. Make that apparent with your content. Share what you know that sets you apart from everyone else. Don’t repeat the conversation… add to it.
When determining the topics to cover for your content, you must obviously first determine what the topics are your users will enjoy. This will take a little time and testing but will be apparent when you’ve hit the mark. As clicks, views, shares, likes, and every other engagement metric will be higher than before. Furthermore, try to create content with a more narrow focus where niches can be targeted. Broadly speaking, nearly everything has been covered on the Internet by someone before. Much of it has been covered well too. Nowadays in order to create quality content that is unique, you really have to be specific and narrow in on subjects. Otherwise you’re simply repeating, perhaps in a different voice, what has already been said.
When creating content, you have to keep in mind your user demographics. Typically this isn’t an issue, but for some businesses where demographics are widely varied, you have to be careful when crafting content as it must reach a wide audience. Take for instance Google. When you see any of their ads they are happy, fun loving, up beat, a little hip/trendy and mostly friendly. They are trying to allure to everyone and have successfully done so. If you see an ad for a lawyer… they are never smiling, always stern, and imbue very professional characteristics. They are not trying to allure to everyone, but people who need legal aid, are in trouble, and need to be able to trust that the lawyer they choose will help win their case. Knowing your user demographics dramatically helps to determine the topics, types, voice, and purpose of your content pieces.
Finally, what good is creating content if no one views it? If your site receives enough organic traffic where your content receives the exposure it deserves, than kudos to you. Though a great number of other websites have to rely on promoting their content themselves. This can be done one of a few ways online. Either through Social Media usage, or email/newsletter sign ups. Typically you don’t see paid advertisements promoting content pieces, however when you do, those content pieces are extremely useful to users and often lead them to complete a sale elsewhere on the site. Legal information is a common example of that for Lawyer’s websites. That said, even email/newsletter sign-ups require users to have visited the site once before. This then leaves you with Social Media, which is why using as many platforms as possible, as often as possible, is so important. Social Media promotes content… and it promotes it well.