The 5 pillars of an effective content strategy in 2023
What is a content strategy?
Content is king and quality is queen… Nothing new under the sun, you might say. It is, however, your best ally for any web marketing plan. Getting it is easy. You just have to set up an effective content strategy in 2023, otherwise known as brand content for the most hyped among us.
Yes, but what exactly is it? It is creating suitable content to reach your targets, highlighting your strengths, your products and your services.
These web content is imperative in terms of SEO. You can position yourself on certain keywords or improve your long tail. The main thing is to gain positions in natural referencing. It is also the best way to control your brand image since it is you who speak by choosing your elements carefully. By disseminating it in the right places you can therefore develop your image, boost your reputation, demonstrate your expertise and gain legitimacy.
A little blurry? Don’t panic, I suggest you follow a simple methodology with 5 essential pillars to create an effective content strategy in 2023.
1- Issues and positioning, the foundations of your content strategy
(A) Determine specific objectives
This is the first key step in your content strategy. You cannot (should not) neglect it. Asking yourself the right questions beforehand is knowing why you write. Identifying the right objectives is the best way to initiate a good strategy (Valid for any type of strategy elsewhere).
I offer you a list of objectives, which is obviously not exhaustive:
- Develop your notoriety;
- Build loyalty;
- Create services for your customers;
- To increase sales ;
- Legitimize your positioning;
- Improve your traffic from search engines;
You can define one or more objectives, and then prioritize them with a primary objective and secondary objectives. The essential stake of your strategy is to convert and sell.
(B) Know who you are
Writing and talking about yourself is sometimes anxiety-provoking. We are often told that we have nothing to say or say. ERROR. We all have something to say.
Companies, brands, people, each entity has a history, assets. You just have to find the art and the way to tell it well. And to talk about yourself, you have to know yourself well. The idea is, therefore, to clearly define who we are, our positioning, what differentiates us from our competitors, what makes our strengths, our values, our mission.
To finish this stage, it is obviously necessary to have a global vision of all the offers, products and services that we sell.
(C) Define your targets
The whole point of an effective brand content strategy is knowing who we are talking to so that our content is readable. The more you know about them, the more relevant you will be, the more you will interest your targets and the more your content will be read. Who are we targeting (general public, BtoB, etc.), what are their needs, their purchasing process, etc.? To go further and be closer to expectations, do not hesitate to think about your personas. (imaginary characters representing each of your targets).
Unique, tailor-made content, tailored to your targets, helps strengthen your brand image and give added value to your business. It is also the best way to interest your customers and prospects since you will stick as closely as possible to their expectations
2- A precise editorial line as a common thread
(A) Create an editorial line
Editorial line, an expression that can be scary. However, if you followed the previous steps it should be a breeze. Asking these few lines means defining a course, a common thread for your content, taking into account your objectives, who you are and your targets.
The idea is that in only one or two sentences, you recall the previous points: your positioning, the main mission of your product/service/brand. It’s a bit your signature, brand content version.
This editorial line must always be kept in mind because it will allow you to remain consistent during your various speeches and to differentiate yourself from your competitors. Then, all you have to do is pull the string by defining your tone, your style, the image you want to convey: an educational or playful tone? Humor or rather institutional?
(B) Define and segment topics
You must choose the key messages you want to share. It may be transparency, quality, a wide range, innovation, benefits, etc.
You now have to list all the themes that allow these messages to be passed on. Gather them into categories to see if the whole articulates well and meets your initial objectives. Grouping your content means organizing information and making it easier for your target audience to understand.
To help you create this content segmentation and find complementary ideas, there are several solutions:
- Perform a keyword audit;
- Think imperatively about the structure of the site to make this content strategy a real ally of natural referencing;
- Monitor on social media: see what is being said, how, etc. ;
- Use the sites that allow you to properly map your content and find topics to be covered.
After these 3 sources of ideas, the hardest part will be to properly segment your content so that it is easily understandable for your targets.
3- Quality, varied and optimized content
(A) Vary content types
Today there is a huge range of possibilities for creating content. Editorial, visual, video, it’s up to you to find what is best suited to your target audience. A small, non-exhaustive list of ideas once again:
- Articles, interviews;
- White paper, webinar, ebook, surveys;
- Photos, charted visuals, infographics, gifs;
- Customer cases;
- Contests, games;
Above all, vary the formats so as not to tire. But keep your editorial line in mind to stay consistent. You will also need to create a graphic charter for your visuals in order to be recognized quickly and remain consistent in your different speeches. There are now practical and ergonomic tools to create your visuals. For example, I produced the visuals with Canva.
Varying the types of content also means adapting to the ways of consuming information today. Practices have clearly evolved, so you have to create brand content that adapts to the different contexts of the web ecosystem. So keep in mind that the smartphone is the 1st screen in the way we consume the web today.
(B) Optimizing content
Writing for the web also means making sure that you optimize your content. Whether it is your texts, your visuals, your videos, on your blog as on Youtube, Facebook or Pinterest. Each type of content, dissemination media requires ad hoc optimizations. However, be careful to find the right balance between the quality of your content and optimization.
The idea is therefore to work on your keyword strategy in order to position your site on the desired queries, use the right keywords on the networks to allow as many people as possible to discover content that matches their interest. You must, therefore, rely on the keyword audit carried out previously. It is the best way for you to meet the needs of Internet users.
4- A web ecosystem for sounding board
(A) Broadcast your content
The more your content is shared, the better your reputation and visibility. Yes, but where? Your main tool must belong to you, so I would say that your website and/or blog is the cornerstone of your device.
Then, you will push your content on the various social media, it is up to you to determine upstream on which network to publish upstream according to your objectives, your targets and your content.
- Facebook ;
Be careful. Each channel chosen requires a different speech. The same content can obviously be shared on several networks, but you must adapt it to each one, to each target. (a mainstream tone for Facebook, a professional angle for Twitter and Linkedin, etc.). You will also need to adapt to the most relevant days and times of broadcast, which vary by network.
Upstream, in parallel or a posteriori, do not hesitate to amplify the dissemination. Here are some tips:
- Buying space;
- Relations with influencers;
- Press relations.
At this stage, you now know what to say, how to say it and where.
You still have to plan to gain serenity in your daily life. The principle is to speak regularly to stay in the minds of your customers, your prospects. But you must not fall into too regular speaking at the risk of boring your targets, or even tackle all your themes too quickly and get out of breath.
Create an editorial calendar where you will spread out your speaking by varying your themes. You just have to animate your presence. However, anticipation and planning do not mean lack of responsiveness. Keep in mind that you must be present on your different media to moderate and respond if necessary, as well as when relevant, react to the news.
5- KPIs to track your performance
Test and learn, I’m sure you know this expression. It is one of the foundations of the web. Seen as it is evolving rapidly, just like its users, what was true yesterday, is no longer today. So, test. But above all, measure every time.
From the objectives that you have defined, choose relevant KPIs, whether quantitative (Number of views, shares, etc.) or qualitative (traffic sources, fan typology, etc.). Besides, don’t forget to make a marking plan for your website, to allow you to place the markers in the right places which will then go up in your analytics tool.
By analyzing the successes or failures of your strategy, you will adapt to the needs of your audience to offer them a user experience as close as possible to their needs/desires. You will realize what content works best on your site, those on Facebook, what time it is best to publish, etc. A good way to refine your content strategy.
A content strategy designed upstream and adapted to the different channels is your best web-marketing ally for engagement and performance.
With these 5 pillars, you should now create qualitative content, thought for your targets and optimized for search engines.
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