Most digital marketers have a content strategy they would confidently defend and rightly so. Content strategies ensure there’s always something new and useful on your site for visitors and define how that content will be promoted.
The main problem with this is that something that probably started off with all the best intentions can quickly become lip service and a chore.
Keeping it fresh and relevant is a challenge.
A ‘content strategy’ is not a new idea. Although today there is an increased emphasis on its value, a content strategy derives from the old adage that great content is rarely created by chance.
I often hear marketers talking a about a website or content destination as a ‘house’ and, while this is useful, I think many need to think more about how content is what you add to make a house a home.
If you think of your audience as the people who come by for a visit, the content on your site is what makes them want to come back and visit you again.
It would be easy to say that every marketer needs a sound digital content strategy but that does nothing to help anyone seeking to improve an existing strategy. The question is where do you start, what would be most useful to your customers and how do you deliver that information in the most effective way possible?
Spend time on your site
The value of spending time on your site cannot be overestimated. The more time you spend on your site, the better your knowledge of what makes it special will be.
It is near impossible to create a site visitors will want to return to without being a regular user of the site yourself. Put yourself in their shoes. Just like in a real house, if it is merely a place to lay your head and hang your coat, then it will never mean more to you than a basic coat rack.
Make the most of all your pages
To get the most out of your content strategy, you have to make full use of the whole site and not just the ‘obvious’ pages.
Quite often you find a website with lots of great content on the homepage but a severe deficiency the further you delve into the site. Not using all the pages on your site would be the same as buying a massive house with a large kitchen and king size bedroom but sleeping, eating and cooking in the front room.
It is important to make useful information available to you visitors at every turn
Listen and get involved in existing conversations
The term ‘engagement’ is bandied around by marketers all the time these days. And engaging on networks like Twitter and Facebook is relatively straightforward. But engagement on your own website is equally important and is, in many cases, much harder.
But a site that does a good job of engaging visitors will achieve far greater results. This could be as simple as including dynamic content such as Twitter feeds or it could involve having a regularly updated blog with lots of comments. So, put the welcome mat out, stick the kettle on and make your home feel alive.
The true test of any content strategy is whether or not it facilitates the consistent delivery of information your customers find interesting, engaging and useful. And if it is true that a house in which nobody lives is nobody’s home, the aim would not only be to attract visitors but to provide something that will make them want to come back for more.