“There’s a saying in the web development field: content is king. See, without content, people have no reason to come to your website. So the most important aspect, and one that cannot be overlooked, is having good content.” – Joe Casabona, What Makes a Good Website?
I couldn’t have said it better myself, Joseph, but I’ll try anyway.
First, reader, I’d like to congratulate you on being an expert in your industry! Now is the time to capitalize on that, by mining that brain of yours for ways to stock your site and keep users returning for more.
When we talk about “content,” we mean the stuff on your website or social media platform through which people can learn more about your company. That can include blog posts, photos, graphics, slides, links, comments, statuses, articles, videos, FAQs—anything that you can dream up that highlights your brand and fulfills your goals (something we’ll discuss in a bit).
You are passionate about what you do, you’ve been working at it for a while, and, who knows, you may have even learned a thing or two along the way. That makes you a source of information in your industry. As we talk about ways to develop content strategy, think about why I called you an expert. Own that title. Embrace it, you sweet embraceable you.
What is my goal?
Your site’s content can fulfill a variety of objectives; all you have to decide is your purpose for posting.
Your content can inform and provide facts and figures about your company or industry, making you a valuable resource. Alternately, you can inspire users to take action or purchase a product: a one-way transaction of “we sell, you buy.” You can even engage users and encourage them to share their own content through contests or other campaigns, deepening their relationship with and loyalty to your company.
Who is my audience?
This is the demographic you target for the services your company offers and can translate easily to answer this question when it comes to your content. What do you want from your users? How do you want them to engage with your content?
You could simply want your audience to know what services you offer. You might want to ask your audience a question and survey their responses to change a service. You could even request photos or stories from users to share as future content.
Consider your content’s direction. Think about how you would like to portray your brand—is it conversational and laid-back, or does it take on a more serious tone? Once you have that in mind, stay consistent with your messaging.
Where does content come from?
Online marketing expert Neil Patel has a great series of questions to get you started on your own content. Use these questions and guides as a springboard to your own creative endeavors.
Another way to maintain a steady stream of content is to scour the web. Join newsletters of other people who are doing what you do. Start following and bookmarking websites. Learn what the influencers are talking about. Stay up to date with current events in your field. As a company that works in content, freelancing and marketing, we follow websites like Social Media Today, PR Daily, and the Editorial Freelancers Association. Find out who the loudest and seminal voices of your business are, and listen to what they have to say.
Then contribute your voice in a unique way. Start brainstorming blog posts or links you’d like to share on Facebook and Twitter. You can curate content on your site, sharing the work that other people have ruminated, or you can create original content in response to other people’s posts and links.
No matter how you decide to utilize your place on the web, the most effective content starts a conversation, stays current and timely, and goes up frequently and consistently.