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An introduction to content strategy

It is of no surprise that most entrepreneurs putting together startups or new businesses are a little puzzled when it comes to content strategy and the whole idea behind the concept.

Can content strategy transform one small business into a well-known brand? What is content strategy, really?

In short, content strategy is a series of mixed ideas that are focused on bringing you sales. It’s also a way of narrowing the gap between sellers and customers. Of course, it’s also a certain way of boosting a firm’s visibility on the web.

Content strategy does not have a rigid definition, that you can consult every time you want to know how it works, because it’s much more than an idea; it’s a complex combination of means and mechanisms that have to be linked, in order to make sense.

Before getting to know the content strategy that fits your needs, there are some things you have to consider:

1. Communication approaches. How much does your business benefit from having an online interface? How many of your clients’ questions could you answer by providing useful content? Could you actually make money by owning a website, or because of a website?

How close to your customers do you want to be?

Making a list of answers to these questions is both practical and resourceful. Sellers nowadays have to stay in touch with pretty much all means of marketing that can attract potential customers. Powerful plans keep clients coming back.

2. Another thing startups should address is an audience prioritisation. A solid market research should most probably be applied even before launching a product. Apprehending customers’ needs is quite important, because nobody wants to create unnecessary merchandise. It all comes down to numbers.

As well as discovering whether there is a current need for a product or not, a potential audience should be split up into categories. Are you developing technical devices and/or applications? Should the website’s content speak to a public that is in the know? Or are you selling items that most clients out there could enjoy?

3. After performing a valid analysis and a correct collecting of data concerning future clients, publishing content can finally begin. Before getting ahead of ourselves, though, there are some strategic pointers to emphasise. A very short SEO report should let you know if the ideas you intend to target are out of reach. Search engine optimization is a rather complicated matter, especially in the case of young enterprises; most of these have high hopes and the false impression they can change the world with a single great concept. Unfortunately, being idealistic is not a friendly notion to Google. And let’s face it, it’s Google you have to target if you intend to be successful, gather a reliable audience and actually get sales. Which is why small but consistent steps are to be preferred instead of throwing anarchic content on the world wide web.

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4. So you now have your website. It’s up and running. You’ve had the help of programmers, developers, web designers and a bunch of other professionals that have put a lot of effort into creating a wonderful experience for any user that actually visits your website. What’s next?, you may ask. Updating the site may prove to be tedious, but owning a regular blog could be a simple solution to growing your audience. A couple of posts won’t do it, though.

Managing content is of utmost importance. An editorial planner and a team of writers should be your top endeavours. You’ve probably noticed by now that search engines sort information by relevance and by date, which basically means you should keep up to date, provide useful articles on what you know best and publish frequently, so your public doesn’t drift away.

To keep your audience engaged, you can employ various types of content in your web marketing strategy, including blog posts, podcasts, videos, webinars and more. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with content marketing and feel like you need to be doing all of it, all the time. It’s much more effective and achievable to focus in on one or two types of content and do them really well, time and time again.

5. Content needs pledges. Content needs vows. You should commit to content if you want to be noticed. You should never forget your goals, in spite of how difficult organising a marketing strategy may prove to be. Knowing your desires and sticking to your dreams will sooner or later make it happen for you. Don’t ever forget to be empowered by your strategy.

6. Last, but not least, what you have to make sure of is you never forget your users’ needs. Users’ needs are mostly quite different from business needs. An audience is clearly uninterested in the sole idea of bringing you sales. However, a catchy product may attract the attention of a trustworthy public.

How does having a content strategy help?

– it can make you create and grow an audience

– it can transform a simple startup name into a well-known brand

– it can optimise searches and make you friends with Google

– it can ultimately bring you sales.

How do you create a winning content strategy?

– with never ending ideas to create appropriate content

– with the help of content that is both compelling and advisory

– with the help of content that is discoverable and quotable

– by integrating sharing options of social media into the web pages your content is or will be published on

– by never missing a publishing date

– by applying strong yet intuitive SEO measures

– by having patience when it comes to seeing results

Is there a difference between content marketing and content strategy?

Yes. There is. Content strategy is a combination of tools and ideas that actually make content marketing work. Content marketing obviously involves the actual writing of content and its distribution on the world wide web, but it is content strategy that tells you which way you should go: left or right. It’s only by using an appropriate content strategy that you find out about what sort of audience is waiting for your products. Once they’re launched, it’s also content strategy the one that tells you which channels you’re supposed to use in order to make contact with potential buyers. But content strategy is clearly and undeniably linked with content and with content marketing.

There is no strategy of content if there isn’t any content.

To sum up, we’ll tell you content strategy is probably the safest way to make a startup actually work. We’ll further enlarge upon the topic in a series of future articles that can be used as references.

Download our e-book on Content Strategy