Content Marketing: what are the keys to a successful content strategy?
The critical success factor is the quality of the content offered.
Even if the expression is often used wrongly and through and can seem necessary, for me, this expression has its full meaning: to produce quality content is to offer your target audiences content that corresponds to their centres of ‘interest.
How to build a good content strategy?
The critical success factor is the quality of the content offered. Even if the expression is often used wrongly and through and can seem necessary, for me, this expression has its full meaning: to produce quality content is to offer your target audiences content that corresponds to their centres of ‘interest.
We speak of “content marketing”, whereas, in the past, we linked the web reaction and content to communication.
What is the ideal length for quality content?
It all depends on what you mean. News articles are more of a short format, suitable for a “News” section on a website. These news briefs will be at most one sheet (1,500 characters) and will have an informative dimension.
On the contrary, with a longer format, we give ourselves the means to enrich a subject that interests your target audiences. This is the case with files or “focus on” which will deal with an issue in more depth, with for example a summary, an interview, a zoom on a particular angle of the subject.
Short contents are informative, linked to current events; they are called “hot contents”. Great content is more focused on thinking about a given subject; they are called “cold content”.
At the time of referencing, we know that it is better to favour the content of a certain length (ideally more than 3000 signs, at least 600 words) to be considered worthy of interest by search engines. Pages with too short content will be regarded as “low quality”, these too short pages will have little chance of boosting your SEO.
Worse, they can penalize you if you have too many “low quality” pages on your site (typically, pages with 2 or 3 lines of text – logical, a search engine does not want to lead Internet users to this kind of page).
What types of content should you bet on?
Any good content strategy must combine hot and cold, long and short content. Just as any good content strategy must necessarily vary the types of content: text indeed, but also image and a fortiori video, which Internet users are increasingly keen on.
The graphics, zines, web series, comic stories, storytelling are also useful tools to illustrate a process or make a point. Internet users appreciate the wealth of content offered.
This multimedia richness accentuates the loyalty rate. As for the search engines, if they are not capable of indexing the contents of the videos, they are quite capable of indexing the contextual information (around the videos: its title, its summary, its author).
Youtube being the 2nd search engine, it is challenging to build a content strategy without going through the creation of a video channel on Youtube or Vimeo.
How much content should I publish?
There is no golden rule. But regularity is appreciated. Now you also have to be pragmatic: producing content daily is very time-consuming.
It is better to publish one piece of information per week and treat it (an article, a video, a slide show, etc.) rather than trying to produce mediocre content every day. You have to bet on quality more than quantity!
How to organize to produce this content?
To have a certain regularity, you need a good dose of organization: planning an editorial program helps to plan future content.
- The role of the editor-in-chief or the director of publication is also to distribute the tasks between the various editors, videographers, graphic designers, whether internal or external.
- You can call on an external provider specializing in digital content.
- Generally, an agency will be used for large projects, a freelance for small projects.
Does the content have to be shared?
This is the new golden rule for digital content in 2014! All content must:
- be written taking into account the provisions of web writing, to be read
- be optimized for SEO, to be visible on engines
- be of interest to be shared on social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
In other words, you have to brainstorm to invent, renew, create ever more original, exciting, creative and qualitative content. More than ever, content is the master of the digital game!
The difference between publishing content and having a Content Marketing strategy
Creating content and having a Content Marketing strategy are two completely different things! Publishing articles on a blog is good, but not enough to fulfil objectives. Content marketing goes much further than just writing; it is a set of techniques intended to create, optimize, distribute and analyze content.
Head for the four main differences between creating content and implementing a Content Marketing strategy!
Content is a means, not an end
For starters, content is the backbone that supports your Content Marketing strategy. But without the ribs, muscles and epidermis, it is just a lifeless body.
Good to know
Your articles, infographics, videos or ebooks are instruments and not a result. Their mere publication on your blog does not constitute a strategy and will not make you fulfil your objectives.
Content Marketing has a goal
Content Marketing serves one or more specific purposes. You will answer that an article or a white paper must also have a goal, but we are talking about leveraging an entire axis of your business.
Depending on your years of experience, the size of the company and the services offered, the content strategy can:
- Increase your notoriety
- (R) establish your e-reputation
- Increase your business performance
- Position your site in the first pages of Google
A single article cannot fulfil one or more of its objectives. A much broader strategy is needed to achieve the primary goal. In other words: small streams make big rivers!
Content Marketing uses several levers to promote content
We said it: publishing content is not enough. You have to distribute it in the right place, at the right time and know-how to promote it to a qualified target. This is Content Marketing!
In addition to creating an editorial line in line with the expectations of your prospects and your customers, it is necessary to analyze the places of diffusion and the promotion channels.
This involves the choice of social networks adapted to your target, but also by the broadcast schedules. An article will not have the same impact at 2 p.m. on Twitter, as on Facebook, Linkedin or Pinterest, for example.
It is, therefore, essential to look beyond web writing to establish more extensive digital communication. Promoting your articles also involves creating an emailing strategy, using social media advertising networks and Adwords campaigns.
Content Marketing is strategic; content is practical
Finally, you will have understood that having a Content Marketing strategy means having an overall vision of the publication and dissemination of content. It allows your articles, infographics and white papers to work in synergy, as well as to opt for call-to-action which must, ultimately, will enable you to reach an important objective.
Content works together and brings water to your content marketing mill.
How to audit your editorial strategy?
It is now a few weeks since you set up your Content Marketing and you assiduously publish articles on your blog. You take care to share them on social networks to increase their impact. It is, therefore, time to assess whether your editorial strategy is bearing fruit and whether your content helps you achieve your objectives.
This evaluation will allow you to detect good practices, as well as areas for improvement to refine your copywriting and optimize your Content Marketing!
Measure your blog’s audience curve
Connect your blog to a tool like Google Analytics to assess the number of visitors since the creation of your editorial strategy. Usually, you should visualize an increasing curve, with peaks on the day of publication of articles.
Compare this graph to your editorial calendar and check for consistency. If there are days with fewer visitors, even though you have posted a post, write down the title and subject of your article.
Conversely also note the articles that propelled your audience. You can also analyze them to identify subjects that seem to interest your target more or see if it is a type of title that comes up regularly (how to do it, X tips, X errors, why).
Check incoming requests
Also, in Google Analytics, you should check the keywords by which visitors arrive on your site. If your blog is about tourism and travel, while incoming requests are about food and clothing, there is any inconsistency between your SEO strategy and your SEO.
It will be necessary to review your content to integrate the keywords related to your activity in relevant places such as titles and subtitles.
Create a ranking of the most read articles
Thanks to the first step, where you analyze the visit tips, you will already see a trend in the favourite pieces of your readers. However, I also take care to check the most read articles. As you did previously, list them with the days of publication.
Find their commonalities:
- Are they long or short?
- Illustrated or not?
- Do they have a professional or offbeat tone?
- What is their type of title?
Analyze the most shared content on social networks
Finally, your editorial strategy must also work on social networks.
Using a tool like SharedCount, for example, enter the URLs of your articles and analyze the number of shares on social networks. Again, you will be able to identify trends on the favourite content of your different communities on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest or Linkedin.
The results that you will obtain following the audit of your editorial strategy will help you to review your publication schedule.
You will be able to find the topics that interest your readers and make the most of them. In the end, you will attract more and more qualified traffic to your website, and you will increase your chances of conversion.