If there is one constant in internet marketing, it is content. A content strategy is all about delivering information to your customers in every place they are likely to look for it, placing them at the centre of everything that you do.
Like many other forms of internet marketing, content strategy must change and evolve each year to keep up with the growing demands of consumers and the ways in which they use the internet to find what they want.
Each year analysts give their own take on what techniques and practices a content strategy should embrace in order to be successful;
What’s Your Content Strategy?
It’s all about mobile
In previous years, content strategists have been keen to talk about mobile content as the future – the mobile is the here and now. You can’t escape the dominance of smartphones and tablets, and how many people are using these devices as their primary web-browsing source.
According to recent report from Strategy Analytics, the number of smartphones in use around the world in the third quarter of 2012 topped 1 billion; by 2015 it is predicted that number will have doubled. Add this number to the current craze of iPads, Amazon Kindle Fire’s and numerous other Android tablets on the market and it is clear that this generation of internet users is lessening its reliance on traditional PCs.
Producing content for desktop as well as mobile will mean making your content adaptive. Remember that some content will not work as effectively on mobile, particularly in the case of Flash video, but also with data visuals and some interactive content.
A picture can say a thousand words
I am not saying that pictures are going to replace good old text, but content has many faces. There has been a steady rise in the number of people using photo and picture content over the past year, with Instagram, Flickr, and Pinterest leading the way, and we can expect to see the trend continuing this year. Pictures are great way to display content and can add an extra dimension to your content strategy.
Using pictures is also a great way to share content across social media, with users readily attracted to visuals. Photos/Video are by far and away the best performing post type on Facebook pages as they command more real estate in comparison to text, especially on mobile where a single photo can take up the entire screen.
Good photos also tend to receive more likes and shares, which can help get your content seen far and wide.
Guest posting is one of the top link building trends for 2013 and should be an integral part of any content strategy. Guest posting is a powerful way of building relationships that can help you enhance the value of your brand, develop new business opportunities, and form connections with like-minded professionals; however, it must be used correctly. If your intention for guest posting is purely to generate link juice, you may find yourself falling into the trap of creating low quality content in high volume.
Sadly, there is a lot of rubbish guest post content out there and this benefits no one – least of all those producing it. Guest posting is all about producing high-quality content on blogs that are relevant to your business. Use guest posting to help establish yourself as an expert in you field; becoming known as an authority will help gain respect with your target audience and enhance your changes of communicating and interacting with others.
Your content probably spans many different channels and social media types, and using these various avenues to recycle your content should be a big part of your web strategy.
Recycling basically means taking the same content and repackaging it as something different; for instance, if you have written an eBook, you could take it and publish the content as five or six blog posts, record a video talking about the contents of the eBook, create an infographic, and made a slideshow presentation for a webinar.
The more channels you have in which to share the content, the further you can stretch it out.
Sharing little by little
If you have a large amount of content ready to share, consider giving your audience a little bit at a time. Sharing in bite-size chunks will make your content last longer and it will keep visitors coming back for the next instalment – similar to how you tune in to your favourite TV show every week to see what’s going to happen next.
If you’re incorporating this method of sharing into your content strategy, it is essential that you have built-in social sharing widgets – this will help your content spread across the web.
If there is one thing that top content marketing brands do well, it is maintaining a consistent schedule. Internet users are used to being spoiled by content and expect to see new posts on a daily basis. Aside from always producing quality content, you have to keep it coming in a steady stream. If this is something you cannot do on your own, consider outsourcing articles and blog posts to a content creation company. It is recommended that you make plans for new content about a month in advance.
Using the methods featured here should help your content strategy thrive; but remember: content is no longer just about text – it is about imagery, presentations, social ads, and videos. Embrace content in all its forms and use it to your advantage to create a strategy that really enhances your presence online.