An article on content strategy for SEO and (more importantly) your customer

SEO tactics and techniques are ever changing, but the base foundation is the creation of great content that your market likes or wants. Here are some of my thoughts on a basic content strategy that you could use.

The key to a content strategy is to create original content that helps your target market achieve something. 

The aim of a content strategy is not to immediately make a sale, but to add value to the communities that occupies your market so that when they need, or want, to purchase a product or service that you and your competitors provide, the relationship you have built based on the value you have added put you in the fore front of the buyers mind.

So how practically is this achieved?

There are several stages to this process:

1. Planning

2. Content Creation

3. Broadcast

4. Community discussion

Planning

The first step to to plan what content you are going to create and any action that you want to occur.

The best way to plan what content you are going to create is to find out what questions your market has. This may relate to your products, or it may relate to problems in your market.

Example 1:

Turbo Table Tennis a company that sells table tennis racket handle tape, identifies that table tennis players may have issues keeping their ping pong balls bouncy, so they write an article on keeping ping pong balls bouncy by soaking them in vinegar and storing them in the fridge.

Although this does not directly relate to tennis racket handle tape, it does add value to the table tennis community, increase your company’s profile and also something that table players would share with their friends.

Example 2:

Turbo Table Tennis then creates a video that shows table tennis players how to effectively use their tennis racket handle tape to re wrap a damaged handle of a table tennis racket.

Even though this video features Turbo Table Tennis’ product, it is a useful  non ‘salesy’ video that is informative and useful to table tennis players, and something that they would share with their friends.

Some of the places you can find out what questions your community have are:

Questions your current customers ask you

Questions potential customers have

Questions on industry forums

Questions from blog posts

The second part of the planning stage to to plan what action you want to occur, some examples are shown in this table:

It is also important to consider creating a content schedule so that you know when you you are going to release content for maximum effect and exposure. If you are super efficient you can plan to create a large ‘batch’ of content and then release it as you wish. Large gathering of company staff are good  opportunities to achieve this.

Content Creation

There are many ways and formats to create content in. Deciding which to use depends on many things including your budget, time scales and most importantly how your market and community prefers to consume content.

Here is a list of examples of content formats:

Video

Articles

Blog post

Forum posts

Audio recording

Presentation

Ebook

Tweet

CD

Poster

Info-graphic

Tools such as an Ipod Touch, the iMovies App, MS Word, PowerPoint, Keynote, Pages,

Screen Flow, Audio Boo make content creation cost effective and quick.

Content can also be syndicated to increase exposure, here is an example of the process you could use:

1. Video a member of your technical staff explaining the solution to a technical issue

experienced by members of your market.

2. Transcribe the video content

3. Strip the audio from the video

4. Turn the transcription of the video into an article

5. Turn the article into a pdf ebook

So from one video you can create 5 original pieces of content, for you to post as you please, this also provides to you reach out to members of your community that like to consume content in different formats.

Broadcast

Now the content has been create and you have planned when you are going to release it, you need to tell the community. Again, there are many ways to do this, and you will be more familiar with the best way to reach your community, but here are some ideas:

Email list

Twitter

Facebook

Linkedin

Youtube

Phone calls

Paid Ads (eg Adwords, Facebook Ads, Banner Ads)

Newsletter

RSS feeds

Seesmic/Hootsuite/Posterous type tools to post to multiple social media accounts.

Remember, it is important to link back to the specific content where you want the user to visit (see the second art of the planning stage above). Think of the process similar to that of a sales funnel, with the ‘sale’ being replaced with the consumption (and possibly sharing) of the content.

Community Discussion

The creation and consumption of your content is not the end, it is in fact a platform that represents the start of a conversation with your community. Even better is that your

content can be a platform/place for the community to discuss your content.

Conclusion

If content is King, then context in the Queen” quote by Gary Vaynerchuck

The key to a content strategy succeed is the quality of the content and the relevance of it to your target market. If you get these two thing right, then it should spread.

If you create content that is of high value and relevant to your market consistently then you should build credibility and exposure n your market.

Please leave any thoughts you may have in the comments below.

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