For a moment, view your website without the words, images, videos, audio, built-in apps, or even the raw data! How does it look and feel now? Empty, inanimate, useless and worthless! Well, that sums up the value of web content. That said, you can’t fill your website with just anything. The content you place and distribute across the World Wide Web must have a purpose, which can be brand building, driving online sales, simply providing information to visitors, or a combination of all of these. When content falls short of these goals, it’s just noise. So what separates meaningful, relevant, goal-oriented content from the noise? The answer is: a strategic content plan.
“What is the Content Plan? Do I have one for my website?”
The question is obvious, unless you are an online marketer who spends hours mapping digital marketing campaigns. In a nutshell, the Content Plan is a blueprint for what content you publish online, when, on what platform, for whom, and for what purpose. The other experts may add to the definition to broaden its scope, but the gist is extracted in this sentence. Now addressing the last part of your question, “Do I have one for my website?”; Well, if you have a documented plan for the content you post online, your answer is yes. Otherwise, you are still in need of one.
“Okay! I don’t have a content plan, and I don’t think I need one either.”
That’s a common perception, and there’s nothing wrong if you feel the same way. However, please answer these questions to see if there is a change in position regarding your Content Plan claim.
- Are you happy with the cost per visitor you extract from your website?
- Do you remember who published the last web page/blog post on your website?
- Is the number of “Likes” and “Comments” on your Facebook page skyrocketing?
- Do you plan and discuss online content on par with other marketing content?
the 4 in a rowDo not‘ or even 3 of them, is a revelation: a content plan is required.
“Alright! Suggest me a content plan then!”
To get a content plan that exactly suits your business requirements, you can seek the help of expert web content development professionals. In case you want to do it yourself, here’s a rundown of the entire content planning process.
“How do I start?”
For a new website, start content planning when you’re done with user research. In case you already have a website with no content strategy, the process can be broken down into the following general stages.
- network research
It’s about identifying the networks and online communities where brands like you are being discussed so you can listen to the traffic and develop suitable content.
- User research
What do users want? The best way is to ask them. Conducting informal research and getting friends and acquaintances to answer survey questions can be a good form of user research if you’re on your own.
- Content profiling
What type of content is a hit with users of a particular platform, network, or online community? Content profiling involves analyzing available content from similar brands to develop compelling content in the form of text, images, audio, videos, apps, and the like.
- content scheduling
An integrated content calendar is a must for a successful digital marketing campaign. It involves scheduling content releases across various platforms. Articles, blogs, tweets, Facebook status updates, and all other types of content are planned in advance and adapted with trends and seasonality in mind.
- Content Generation and Sourcing
This is the most demanding part and involves the combined efforts of content strategists, editors, writers, data analysts, and user behavior specialists. You can order specialized content such as video, infographics, mobile applications, etc. and serve users with valuable and relevant material. Linking to third-party content and directing visitors to useful content is another smart way to use the best content available on the topic.
The greatest content, if not distributed, at the right time in the right space, will rot and eventually lose value to the user. Search engine optimization, social media optimization, syndication, paid search, and content association techniques all play a determining role in how content circulates on exploitable channels.
- Audit and Measurement
You must audit and measure the results of your content marketing efforts. It provides a detailed view of how target users are being influenced and how positive they are about the content, which will eventually drive any required modifications.
Hopefully, all of these content plan details will guide you in an effective content strategy and help make your website bigger and better.