A content strategy is one of the most primal steps to creating a successful website, blog, or online presence. It is the essence of your business and provides potential clients and customers a valuable insight into what you are trying to sell. When your content strategy is flawed, you run the risk of losing these prospective clients.
The thing about content is that it sounds so simple that no one takes it seriously, at least not a new business owner. Content always occupies the last spot on their things to do list. This approach can be detrimental for a startup and this is where content strategy comes into the picture.
Content here doesn’t only include the text you put on your website, it includes every single type of content you use to promote your business, like white papers, articles, newsletters, and even images.
Use this five step guide to fine tune your content strategy:
Is it user centered?
This is the most important question you need to ask. Content is all about engaging and selling to the user. If your content isn’t user centric, then the chances of selling your product to your target audience are bleak.
How do you determine if your content is user centered? Here is a list you can use to fix this problem:
• Start by asking yourself what you’d want to know about your product to make an informed buying decision. Does your content provide this information? If not, write down the product’s unique selling points as a list. Include things like free shipping, discounts, advantages etc.
• When selling a product, tell customers what the product can do for them and how they can use it, instead of providing them with product specifics. Don’t forget product specifics entirely though, include them towards the end of the product description.
• List every bit of information that customers will find useful, such as brand, model, sizes, and quantities. Remember, it’s the smallest things that matter.
Does it provide enough information about your products and services?
One mistake that most business owners make is not providing detailed information about the product or service they’re trying to sell. It’s easy to become fixated with things like keywords and search engine optimization for a better ranking, but your content should not have to pay the price for it.
When writing any kind of content, provide details about the product or service you’re promoting. This doesn’t mean you should drone on and on about the product, but well written, concise, and appealing content is what you need.
Is it crisp, clear, and concise?
Did you know that you only have a few seconds to convert users into customers after they land on your page? And, what is the first thing they see when they land – that’s right, it’s the content! This is applicable to all forms of content.
Ideally, a product description should have no more than 200 words, while an article should be between 400 and 500 words. Online users lose interest if the content is any longer than this, so you need to ensure that any kind of content used for your business must follow these word lengths. The trick is to pack information into concise sentences. Follow the Yahoo! Style Guide to know more about this.
Are you using correct grammar and sentence structure?
Nothing turns off a savvy user faster than incorrect grammar. You’ve spent hard work in creating a business plan, setting up a website, and marketing it, now you must ensure that all the content used on your website and elsewhere is written properly.
Poorly written content is penalized by search engines, and may even be marked as spam by some search engine marketing platforms. Spend time in proof reading content to make sure it resonates with your audience.
Is it shareable?
The concept of shareable content came into existence through social media. Because the online user is mildly obsessed with sharing content on social networks, take an extra step to provide shareable content. Shareable content can be in the form of images, videos, infographics, and even articles.
While it’s important to constantly revise your content strategy based on these five questions, all you need to do is create great content. Everything else will follow later.
Image courtesy of photXpress.com