How to Craft the Ultimate Content Strategy

content-marketing-strategy

 

So we were struggling with our content strategy. We are a small bootstrapped startup and our product totally rocked, but the problem was we didn’t have enough content on our site.

Why is content important?

Search engines use content to rank your site. That means the more content you have, and the more keywords you target – the better your rank is. The better your rank is the more you show up in search results which means more visitors = more customers = more $$$.

So how do you get there? How do you even start?

I interviewed J.P Medved, the content director at Capterra, to find out the answers.

Now, I hate long and convoluted strategies so I’m going to keep this super short.

The top 3 things you need to create the ultimate content strategy are: hire the right team, zero in on the right type of content, and optimize your content posting schedule.

 

1. Hire the right content team

SEO is a huge part of any content strategy, and SEO used to be super easy. You pick a topic, throw some keywords on the page, and click publish. If your keywords were good then your page would rank and show up in search results. That strategy doesn’t work today at all.

Nowadays it’s important that your content is relevant to your reader. That’s why hiring someone with just good English, or good writing skills is not enough.

That means:


Content writer that writes well = no bueno

Good content writer = good writing + SEO knowledge (relevant topics + keywords)

 

What’s better, in-house or remote?

I discussed this with J.P and he says that of course, the best team to have is an in-house team. This way you can hire people that you see every day, you train them, and you can see them grow. A remote team is a little more difficult to train but you can find people with good writing skills and SEO experience.

Good places to find freelancers: Guru, Freelancer, Contentmart.

 

2. Zero in on the right types of content

 

The most important thing to keep in mind when you’re creating new content is who your audience is. Your audience has to be super specific for your content to be relevant.

 

For example:

eClincher is a social media management tool and we write for 3 distinct audiences:

  • social media managers
  • small business owners
  • medium to large marketing agencies

 

All of these people are potential customers and some of them have influencers or people/blogs that they read regularly. We need to create content that is geared towards those influencers, so they could become aware of our brand and eventually tell their followers (our potential customers) about us.

 

So what types of content do we create?

 

Short articles (600-800) – keep them short and to the point. These need to be relevant and use keyword targeting.

Long articles (1000-3000) – in-depth pieces that people can refer to, quote, share. This is evergreen content meaning that it stays relevant for a long time and you can update and re-post it every year. For example, Neil Patel’s Beginner’s Guide to Online Marketing has been ranked as #1 on Google since 2012 and it’s about 20,000 words long. The more comprehensive your long article or guide is the more likely that people share it.

Infographics – make these interesting, base them on cool statistics and research and people will share those everywhere. Like the long articles, the more comprehensive these guys are the better.

Videos – videos are always good for your brand. It’s a chance to show your face and connect with those people that would rather watch a video than read your article. It’s also a great way to start your own online course. Moz combined their whiteboard Friday videos into a Udemy course.

This is an excerpt from J.P’s strategy:

Types of Content

  1. Long form (1,000-3,000 word) in-depth pieces that act as Evergreen guides/extremely insightful articles that make people think differently about something (perhaps drawing on proprietary numbers) which people will bookmark to return to and share with everyone they can.  Not necessarily software/tech focused, so long as it is focused on the types of problems our audience has and needs solutions to. Each will include lists, images (pictures, graphs, infographics) and, where possible, video (created by us or embedded from somewhere else)
  2. Graphics etc. based on proprietary numbers/studies (e.g. comparison matrix of LMS vendors based on datasheet data, etc.)
  3. Videos, generally guides and helpful tips, not promotion
  4. Potentially timelier/shorter pieces by Katie Hollar to fill a timeliness niche

3. Optimize your content posting schedule

 

The more consistent you are with publishing your content the better your rankings will be. That’s true across any platform – web or social.

 

How did J.P get from 4k to 140k monthly visitors? This is what he did:

He had a team of 3 people that wrote content regularly. The idea was to write 8 pieces each week, some short and some long. Some of those would be guest pieces written by experts – super helpful if someone goes on a vacation. But the consistency is super important. It’s 8 per week, no more no less.

 

So I asked him: what about guest posting on other blogs? How much of that were you doing?

He told me that it’s like the 80-20 rule. 80% of the content is for your own blog, and 20% of it is written for guest posts on other sites.

Content production:

  • 16 posts per month from J.P. and Leah
  • 5-8 small internal posts per month (from Marketing and MAs)
  • 1 post per month per blog (8 total) from vendors and other external writers/experts

That’s about it.

 

So remember – hire the right content team, plan the right type of content, and publish it consistently.

That’s it, folks! Hope you enjoyed the tutorial, let me know what you think in the comments below!

 

Cheers =)