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How to develop an effective online content strategy?

How the creation of online content enables communication with the customers and helps your business grow.

The 21st century is the age of technology. Knowing how to create an effective content marketing strategy and how to communicate with your existing and prospective customers can make all the difference. According to multiple reports, almost 70 percent of businesses nowadays invest in some form of content marketing. The competition is fierce, but if you put a comprehensive content marketing plan in place and persistently follow it, you will be able to tell your story and get ahead.

What exactly is a content strategy?

Content strategy is a part of your overall marketing plan that shows your online audience who you are, what your business brings to the industry, and what type of expertise you have. When you have a comprehensive content strategy, you tell your story by creating and managing your online content (for example, visual or written) on different media platforms. Content creation and distribution are an integral part of growing your business, and it needs to be well-planned.

There are several things you should take into consideration when creating your content strategy.

Who do you think is the target audience for your online content?

A business may offer products or services that are aimed at more than one type of customer; therefore, your content strategy may seek to attract more than one kind of viewer or reader.

Once you have determined exactly which audiences you wish to target, it is recommended you deliver your content to those audiences using several different channels. Allowing you to engage your target audience increases brand awareness and customer loyalty.

For example, if your messaging and content is targeting teenagers or young adults, it is recommended to create your content and distribute it on the platforms that are frequently used by people who belong to those age demographics (such as TiK ToK or Instagram).

What is the main message you should communicate to your audience?

First and foremost, you should show your audience what sets you apart from your competitor. Today the market is saturated with many different types of products and services, so you have to demonstrate the expertise and quality that makes your brand unique.

What is your format choice?

Another critical thing to consider when creating an online content strategy is the format in which your content is delivered to your audience. Are you going to create blog posts, YouTube videos, Instagram posts, or some other popular type of content?

The creation of each of these varies in expense. For example, writing and publishing a blog post can be relatively cost-effective, whereas creating a viral YouTube video can get quite pricey. On the other hand, it may have a better chance of reaching a wider audience.

Content creation and publication requires constant management. How will you do it?

An essential part of your content strategy is knowing the person (or the team) responsible for creating your online content. Knowing which platforms to publish the content, and when it is going to be uploaded online is also critical.

If you create a content calendar, you will be able to visualize your company’s message, and over time, with persistence, you will be able to become a leader in your field. Trying to keep an eye on this process on your own can be somewhat overwhelming, so it is wise to get help from experienced PR professionals, such as IXG PR.

Creating a comprehensive online content strategy.

Before you start creating your content strategy, you need to ask yourself several questions, such as: What is my long-term goal? Why am I creating a content marketing plan?

If you have a clear idea of your long-term goal, you will have a much easier time deciding what should and should not be included in your strategy.

You should also conduct market research to determine who exactly will be consuming your content. Who is your target audience? This is especially essential for those businesses that are new to online content creation. If you know exactly who your target audience is, you can create more valuable, interesting, relevant content, and communicate with your audience more effectively.

If you are involved in online content creation, you might want to expand your current target audience. This makes it essential to conduct market research and analysis annually to decide which audience you want to target next.

Venturing into new platforms and creating new types of content may help you communicate with new audiences better and expand your current clientele.

For example, if you have been creating written blog posts, consider including visual content, or write an eBook using information from your blog posts and combine them into one ultimate guidebook.

If you have been operating a business for a while, it is recommended to run a content audit every year to review your content marketing strategies and make adjustments, if necessary. Think about what could be executed differently to achieve better results; what you can do to reach new audiences in the future, and set new objectives.

The creation of online content will directly impact your company’s reputation. It is highly recommended to delegate the creation of a comprehensive content marketing strategy to a PR professional or even a team of professionals.

Creating and managing your online content.

After you have figured out what your content strategy is and who your target audience is, it is time to start brainstorming ideas and start creating content. Follow your content calendar. It will help you stay on track and maintain a constant communication channel between your brand and your customers.

Whatever gets uploaded online, stays online.

Your content will remain visible for several months or even years after you have uploaded them. Be sure to keep your content relevant to current events, if possible. This content may not account for the bulk of your content but would help generate spikes of organic traffic to your website.

Incorporate significant milestones and holidays into your online content strategies, such as Thanksgiving or New Year’s. Creating and publishing content about relevant news stories will increase the engagement of your audience and build trust in your brand.

Some popular types of content marketing.

You can incorporate as many of these marketing approaches into your online content strategy and use them to communicate with your different target audiences.

Create blog posts.

Blog posts are written articles that are uploaded to your website. They should be updated regularly to attract new organic traffic to your site. A good blog post provides information to its audience that is shared across different social media platforms.

Your audience’s needs determine the exact size of a blog post, but usually, they range between 1000 and 2000 words in length. You should experiment with blog posts of different lengths to determine which one generates a better response from your target audience. For example, if you are running an educational blog your audience might be interested in an in-depth analysis of a certain topic. In this case, a longer blog post might serve you better.

Tell your audience about case studies.

By publishing a particular case study, you will have the opportunity to tell your audience about a customer who succeeded by collaborating with you. Case studies can take different forms and can be presented to your audience in the form of a blog post, podcast, eBook, etc. Case studies show your audience that working with you brings positive results. They demonstrate your competency, knowledge, and expertise.

Infographics.

Sometimes presenting information with words alone is not enough, and you should provide a visual aid to make your message as clear as possible. This is where infographics can be extremely handy. They will help your customers visualize the data, which will make it easier to comprehend.

Create viral videos to engage your audience.

Video is one of the most popular types of online content nowadays. By creating videos, you communicate with wider audiences and make your content available on various platforms. Videos are 40 times more likely to be shared on multiple social media platforms than any other type of content, so it is a type of communication that is recommended if possible. However, videos do require a significantly bigger investment of resources and a larger investment than written content.

Communicating with your audience via podcast.

Certain audiences do not have the time or interest in reading new content on a daily basis. In order to communicate with these audiences and help them get to know your brand, you may want to consider podcasts. According to a recent study, nearly 30 percent of the entire US population said they listened to at least one podcast in the past few months. Broadcasting on relevant contemporary topics and interviewing interesting people can attract a larger audience to your podcast and your brand.

Posting content on social media.

If you have a website and publish your content there (or even if you have just set it up), it is time to look into social media. Social media platforms are in abundance (e.g., Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, YouTube, LinkedIn, etc.). If you decide to start a business account on social media, we recommend posting the content your followers expect to see on these platforms.

For example, people expect to see relevant photos or short videos on Instagram. The main goal of an Instagram account is to communicate with your existing followers and acquire new ones. On the other hand, you could create a Twitter account that may be beneficial for the expansion of your client base. Before you decide which platform to post on, research your target audience’s preferred and most visited social media platforms.

Examples of successful content marketing.

Below are several cases demonstrating effective content marketing:

McDonald’s

The Canadian branch of McDonald’s decided to answer around 10,000 of its customer’s questions. The company chose to share its customers’ information about their brand, and this transparency was popular with the customers. This strategy helped McDonald’s to illustrate their brand as trustworthy while engaging positively with their customers.

GoPro’s visual content

GoPro knows the power of visual content. By producing high-quality visual content, they grew their YouTube subscribers to approximately 3.5 million and their Twitter followers to almost 7 million. By focusing their content on their target audience, this was achieved. GoPro knew what attracted its customers and precisely provided the material desired.

Interesting content that attracts the target audience to their brand prompted followers to share it on their social media pages, giving GoPro the opportunity to reach a larger audience.

Visual content marketing is increasingly powerful in PR and learning how to do it effectively will benefit your brand.

Microsoft stories

Microsoft engages its audience with uplifting stories the company publishes on their appropriately named blog, “Stories.” Audiences tend to love a positive story, so working them into your PR strategy may help grow your existing audience.

Choosing what strategy works best for your brand is essential for brand evolution. Creating your strategy, together with an experienced PR advisor, helps to maximize your chances of success.

IXG PR will develop your content strategy and help you create content. For more information, visit our website.