There is a tendency for smaller companies to commission smart new websites with all the whistles and bells, and start firing off posts on social media, completely missing a vital first step – a content strategy.
Surely the design and functionality of the website come first, right? What you are saying online can then evolve over time? Hmm…not true. It is all so enmeshed together, that it needs careful planning in advance. Your content strategy needs to inform every aspect of the website design, including how your branding translates into an ongoing marketing campaign.
What is a content strategy?
In a nutshell, you need to work out exactly who you are talking to, and how best to get their attention. What words and phrases do they respond to? What motivates them and influences their buying decisions. You also need a clear picture of the benefits and advantages of your service or product. These are sometimes referred to as “Unique Selling Propositions” or USPs. But each one doesn’t have to be a truly “unique” feature. It is the combination of “what you stand for” that can attract business.
Armed with this intel, you can create a content strategy – a plan for what you are going to say, to whom, through what medium, over what period of time.
In terms of your website, it will inform and underpin a lot of its built-in features and functions. Your content needs to be managed by your website – marketing text can be published, edited, potentially republished, and potentially repurposed, all from the platform of a well-designed website. And of course, data protection compliance needs to be built in, and the content needs to be archived at the right times.
Example of a content managed website
Let’s use an illustration to show how this works. Your content strategy is that to start with you will push the name of your new coffee shop and its branding in the months surrounding the website launch.
So, you create a blog positioning how new and innovative it is. This is linked to a series of supportive social media posts, drawing attention to your blog and website. Plus emails to local influencers and possibly flyers to local businesses. The next stage in your content strategy may be to follow up with a blog post introducing the team at your coffee shop.
You also email your customer database; incorporating qualified leads generated by your website – to invite them in store to meet the staff. And you plan to post on social media lots of personal tidbits and photos.
Next step in your plan could be to highlight the products you serve and get more newsletter subscriptions. So the website starts featuring an introduction or exit pop up, with a special offer and an invitation to subscribe. Your social media supports this.
Structured, sustained and measurably effective
Hopefully, by now, you get the picture. Having a great-looking website is only part of the story. It needs to be informed by your content strategy and it needs to be designed to action your content plan. You need to be sure that your website will aggressively position and promote your brand, drawing traffic, retaining browsers and converting them into qualified leads. It also needs to gain SEO strength organically.
For all of this, content is pivotal. If you want to work with a team that wants your website to be the best it can be, contact us today.
Content is king – but we know how to make it your new best friend.