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Six simple principles on Content Strategy

What’s front of mind for content strategists right now? I’m not claiming that this is a comprehensive list, far from it. But for me it reflects some of the most important issues on the table today. Here goes, and by all means add your suggestions in the comments at the end.

  1. How to write: Yes, there’s more to content than copy. Video currently grabs the engagement headlines, photos and banners will all drive up shares, clicks and likes. But pretty much every ‘unit’ of content will need a headline to seize attention. You’ll need to be witty, smart and suggestive in 100 characters or fewer – without confounding the landing page journey or your SEO strategy. See below.

  2. How to measure: You’re going to need a crash course in Google Analytics if you want to measure the full impact of your content strategy on a website. Twitter and LinkedIn analytics are mandatory, Facebook Insights no question. From then on, take your pick. I’m a big fan of TweetReach, and Audiense to understand and respond to audience engagement.

  3. How to influence: The bar for digital content is higher than ever. However insightful the blog, however original the video, if you can’t connect with the influencers in your industry, your content will make small ripples instead of an enormous splash. Are you using social media to identify thought leaders and connect with them? Do you know how to work your way into an influencer conversation (hint, it’s all about listening and joining the discussion when you’ve got something genuinely meaningful to contribute).

  4. SEO: Does your content strategy embrace the priorities of your webmaster? Don’t make the mistake of turning the SEO-Content debate into a zero-sum game. Google, for all the impenetrability of its search engine algorithms, values good content from compelling copy and smart headlines to high-quality images and video. Find your resident SEO specialist, grab a couple of coffees and brainstorm strategies that propel your pages to the top of the search results page.

  5. Landing page journeys: Nothing’s worse than a disconnected experience for your audience. Every stage of the content journey needs to connect. From the social media post, to the hashtag, to the landing page headline, to the white paper or the event registration, make sure that you set clear expectations. Above all, avoid promising an experience that you can never deliver. Otherwise known, of course, as click-bait.

  6. Get your employees on board: Who in the company is a social media expert? Who blogs on a regular basis? Who’s using Twitter – as well as LinkedIn – to promote their professional profile? For most employees there’s a lot to be gained by joining a social media/content advocacy program while the business benefits from the authentic voice of the individual. More to the point, who are the experts in your business who should be influencing the conversation but aren’t online? Help them to blog, get them active on LinkedIn and support them in the pursuit of the first 500 followers on Twitter.

As before this isn’t meant to be a comprehensive list, just what’s on my mind right now. Tell me how you approach SEO, landing pages and employee advocacy, or just add what you think is missing in the comments below.


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