Part One: Content Strategy
Learn the difference between a strategy and a plan, what your strategy can do for your users and business objectives, and how to create a comprehensive content strategy for small to medium-sized businesses.
2018 is going to be the year of the Content Cataclysm.
We are all about to be inundated with content marketing crap.
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You can dilute the deluge by creating
exceptional content that distinguishes your
brand from others.
Our goal is to help you build the content marketing skills that
your small business needs to produce superior content.
Content that is purposeful, fills a need, communicates with
ease, improves upon interactions and experiences and
saves the internet.
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Well, that was easy.
The Content Strategy is the management, and data backed by research.
It documents WHAT you want to do.
The Content Marketing Plan is the execution of the strategy.
It allows you to achieve your goals, and identifies HOW you will do it.
Why go through so much work to build a blog and have social
media content? It seems like overkill and just adds more noise.
Content motivates audience behavior through engagement. It is a critical asset
that inspires marketing, design and customer interaction.
Content marketing will grow exponentially. Taking the time to earn the
customers’ trust through understanding what they want in content will pay off in
the long term, and put you at the top of your customers mind as well as search
Building a solid content strategy will also:
• Build relationships through consistent and
• Gain new customers
• Encourage repeat customers
• Build authority and brand integrity
• Improve TRUST
• Make good SEO
Small businesses that value the trust that their
customers put in them, and invest in content
marketing will reap long-term benefits in loyal
customers, brand advocates, and improved SEO.
Strategic Planning Involves Decisions
• What will my WordPress website look like? (or other CMS)
• What content with this system manage?
• When should content be published?
• Who will manage it?
The content strategy answers these questions and guides your next steps.
Content Design Usability
Following content design usability
guidelines improves user
In the context of brand
interactions and the emotions
and experiences of the user, UX is
the ease of use of information on
4 Content Design Usability Guidelines
1. Be Succinct.
2. Write for Scannability.
3. Use Hypertext to Break up Long Content.
4. Have a Process to Adhere to Defined Standards.
What and Why
• Identify goals and how to accomplish them
• Persuade stakeholders of the importance of meaningful content
• Create a content profile for future success
Building the Content Strategy Document
What it looks like in the end is entirely up to you – use Excel, Word, Power
Point, any content design program you are comfortable with delivering.
It should explain the important points, inspire discussion and be
4 Components of a
Successful Content Strategy
Audience, Message Structure, Tone Content Maintenance Tasks, Tools, Roles
Identify goals: What content is required?
Establish tone, audience and message
Workflow and Roles: Follow the content
lifecycle to identify daily tasks, tools and
Content Organization, Accessibility Guidelines for Sustainability, Evolution
Establish structure: Identify how to
organize, prioritize and access content.
Standards and Policies: Establish
guidelines, standards and policies for the
content lifecycle. Identify how to evolve
and sustain the strategy.
Content Components People Components
Content Strategy Document Outline
• Themes and messages
• Content audit, competitive analysis, Content gap analysis
• SEO metadata or other attributes
• Content management
• Publication and development recommendations
• Distribution strategy
5 Stages of the Content Lifecycle
• Analysis and Audit: Content audit, competitive analysis and content gap analysis;
Identify budget and governance; Determine people and discuss personas.
• Strategy: Establish key themes and topics and build the content calendar.
• Plan: Specify metadata, use a wireframe to explain interaction and content.
• Creation: Specify SEO best practices, establish quality assurance, identify aggregate
• Maintenance: Identify audit schedule, metric measurements, style guides, other
policies and standards.
Best Practices for Content Creation
• Reflect user needs and organization goals based on research and metrics
• Be clear, concise and purposeful
• Be factual and current
• Be accessible via website, devices and search engine
• Maintain consistent communication by following style guides
How to Do a Content Audit
The Content Audit Guides the Content Strategy
The Content Gap Analysis includes the Content Audit and Competitive Analysis
Inventory Existing Content
1. List all internal site pages by category
• H1/H2 tags
• Word Count
Tools: Excel, Open Site Explorer, Screaming Frog
2. Gather Social Metrics
• Number of page comments
• Page reviews
• Page authority
3. Gather page elements
• Number of paragraphs
• Keyword term frequency (top 5)
• F-K grade level and reading ease
• Number of heading tags
• Open Graph Markup
• Social Shares
• Spelling Errors
Analyze the Competition
• Tools: Semrush, Ahrefs, Sistrix, Buzzsumo
• What are their successful strategies and tactics?
• Use them as inspiration for your own
• Build a profile for emotionally significant content
• Use Topsy for Twitter trends to provide statistical evidence for your
summary about the user and the content
Design the Strategy
• Identify and repeat goals (they should align with the Marketing Plan)
• Explain methodology and data sources
• Include Goals and analysis plan to identify metrics to measure
• Identify topics based on business value, providing examples
• Good topics work for multiple types of content
• A good topic is understandable
• Good topics allow flexible emotional tones
• Identify the audience (using personas from the Marketing Plan) and appropriate tones
• Identify content types (how-to, infographic, video, etc.)
• Explain content ranking by success metrics, with examples
• Content calendar
• Tactics and Best Practice: write a policy for responding to significant metrics,
including future staff and business changes, and any reasoning for the policy.
• Don’t duplicate content
• Write descriptive titles
• Include links in content body
• Specify image size for page load time
• Include examples, screenshots and markup to identify essential topics and
• Outreach guidelines: how much to do and when, who to reach and how
• Governance: Identify whom can create, publish and authorize content
• Review: Specify procedures for measuring and tracking analytics to
monitor and when. Overview data interpretation (what does this mean,
why is it good or bad, what should the appropriate reaction be and why).
Content Gap Analysis
• Using the data from the content audit, measure the distance between where
you are and where you want to be in terms of metrics:
• Organic Traffic
• Social Traffic
• Prioritize existing content for optimization
• Review current search results for your top topics and terms to identify trending
content types or formats.
Congratulations on building your content strategy!
Now that you know what you’re going to publish, stay tuned for How to
Make Content Matter Part 2: Content Marketing Strategy, HOW to fulfill your
project needs by creating and distributing content.
Master Web Creations offers:
• Local SEO and Automated Listing Management
• Content Development
• WordPress Website Design & Hosting
• almost any small business marketing assistance
a:P.O. Box 277, West Bend, WI 53095