Content strategy is a tough topic for most business owners. Although they know they need good online content in order to attract attention from both potential clients and search engines, it can be very difficult to determine what, exactly, makes content “good.”
Even when things are going well for your business, you still need to follow up with your content team to make sure that they are delivering the type of content you want and need for your business. Sometimes, this means asking tough questions and having conversations around subjects with which you are not particularly familiar.
Do not let that lack of familiarity forestall that conversation! As the owner of the business and the individual who commissioned the content, you are entitled to a clear explanation of how your content strategy is working.
Certain topics are particularly intimidating for business owners because they often feel they do not have the background knowledge to understand how these facets of content strategy work. Sometimes, unscrupulous marketers will actually leverage that lack of familiarity into avoiding the conversation or preventing a conversation about tangible results.
Use this article as a guide to three hard conversations that you should be having with your content team.
In a good piece of content, readers should feel compelled to finish the article. If you were reading a book, you might say, “I just had to find out what happened!” In the case of online content, you want to create a similar feeling in far fewer words. Your readers should feel “pulled” toward the end of the article and, from there, to your website or wherever you want to direct them next.
Find out how long people are spending on your website and determine if this is enough time to have read the article. Then, determine how many people are responding to your call to action (CTA). Remember, not every CTA is “Buy something now!” Some are simpler, such as “Click here to sign up for a personal 15-minute consultation” or “sign up for daily alerts on this topic.” If people are dropping off your website before they can respond to your CTA, then your team should evaluate the problem and present you with some solutions.
One of the most effective ways to optimize any form of communication is to split-test it. You can split-test the title of your article, the way the first paragraph opens, your web design, your CTA, and just about anything else that could be presented in multiple versions.
Ask your content team if they are split-testing and, if so, what they are split-testing. Find out what they have learned, then discuss things you want to continue and things you might do differently.
A lot of online content creators tend to create content, then move on. This is a great way to get a lot of content, but once you have a foundation, it is time to optimize that content. If your team does not have the bandwidth to optimize up front, ask them to consider putting some measures into place to track post performance over the long-term. Then, they can revisit posts later to identify which performed well and which performed poorly.
Content marketing, like all marketing, is a constantly evolving discipline. Search engines change their algorithms all the time. Consumers feel differently about products and concepts from one day to the next. You must be willing to adjust your content to accommodate and optimize these changes and so much your content strategy team.
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