Ready to plan out your next few blog posts? STOP RIGHT THERE! Don’t write another word until you know these three things you should consider before creating your blog content strategy.
There are 3 main questions I want you to consider when you’re putting together your marketing strategy and they all pertain to how your blog fits into your overall content web.
That’s because no content is an island.
Each blog post, each social media post, each email should be part of a greater ecosystem of content that will make each piece more effective at generating traffic, leads, and sales, than if you were using them alone.
In a world increasingly dominated by AI and machine learning, the human touch in content strategy will become even more crucial. Businesses will need to adopt agile, comprehensive strategies like the Content Web approach outlined below, or risk becoming lost in the digital noise.
So as you build your blog content strategy, ask yourself:
How will people find you?
It’s odd to me how many people miss this consideration when they’re working on content. I call it the “Field of Dreams” problem: people think, “If I write it, they will come.”
But that’s just not true any more.
The truth is, if you want any eyeballs on your content, you need to have a strategy to get them there.
This is the Discovery and Distribution arm of the content web.
The main strategies people use to get eyes on their blog posts are SEO, social media, and email.
The most important of these tactics is SEO, because we want new people to discover our content, not just our existing audience.
Otherwise we end up preaching to the choir.
SEO not only draws in new people, but also reaches them at exactly the point when they’re searching for a solution to their problem — a win/win.
Social media used to be considered a Discovery channel — where new people could discover your business — and it still is to some extent, but unless you have a strong growth strategy that’s bringing in new followers every day, it’s probably more of a Distribution channel, distributing your content to your existing audience.
Of course, social media algorithms have made it harder and harder to share links to other websites, depressing the amount of visibility those posts get, so I suggest turning chunks of your blog post into what we call zero click content: consider posts like Instagram carousels that go through the main points of your blog, long captions or Twitter threads that share most of the info in your blog, or quotes that will entice people to jump through the necessary hoops to read more.
Email is important for communicating with your most engaged followers. They’re usually your warmest leads, so don’t neglect them. Be sure to share your long-form pillar content with your audience so they have a chance to experience it without going looking for it.
Social media and email are distribution channels that focus on your existing audience, but you shouldn’t forget them.
Nurture content only works when we can actually get it in front of the people we want to nurture.
Keep distribution tactics like SEO, social media, and email in mind when you’re developing your content strategy so you can choose topics that will work well for your audience.
What will they do after they read your content?
Another point bloggers sometimes forget is what happens after someone reads their content.
It’s fine to ask people to leave a comment on the post or share it with their friends, but we actually want to go beyond that kind of engagement and ask for the second click.
Writing for the second click means knowing before we ever start drafting a post what action we want the reader to take when they’re done reading — and usually that action should get them one step closer to a sale.
Depending on your customer journey, this might mean offering them a free resource that speaks to exactly the problem they’re trying to solve, or offering them some sort of free call to help them solve the problem.
Essentially, we want the reader to digitally raise their hand somehow to indicate that they want to learn more about how you can help them solve their problem.
That’s the Lead Generation part of the content web, and it’s vital for turning readers into leads and buyers.
How can you upcycle your content?
We talked about this a little bit earlier, but once you’ve created your pillar content, it can be used for many other things — including social media and your email newsletter for distribution.
But it can go even further than that. Once you have your core ideas explained in a blog post, you can easily turn that into a video, like the one embedded here, or a podcast episode. Then you can turn that multimedia into short videos for social.
The point is that people aren’t consuming content in just one way or just one place any more. They’re hopping all over, looking for content in the places and ways they most like to see it, and we as business owners have to meet them there.
It can feel overwhelming to hear a content strategist like me tell you that you have to repurpose your content and be on all these different channels, but honestly, when you put some thought into where and how you will upcycle before you’ve created the content, it becomes much easier.
Now more than ever, small businesses like yours have the power to make a profound impact through your content. Together, we can craft stories that resonate, educate, and inspire. Let’s not just add to the noise. Let’s create content that matters.