Many companies and organizations are making a significant investment in content management in terms of technical resources (including Web CMS and analytics) as well as in time and human resources (such as IT, Communications and Marketing departments). But are they investing the same time and effort in their content strategy?
Over the past couple of years, I’ve presented at various conferences around the country and often posed the following question: “Now that you’ve invested in content management, do you have a content strategy in place?” The overwhelming response to this question has been something to the effect of “Not really, but it would make sense to develop one.”
Implementing and maintaining a content strategy will result in higher quality content and ultimately, increased traffic to your site, greater conversion rates and a better experience for your target demographic. And yes, a better return on your investment.
By now, the phrase “Content is king” has been repeated so many times that it almost sounds like a cliché. But one thing is certain: providing high caliber content on a regular basis is the best thing you can do for your web marketing strategy.
While until recently we witnessed a fierce, but rather unnecessary battle between inbound and outbound marketing products and philosophies, it’s safe to say that the heart of your web marketing is indeed your content. The channels that you use to promote it are of secondary importance.
Now that the debate appears to have been settled, it’s crucial to recognize and seize all of the opportunities that present themselves to help contributors maximize the effectiveness of their content.
These days, marketing is everybody’s business. And here’s where a great opportunity arises: helping organizations augment their content management experience by centralizing their content marketing and optimizing their content strategy.
Here are some of the reasons why this makes so much sense:
SEO has Evolved
As you know, search engines update their algorithms all the time. The SEO game has completely changed over the years. Whereas previously, SEO was very HTML-focused, now, it’s more about the freshness of content and the engagement that it fosters. As a result, it’s important to involve as many capable content contributors as possible, since all of them are now directly affecting your SEO.
What does this mean for you as a content or web manager? Get to know your contributors and their strengths, weaknesses and interests. Provide them with data they can use to write high quality content, such as keywords or a quick SEO checklist with items that THEY can do something about. That’s just one way in which a content marketing tool can help.
Actionable Analytics Data is More Meaningful
There’s no question that Google Analytics is a tremendously powerful tool. It provides you with a plethora of data. So much so that it can sometimes be a bit overwhelming, since you could potentially spend an entire week just reviewing and interpreting analytics reports.
The challenge here is to avoid analysis paralysis and focus on analytics data that gives you specific action items for your content strategy, which might include search terms, inbound links, referral sources and visitor companies, to name but a few items. What will crystallize as a result are opportunities to optimize your site for more strategic keywords, the ability to address content gaps and to create an effective editorial calendar.
Social Media is a Means to Promote Your Content
It goes without saying that social media is a fantastic tool to interact with your audience and to provide customer service in real time. But don’t let your social media channels and your website get out of sync. Instead, use social media as a vehicle to promote your fresh content.
Once again, a web marketing tool to augment your Web CMS can take some of the busy work off your plate by automating some of the more tedious tasks for you, such as creating custom tracked links for your various social media channels and giving you a comprehensive view of clicks by medium, so that you can identify which channels and which types of content generate the most traffic and engagement.
Agility is Changing the Marketing World
Over the past few years, agile approaches have gained tremendous momentum, which is no surprise considering the rapidly changing nature of web marketing. Instead of developing a long term marketing strategy, an increasing number of businesses and organizations have taken a page from the world of software development and adopted agile methodologies.