Keeping your audience engaged with a steady stream of fresh content is important to the success of your and any business. But the task can seem daunting. Here are some basic tips to ensure you have a solid content strategy for 2014.
Put someone in charge
It says something that 73% of all B2B companies have someone solely dedicated to developing content. Whether you’re a small, medium or large organization, if you want your strategy to be successful, someone needs to lead the effort. If you don’t have the budget, consider asking one of your more capable managers to take on the role.
Set realistic goals and expectations
Are you looking to build relationships with your customers? Educate? Inspire a purchase? Think through these questions and document your answers before developing content, as it will set expectations for your stakeholders, determine the metrics for success, and guide the content development process itself.
Get the right people involved
Even if you hire a professional writer or designer to develop content, involve experienced members of your company as collaborators to lend credibility and a distinctive voice. For example, if you’re crafting an article on your latest product innovation, you might call on your head engineer.
Also, take the time to have your content proofread, if not by a professional, then at least an impartial third party. Poor grammar and spelling draw attention away from your message.
You want to stay relevant and keep your customers interested not just today, but over months and years. Yet long-term content development can be very challenging. Gather senior and more experienced team members on a regular basis for brainstorming sessions; then plug the results into a calendar. Doing this early in the year will free you to focus on sharpening your topics instead of constantly searching for ideas.
Know your audience
The best way to optimize your content strategy throughout the year is to see the big picture of what your customers want. And the best way to do that is to simply ask them. Social media (Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter) makes it easier than ever to get their thoughts on a range of topics. You could also send out an email survey polling customers on what type of information they’d like to receive, and how they’d like to receive it.
If you involve the right people, set expectations early on, and understand your audience, you can develop an effective content strategy that will keep your customers engaged and your stress level down.