You can’t hit a target you can’t see. The first step to successful digital content is planning what that content will be, who it will reach, and how it will help you achieve your business goals. Here are ten practical steps to get you started on the right foot.
- Set Your Goals: The first step to any successful venture is setting clear goals. What do you want your content to achieve? More website visitors? More social media followers? More sales? Once you know what you want to achieve, you can start planning your content strategy.
- Know Your Audience: Who are you trying to reach with your content? What are their needs and wants? What keeps them up at night? The better you understand your audience, the better you can provide them with content that meets their needs. Not sure who your audience is? Try creating buyer personas for a more targeted approach.
- Understand the Buyer’s Journey: The buyer’s journey is the process your potential customers go through when making a purchase decision. There are three stages to the buyer’s journey: awareness, consideration, and decision. At each stage, your audience has different needs and your content should reflect that. By understanding the buyer’s journey, you can create content that addresses your audience’s needs at each stage and helps move them closer to a purchase decision.
- Do Your Keyword Research: Keywords are the words and phrases your potential customers use when they search for information online. When you know which keywords they’re using, you can make sure your content appears in those search results—driving traffic back to your website. Not sure which keywords to target? Try using a keyword research tool like Google AdWords Keyword Planner or Moz Keyword Explorer.
- Plan Your Content: Now that you know what kind of content you need to create, it’s time to start planning it out. An editorial calendar can help you plan ahead and make sure all of your bases are covered. Not sure how to get started? Check out this post on how to create an editorial calendar for tips and templates.
- Create Compelling Headlines: Your headline is the first—and sometimes only—thing potential readers will see in your blog post or article. So it’s important to make sure it’s compelling enough to stop them in their tracks and get them to click through to read more. For tips on writing headlines that pack a punch, check out this post from Copyblogger.
- Write Engaging copy: Once you have a headline that piques their interest, it’s time to back it up with great copy that continues keeping their attention locked in. Make sure your copy is clear, concise, and persuasive—without being too “sales-y.”
- Incorporate Visual Elements: Make sure your posts are easy on the eyes by incorporating visual elements like images, infographics, videos, and charts throughout your content.
- Optimize for Search Engines: Don’t forget about search engine optimization (SEO)! Incorporating relevant keywords throughout your content helps ensure that it ranks highly in search engine results pages (SERPs)—driving traffic back to your site.
- Promote Your Content: Once you’ve created great content, it’s time to get the word out! Share it on social media channels, email lists, or even traditional media outlets. Want more eyes on your content? Try paid promotions like Google AdWords or Facebook Ads.
By following these 10 steps, you’ll be well on your way to creating a digital content strategy that meets both customer needs and business goals!