In my recent piece on the changing nature of SEO, I referred to the importance of having a content strategy.
In that piece I touched on the changes being made by Google in the way it determines what will be ranked highly in search results terms. It’s all well and good knowing that changes are afoot, it’s great to be mindful of taking advantage of the opportunities that follow but it helps to have a plan that will allow you to take affirmative action.
A content strategy is a plan that enables you to create and publish a variety of types of content that tell the story of your brand to all your different audiences. Your stakeholders are consuming information from a much wider range of sources today than they were a few years ago, whether it’s blogs, Twitter, or Facebook may depend on your market and your stakeholders’ interests.
Developing a content strategy for your business requires answering a number of simple yet fundamental questions.
- Should you have a corporate blog?
- What things should you write about on your blog?
- How often should you blog?
- Do you have enough potentially interesting material to write about?
- Should you be on Twitter?
- Who should you be following on Twitter?
- What should your Tweets be about?
There are, naturally, other important considerations too. Such as who will write your content, and what tone of voice should you adopt so that you walk the line between maintaining your brand’s authenticity but embracing this more open medium?
You may be wondering why you should bother.
The answer is connected in no small way to how much you want to appear on the first page of Google results when someone searches for the products and services related to your business.
No one wants to appear on page two, especially if their main rivals are on page one. So you need to make it easy for Google to find you. Google is discounting the tried and tested methods of SEO (links, meta-tags, key words and so on), so much so that there are examples of legitimate companies whose websites have been blocked from appearing in any search results at all, because they now have an online profile that matches that of a spammer.
Develop a content strategy that allows you to show off about the wealth of knowledge you have in your organisation about the things that matter to your customers, partners, suppliers, investors and employees. Publish that content in the places your audiences can be found. Get ready to deal with them responding to you directly.
All of these things, when done correctly, can transform the way your brand is perceived, and can boost your Google search ranking, and getting professional help and advice with your content strategy can be the difference between success and failure, particularly in identifying audience location, and what tone of voice your brand should have online. Many brands have come unstuck by rushing in where angels fear to tread, but a little forethought and planning is really all that is required.
In my next piece I will look at the role of social media in a crisis. In the meantime, if you would like to strike up a conversation about any of the points in this piece why not get in touch.
Sean Fleming, Head of Digital at Nexus Communications.
+44 (0) 7557 430 934