Content Strategy Planning Tips

By Laure Justice

Developing an effective content strategy increases the relevance of the information you share on your website or blog. Content strategy means bringing relevant content to the people who are interested in it, and doing that via the best venue, in a timely manner, and in a context that’s appropriate.

Content Strategy Persona
Content Strategy Persona image courtesy of johnhain and Pixabay

1. Why Content Strategy Typically Begins With a Persona

Content strategy is a term that means planning, developing and managing the content on your website or blog. To do that effectively, you need to know your customer or customers. Creating a persona – or several personas – lets you do that, and it’s more in-depth than just gathering a set of demographics.

Demographics are the basics. Demographic information provide some vital information about customers, but developing a persona helps companies create more accurate targeting when developing a content strategy. Creating a persona is part of building a user-friendly experience that begins with UX design and goes all the way through the content marketing stage.

2. Content Needs to Answer a Question or Solve a Problem

The next major part of creating a content strategy is finding out what your ideal customers need to know and what problems they’re trying to solve when visiting your website. Conducting surveys is one way to do this, keyword research is another way, and applying knowledge about your personas is also a valid way to establish this information.

  • Customer surveys: Conducting surveys with your existing customers to determine what they like about your product and ways they feel it falls short gives you solid, fact-based information about which aspects of your product or service you need to discuss in your content marketing.
  • Keyword research: Keyword research is part of SEO and it focuses on finding out which exact terms people use when looking for your product or service. Add relevant keywords to your content marketing strategy so your ideal customer will be more likely to find your company website when using a search engine.
  • Understanding the needs of your personas: Focusing on the needs of your ideal clients lets you hone in on their habits, things they need, and how to reach them. It also helps you understand which content is likely to be the most relevant so you can be certain it’s properly featured and easy to find on your website or blog.

3. Prepare Website Content With the End in Mind

Every detail of content creation is connected to all the other parts. For content to be effective, it has to be presented in a way that your ideal customers are able to find it. It also has to provide the information they’re hunting, and it has to be delivered in a format that’s easily accessed and understood.

For example, if your ideal customer is a college physics professor who is looking for teaching aids, you wouldn’t want to prepare content for someone with a high school reading level that uses a lot of slang. You would want your content to feature a slightly formal tone and address the purpose of the physics teaching aids you sell using technical terminology.

Contact Me to Learn More About Creating a Content Strategy

A good content strategy can draw people to your website or blog and keep them coming back. If you’re interested in learning more about creating a content strategy, you’re welcome to send me an email at LaureJ@consutlant.com or fill out the contact form on the Hire Me page here on this website.

Why Social Media Posts Should Be Part of Your Content Marketing Strategy

By Laure Justice

While fact-based articles are vital parts of a successful content marketing strategy, social media posts also play an important role in an effective digital marketing strategy.

Social media embraces the human element and creates a sense of connection for people in an increasingly disconnected world.

Laure Justice
Social media posts
Why you need great social media posts for your content marketing strategy

The Role of Social Media Posts in a Content Marketing Strategy

A content marketing strategy revolves around the articles you post on your website and articles you guest-post on other websites. For the content to be useful, search engines have to catalog it and rank it highly enough that people find it when using the search engines.

With content marketing, people have to find your website and come to you. With social media posts, you’re going where your potential customers hang out online and inviting them to visit your website or blog. This may be to get information, receive a free gift, or to buy something that fills a need they have.

Laure Justice

When your website is new – or struggling after a search engine algorithm change – which happens a lot – carefully prepared social media posts offer an incredible opportunity for you to put your message in front of interested customers and encourage them to interact with your website.

The Difference Between Content marketing and Social Media Marketing

While I already touched on this above, content marketing is preparing content to share on your own internet properties or space you ‘rent out’ such as a guest post on another website or blog. Social media marketing is when you prepare and share content on social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.

When you combine these two forms of digital marketing, content and social, it gives your product or service the potential to be viewed – and hopefully purchased – by far more people.

Laure Justice

Website or blog content and social media posts are ways to promote your business without paying for ad space, though you can always still buy ad space if it fits your business needs.

Types of Social Media Posts to Consider

Social media sites dictate the types of content you’re able to share on them, though there are some trends to consider. For example, live video is ranking well (as of 2019) on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter.

  • Twitter: Brevity is key on Twitter. For a standard Tweet, you get 140 characters to deliver your message. Tweeting video or an image adds interest to your Tweets, but it all boils down to being able to express an idea and share a link back to your website or blog in a few words or #hashtags.
  • Instagram: Instagram is a social media site that’s ‘on fire’ right now due to its ease of community building and posting options. Create visual images that capture the attention of fellow users and add your message in the caption. Instagram also allows users to upload short videos, go live for longer videos or participate in IGTV.
  • Facebook: Facebook groups and pages offer options for uploading images, recorded or live video, sharing short, ‘snackable’ pieces of text and links or long form content.
  • So many others! These are just three of the many popular social media sites to consider when building a social media marketing strategy to complement your content marketing efforts.

The key to a successful social media posting strategy, for a business, is understanding the ‘mood’ of the social site and knowing how to prepare content in a format that speaks to the users on a given social media website.

Ready to Begin Your Social Media Marketing Strategy?

Contact me to learn how I can help you by preparing social media posts that support your content marketing strategy to create an overall digital marketing effort that works.

Why Your Business Website Needs a Blog Page

By Laure Justice

You have a great website and it’s filled with all kinds of facts about your products or services, isn’t that enough? Do you really need a blog page, too?

Blog page
Blog page image courtesy of Pixabay

Reasons to Start a Business Blog

Adding a blog to your company website provides a way to start a conversation with potential customers and increase your website’s SEO value.

Laure Justice

What Makes a Business Blog Effective?

First, a blog uses a more relaxed, conversational tone than a formal business website, so customers and potential clients feel like you’re talking directly with them.

Blogs are also ideally set up for readability, with short, sometimes single sentence paragraphs, like I’m adding here in this post.

Think of your company’s website as the main course and the blog as the appetizer used to whet a customer’s desire for your product or service.

There’s a good reason to use short paragraphs in blog posts, too. It shows your readers you value their time by making your blog posts scannable and quick to read.

Time Commitments and Blogging

The amount of time involved in blogging can be a deterrent for some business owners, but there are some easy ways to make a blog work even if you have an incredibly busy schedule.

  • Hire out the work to a writer (You could hire me, for example.) who has keyword research, search engine optimization (SEO) and blogging experience.
  • Keep blog posts short if you choose to write them yourself, most internet users prefer short blog posts anyway.
  • Save the long-form content for your detailed product information.
  • Set a blog posting schedule that fits your available time, even if it’s just once a week or every other week.
  • Add a variety of shorter social media posts on the days you don’t have time to prepare full-length posts.

Should Your Blog Be Hosted WithIn Your Company Website or Separately?

If you already have a business website established, the best place to feature your company blog is often on a blog page within the site. This works because your customers are already on your website and it’s easy to navigate to a different page to make a purchase.

Another option is to set up a separate blog page that enhances your branding efforts. For example, think of your core message, and incorporate it into the blog title and each blog post. Just be sure to link back to your company site for clients who want to know more detailed product information.

Blogging aka Content Marketing Is Budget-Friendly Marketing Strategy

When you compare the cost of hosting a blog and engaging ina content marketing strategy to other forms of advertising and business promotion, hosting a blog is typically far more cost-effective.

After your blog posts are written and posted, there’s no ongoing cost other than the cost of hosting your site.

While the decision to host a business blog or not is ultimately up to each business owner, blogs have such incredible value in the business world they really should be part of your online marketing strategy. You’re truly missing a great opportunity if your company doesn’t have one.

Laure Justice

If you would like to discuss your ideas for a blog and posts you would like to feature with a professional from the blogging industry, contact me through the form here on my site or send me an email at laurej@consultant.com.

Tips for Choosing a Copywriter

By Laure Justice

Have you ever needed website copy but didn’t really know what to skills or abilities to look for in a copywriter? When you’re looking for a copywriter, whether you choose to hire me or look elsewhere to find a writer, there’s more to consider than just the writer’s ability to string words together to make some sentences.

Copywriter at Work
Copywriter at Work image courtesy of RawPixel and Pixabay

The ability to write well should always be one of your top considerations, of course, but these other factors are important for getting the type of expertly written copy you need for your business.

Does This Copywriter Have Industry Knowledge?

If the copywriter you’re considering doesn’t have knowledge specific to your industry, it’s likely to show in the written text. However, for most types of copywriting, the writer doesn’t have to be an industry expert, but it is absolutely necessary that she be willing to research and learn about your industry.

Whether you need website copy or printed materials for your business, choosing a writer with the ability to properly use terminology that’s part of your industry adds value to the written work you receive.

Is This Copywriter a Storyteller?

Telling a story that engages the reader is at the heart of all good copywriting. When you’re looking at a copywriter’s portfolio, look for examples of the writer telling a story about a problem and then offering a solution to that problem by introducing a product or service.

Using this article as an example of effectively using a storytelling format for copy:

  • The problem introduced in the opening paragraph is not knowing what skills and abilities to look for in a copywriter.
  • The body of this post goes on to explain things to look for when hiring a copywriter.
  • The post then concludes (or will) with a solution to the problem of finding a copywriter – hiring me to write copy for your website or printed marketing materials.

    Does the Copywriter Have SEO Copywriting Skills?

    If the written material you need is going to be published online, choosing a copywriter who understands search engine optimization is vital. Search engine optimization starts with keyword research, but there’s a lot more to it than just choosing great keywords.

    In addition to keyword research, the writer needs to understand how to insert the keywords in the text to make it reader-friendly while making sure it’s optimized so search engines can find it and catalog it.

    Can You See Their Copywriter Portfolio?

    While one or two articles may be enough to give you an idea of a copywriter’s skill, if you’re dealing with a professional, you should expect to see a portfolio that shares the writer’s body of work. That portfolio may include links to articles if it’s published online, similar to what you find here on my site’s portfolio page.

    The portfolio may also feature articles prepared by the writer so you can see some of their writing work without clicking links to go to other sites, such as the way the blog page and this article are set up here on my site.

    Contact Me Today

    I’m ready to apply my copywriting skills to your next blog post or article writing project, so feel free to fill out the online contact form here on my website or send me an email at laurej@consultant.com to tell me about your writing needs. I’ll get back with you as quickly as possible to discuss your project and how I can help you with it.