A summer spruce for your content strategy
Many businesses experience a seasonal slowdown in the summer (except holiday companies!) making it the perfect time to overhaul your content strategy. We recommend you start by fully reviewing your website content, then you can refresh your plans for new content for your blog, email newsletters and marketing, and social media.
Review your existing web content
Website content can grow rapidly, so if there isn’t a policy in place to periodically review content, you can end up with an unwieldy mess.
Completing a systematic audit of your existing content will help you find:
- pages that are outdated or broken
- duplicated content (Google will penalise this)
- content that is not written in your company’s tone of voice
- content that hasn’t been written specifically for the web
- pages that are not optimised for search engines
Taking the time to review your web content first will mean you can be confident your existing content is working hard for you, before you move onto creating additional content.
Pay extra attention to these pages
In addition to reviewing your content, you might like to pay special attention to the pages that are most important for converting visitors into customers, for example your ‘About’ page, product descriptions and landing pages.
The about page is usually one of the most visited pages of a website. Despite this, many businesses write theirs and never look at it again. Check it over to make sure it still accurately represents your business.
Are your sales pages as strong as they could be? Ensure your descriptions are unique (for SEO purposes) and are written in your brand tone of voice. For more areas to review, check out our blog post on how to improve your product descriptions.
Getting your landing page right is crucial for converting visitors. Is the page compelling enough to keep people reading? And are your call to actions clear and obvious?
Create a content inventory
It’s a good idea to create an inventory of your existing content across your whole site (including your blog, etc.) during this process, as you will then easily be able to identify gaps in your content when you come to planning new content. It will also make reviewing your content next time around a quicker and easier process.
In your inventory (a spreadsheet listing all content) record the following for each page:
- Date for review. Setting a review date will make sure content stays up to date from now on.
- Content owner. Decide who is responsible for reviewing and updating each piece of content.
- Page statistics. Use Google analytics for page views and a tool like Buzzsumo to find out how many social shares each piece of content has had. This should give you an indication of how popular your content is and which kinds of content or topics are resonating with your audience. If you find content that’s not getting any views, consider if it could be more successfully integrated with another page, or perhaps include it on your plan for promotion on social media or through email marketing.
- Action to take. Does this page need removing or updating, or can it stay as is?
Remove or update content
Once the review phase of your content strategy is complete, you can go ahead and remove or update content as required. By removing any content that isn’t up to standard, visitors will have a better experience on your site (and it may also improve your site’s search rankings).
Plan new content marketing activity to meet your goals
Now that you have reviewed your existing content, you can move onto creating a new content strategy for the rest of the year and beyond.
Identify your goals
Identifying your goals for content marketing will help ensure your content strategy is genuinely strategic. Decide how your content should be supporting the overall goals of your business, and determine how your content will achieve its specific goals.
For example, if your business aims for this year involve targeting a new sector and growing a new audience, you should be creating supporting content that breaks new ground (and channels, if needed). In this case, plan content that will attract potential customers in this new sector, plus content to convince them of your expertise in meeting their needs.
Create a content marketing plan
Once you have clear goals for your content, it’s time to start planning out your content topics, channels and messages for the coming months. As a content marketing agency, we know the importance of creating a content marketing plan. Creating a plan will help you ensure a balance of content for visitors at every stage of the sales funnel – from content like blogs that attract new visitors into the top of the funnel, to more detailed pieces such as white papers that convince potential customers of your expertise and credibility.
You should consider your content strategy and plan for all the following areas:
Your review and goals should be helpful in identifying what to do next when it comes to web content. Look for gaps in your current content, and how you could improve on competitor’s offerings.
Particularly popular content can easily be repurposed on your blog, meaning you can get additional value out of existing content. Plan for how your content will link up across channels also – your blog could be supported by videos, slideshares, or infographics, which are more likely to be shared and create engagement than text alone.
- Email and social media channels
One of the benefits of completing a content review is that you may have unearthed content that can be shared across your social channels and through email marketing. Use the quieter summer period as an opportunity to get ahead – write and schedule emails and social media posts to re-promote your existing content – and use eye-catching images, as these can boost re-post and click-through rates.
- Existing prospects
Consider whether you should you start producing longer-form education content (such as white papers and guides) to convert prospects – for example, those already on your email list. This content takes longer to write, but it can be especially useful if you have a long sales cycle and your prospects want to do extensive research before spending any money.
Plan your content strategy for the long-term
Content marketing is a long-term marketing tactic. If now is a quieter time for your business, taking the time to review and plan your content now will pay off in the future, ensuring you have more website visitors to successfully convert to customers in the coming busier months.