Sunday, June 13, 2010

If Content is King, who’s the King of content?

Web developers have pounded into our heads the notion of new content as being the lifeblood of search engine optimization, but most companies have yet to figure out a strategy that consistently provides relevant content to their target audience.

If you’re struggling with the development of new content, I suggest that you view your website content in a different way.

In the media world, the editor controls the content of the medium. They decide what stories get published, and those decisions are based on content that they know will resonate with their demographic (because they understand their audience–the same way that you should understand your customer). It’s true in print, TV and radio, and it should also be true in regards to your website.

If the main goal of your website is to serve as a marketing vehicle that attracts potential customers and communicates with existing ones, then you need to view it as an e-publication–and your marketing department should become your newsroom–with the editor at the helm.

The process for developing relevant content on your website begins exactly the same way–determine who your audience is, understand their issues, develop an editorial strategy that helps them solve those issues (such as an editorial calendar), and assign those stories to your writers (blogs, articles, press releases). Your writers could be your internal marketing department, or people in your organization with content expertise, or they could be external writers such as freelance journalists and marketing agencies. Most importantly, develop deadlines so you can publish your material on a consistent basis.

Once you’ve started this ball rolling, there are many ways to leverage the distribution. People will start finding your relevant content through searches (pull strategy) and you can link to that content in your newsletters and announcements that all lead back to your website (push strategy).

To ensure conversion, make sure you have ways to engage your prospects–but that’s a whole other story. (See Brian Massey)

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