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Every organization is different. We all operate in different environments, and we all have different goals. So everyone's ideal content strategy will be unique. But in order for us to understand what content strategies work and which don't, we can look at some of the core components of content strategies that successful organizations share. The first is clearly defining your goals and objectives. Knowing what keywords you've researched and chosen to target, what your audiences are looking for, and ultimately, what you want them to do when they get to your site, is the foundation of everything that you'll do.
These goals will help you with reporting and measurement and put a realistic perspective on the results that you achieve. You can define lots of goals, from things like more ecommerce sales, to more leads and phone calls, to more followers on social networks. Goals can be anything, but they should tie back to your bottom line through business objectives. Second, spend the time to really understand your key audiences and their needs. Perhaps the cornerstone of a good content strategy is to research your audience and then understand them well enough to be able to market to them effectively.
Knowing your customer's role in an organization, their location, their demographics, their interests, and their behaviors will help you step into their shoes and bring insights into the planning process. Third is ensuring that everyone in your organization is involved. This isn't something that you're going to be able to tackle alone, and you'll need buy-in from your CEO, all the way down to your interns. If you're a smaller organization, you might even consider outsourcing some of the work. Once you've found the people, an involved group is one that's passionate and excited to spread knowledge.
Getting the people in your organization onboard is not an easy thing, but having a plan with a good thorough reasoning and clear expectations around your goals can help persuade them to jump onboard. Fourth, you need to ensure that everyone in the organization maintains a healthy respect for online reputation management. Whenever you put anything out there on the web, it's there forever and it's there standing by your brand. You can't un-tweet something, and if you publish something an error, odds are good that some server somewhere has already captured and stored whatever it was that you didn't want up there.
Many businesses today have well-crafted and well thought-out policies for writing and publishing content on behalf of the company, but many still don't. If you fall into the latter bucket, you'll want to invest some time to define just what people can and can't post, and what editorial procedures need to be followed. Always remember that anyone on the web can read and find your content when it goes live. Ultimately, your reputation will dictate whether customers want to do business with you or not. The last thing successful organizations do with their content strategies, is spend time monitoring trends.
The only thing that's certain about the Internet is that the online marketing landscape is constantly changing. New competitors are popping up by the minute, old competitors are doing new things. Your business environment is changing faster than ever before, and your target audience is changing along with it. What this means is that what worked for you today, won't necessarily work for you tomorrow. And you have to embrace the fact that this is a moving target that requires your full attention if you want to stay ahead. Monitoring trends involves not only keeping a pulse on your industry, but also things like renewing keyword research and reviewing your content structure and strategy on a regular basis.
Maintaining industry relationships, having continuous contact with influencers and industry leaders to get the inside scoop. And finding new and creative ways to relay those messages to your followers. While successful organizations tend to exemplify these traits, this isn't by any means a complete list. Take a look at your own organization and your own objectives, and then define your own success.
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