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Score a Content Touchdown

Thomas Jefferson famously wrote that “all men are created equal” in the Declaration of Independence.  However, one thing is for certain: not all web content is created equal.

Last time, I wrote a post about having a “human” content strategy and speaking to your audience, not just to the search engine bots.  This week, I would like to reiterate some points from an old Newsletter I was reading about planning a website content strategy.

First: a review.  What is content strategy anyways?  We all know that content is the stuff you are putting on your website, but what makes it a strategy?  Oftentimes, people use an analogy with war to convey the difference between goals, strategy, and tactics, but since it is in the middle of football season, we’ll look at it from that angle.

A football team has goals for the season.  For example, your team may have a goal of making it to the SuperBowl.  Next, they have a strategy of how they’re going to get there.  Lastly, they develop tactics or plays that employ this strategy to help them achieve their goals.  Simple, right?

Content works the same way.  The goal of your site may be to reinforce your brand, increase brand awareness, and bring in more sales and revenue.  The strategy helps define what type of content you are going to put on the page.  And then you can use tactics like a blog or newsletter, webinars or whitepapers to employ your content strategy.

When looking at it this way, you can see that the strategy should be put ahead of the tactics.  This means instead of focusing on how you want to deliver your content, you should focus on what type of content you are delivering and allow this strategy to dictate the tactics you use to get your message across.

For example, If I’m going to embark on a cross-country road trip, it is far more important who I take with me (the content), than the mode of transportation we’re using to get there.  That one was a stretch, but you get my point.

So, when you are creating your content strategy, remember that not all content is created equal.  Make sure to define your goals and start planning your content strategy before you start creating your content.  Your football team probably wouldn’t have a very good season if they started playing games before deciding on their strategy.

Also, make sure that you are always re-evaluating your strategy.  Once you have implemented a strategy, take a look at the results and the insight you have gained.  Then, you can adjust your strategy accordingly to will reach your goals.  If your running game isn’t working, give the ball to the quarterback and let him throw the ball.  Your goal is still to win right?

But, most importantly, remember to keep your goals in mind and always remember who your audience is, because the best content is that which helps you reach your target market and achieve your goals.  Touchdown.

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