Six Steps to Developing Your Communications Content Strategy
Step 3. Choose content types and publication venues.
Here are some types of content and publication venues you might include in your content strategy:
Blogs are a casual space on your company website for sharing knowledge, updates, and news. Posting to a blog helps you reach wide readerships, drive website traffic, and increase Search Engine Optimization (SEO), or your rankings on Google. The Google SEO “spiders” read through the content on your site and rank it based on the type and quality of content you deliver, and how many other highly credible sites link to yours. Do the consistent work needed to keep your blog running, and the Google SEO gods will reward you.
If you are a company with technical expertise, white papers should be a key part of your content strategy. Casual blog posts won’t do a good enough job of articulating your technical knowledge. White papers, or reports that detail a particular process, product innovation, or strategy, provide the space and formality needed for you to dig deeply into the concepts and approaches you are creating as experts. Hosting white papers on your organization’s website will provide your broader field with knowledge and establish your credibility as experts.
“How to” Guides:
As more practical versions of the white paper, “How To” Guides offer helpful advice by walking readers through a process or strategy. If your organization has useful, practice advice to share with readers, a How-to Guide can generate quite a bit of engagement and traffic.
Case Studies and Portfolio Snapshots:
We all love a good story. For research-based industries, case studies draw readers in by describing the actual methods used to address particular client or industry problems, and the results of those approaches. For creative and design-based industries, portfolios showcase the artistic outcomes of collaborations and projects. Sharing or describing your work in a case study or portfolio form gives clients and customers a window into your mind as an expert and leader.
Podcasts and YouTube Videos:
Embedding your YouTube videos and audio podcasts into blog posts can be a great way to communicate beyond the written word and still redirect traffic to your site (instead of directly to YouTube.com or iTunes). When a concept is best told in video or audio, don’t be afraid to get creative and personable. Video content works especially well for extroverted folks, and many concepts are best explored through conversation, making podcasts or audio recordings ideal. One piece of advice regarding SEO for this type of content is to include detailed descriptions in your show notes or description boxes.
This category has many, many subcategories, each with its own rules and advice. Facebook, Twitter, Storify, LinkedIn… there are a gazillion social media sites out there. Your mission is to hone in on the ones that will help you reach your key audiences first, then to make plans for reaching broader groups. For your content strategy, social media can be a place where your organization regularly engages with customers and other thought leaders. On a strategic level, your content strategy should include tweets and Facebook posts that direct readers to the content on your blog or website. Again, higher readership on your website means better SEO and more traffic. One content strategy should always be to use social media to drive your own website traffic. This is how you “spread the good word” about your organization and all that it’s doing.