Justin Champion is a champ when it comes to content marketing and inbound strategy. As an Inbound professor at HubSpot, adjunct professor at the University of Florida and author of Inbound Content, he’s got all the knowledge we need to elevate our content game.
Because the last thing the world needs is more mediocre content. There’s so many people looking for content and there’s so much content already out there--but are they finding what they need?
Creating content alone shouldn’t be your goal. In fact, Justin has shared case studies that have shown that more content can actually be harmful to you if it’s poor. How? Because having a lot of content on your website that doesn’t provide value makes you lose authority in the space.
So how do you create a content strategy plan that cuts through the noise and gets your stuff found and noticed? Justin gave us three tips:
Know Your Goals
Before you create any content, you should know what your ultimate goal and purpose is behind creating that specific content. Don’t just jump in and start creating for the sake of creating.
Too many organizations think they need results right away, so in the rush to bring more traffic to their site, they end up skipping the planning stage. When you don’t have a plan, you work harder not smarter. And who wants that?
But when you understand the why behind your content, which is ultimately the problem you trying to solve with it, it shouldn’t be segmented throughout your website or other platforms.
Justin suggests figuring out what sort of story you want to tell and then plan how you will tell that story across the different platforms your organization has. Each channel or platform holds a unique experience for your audience, so the same story should be told in a way that fits that medium specifically. You should be planning all of these things before creating.
That way, instead of trying to come up with a strategy for every single channel, you only need to come up with one really good story that can serve each channel in a different way. This also allows there to be more connection and consistency across your channels when people interact with more than one.
Don’t create content that you don’t think will end up in the top five most helpful resources on that topic. If you do, you’re only creating more white noise.
If your organization is busy and understaffed, put your time and effort into a long-term strategic initiative like a guide or an ebook. Something that is comprehensive that could also be edited down to create more content. For example, an ebook might take months to create, but once it’s made, you can turn it into a blog or video series, create a webinar from it, or even cut snippets from it and use them across social media for a year.
So instead of thinking about your content like a bunch of puzzle pieces, start with the big picture. Take steps towards creating that one main thing and then use that to create more content for different channels. You’ll get a lot more bang for your buck than just writing one blog post a week.
Find your niche
It’s great to have a niche audience if you’re able to identify who that is, but it’s even better to have a niche message you can communicate. If you were trying to rank for content marketing, which has over 1M monthly searches, you probably wouldn't win.
The topic is too broad and too many people are using it. Instead, you would want to find a niche topic within that broad topic. Think of your niche message as stepping stones that lead people to that broader topic you address somewhere else. So, be specific or it’s going to be difficult to rank on anything.
“If you create content that really provides value, it’s going to be working for you even when you’re asleep. If you’re missing out on that, you’re leaving too much on the table.”
How can you communicate with your audience without content? That’s why we believe content is king. But it doesn’t have to difficult or require a large, dedicated team. It’s more about being strategic with what you can curate, organize and repackage. What are you doing to put out great content?
This post is based on a podcast with Todd Hockenberry. To hear this episode, and many more like it, you can subscribe to The Industrial Executive here.