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The Core Elements of Content Strategy

You’ve heard the saying “Content is King” now for years. That is because content is (or should be) the star of your website. With inbound marketing becoming a key ingredient in today’s marketing, content strategy is now a major focus for many marketers. Content is what drives traffic (visitors) to your site, and how you can turn prospects into leads. We are firm believers that the content you create should be driven by your goals.

What do you ultimately want to achieve with your site?
We’re going to guess that your answer is “to make money”…

It’s possible you might also want world peace, but for the moment, let’s just assume you want to make money. In order to make that money, a majority* of websites need content that accomplishes these four things:

  1. Entertains
  2. Educates
  3. Persuades
  4. Converts

To achieve this, we’ve listed some of the core elements your website content should include.

1. Clear Messaging
Does the content on your website tell visitors what you do? When they land on your site, do they know what page they’re on and what purpose that page serves? Do your website visitors know what action to take next? Great content strategy includes messaging that allows the user to know the answers to the following questions:

What is your site about?
What can they do on your site?
Why should they take action?

2. Helpful Information
While the main purpose of your company’s website should be to provide information about your products and/or services, not every visitor is going to be ready to purchase or convert during their first visit. Many website visitors will want to know “What’s in it for me?” You can add value to your website by providing more than just information about your company. Including helpful resources such as whitepapers, downloadable eBooks, and guides you help support the mission of educating your visitors. This can also position your company as industry thought-leaders, and helps nurture prospective leads through your marketing funnel.

3. Relevant content
It is a general rule that the more content you have on your website, the better. However, just because you have a lot of content, it doesn’t guarantee you will have the results you had hoped. This is because search engine algorithms are always improving, and searchers themselves are getting more selective when choosing which websites they visit. You need to be providing relevant content that is specific to what your buyers are searching for during their purchasing process. The more relevant your content is to their needs, the higher quality your content will be considered to be by search engines.

4. Multi-media
65 percent of the population are visual learners; therefore, text should not be the only option you consider when it comes to your website content. Give your visitors some visual context by breaking up anything that’s text-heavy with visual context. This allows for creative design options and it provides a better viewing or learning experience for your visitors. You can use images, video, infographics, cinemagraphs, PDF downloads, gif’s –– just to name a few.

5. Captivating content
While educational content is important, you also must consider those at the very top of your marketing funnel. They are the users who probably aren’t even aware that they’re in need of your products or services yet. This segment can be captured through entertaining content. It’s the type of content that creates an emotional connection and should be shareable (this helps your overall audience reach). Content that you create to entertain doesn’t have to directly relate to your products services, but for it to serve it’s purpose, this content should captivate your target audience.

6. Evidence / Proof
No matter the industry, your prospects want to know that your products or services have made other clients/customers happy. Having customer reviews, case studies or testimonials on your website is powerful content for convincing prospects to complete the final stage in your sales funnel.

In today’s business environment, there will never be one correct path for achieving your company’s goals and objectives. However, if you want your website to help you achieve those goals, your website content will need to reflect that. Having a content strategy in place is imperative to ensuring the long-term success of your site, and ideally, your company’s as well. Could your website benefit from a content overhaul?

*What’s with that asterisk?
Sorry to make you scroll down here, but there is an exception that we have to mention. There are websites that depend solely on website ads for their income, so their conversions do not look nearly the same as they do for typical corporate or eCommerce websites. Conversions for these types of sites would be more along the lines of social shares, impressions and page views. Therefore, the content they would use to ‘persuade’ or ‘convert’ would be more like ‘trending news’ or ‘related posts’ (speaking of, Mashable does this very well – try to read just one post on that site, we dare you).

Author: Autumn Crosier

Self-taught disruptor, brand storyteller, and lover of all things Barbra Streisand, Autumn oversees our creative tasks and finds new ways to shake things up. As Brand Experience Director, Autumn makes sure that every project for eMedia or Clients is on-brand, edgy, and tells a story.

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