Defining business goals and understanding your target audience are core components of a successful content strategy. In this post, we’ll help you cut through the weeds to create a strategy that produces great results.
Use this lean, 6-step document to align your web content with business goals and the needs of your target users. This method borrows concepts for effective content strategy from our book, Return on Engagement, 2nd edition.
Start with Your Mission Statement
Your mission statement is the simplest question to answer in any business:. “Why is your business around?” Do you aim to serve a particular community through providing education on homelessness? Zappos mission statement is a great example, “to provide the best customer service possible”.
Define Your Organizational Objectives
When defining your organizational objectives, having precise and clear points will help you shape the rest of your strategy. Your organizational objectives should be specific and measurable. What is your organization’s goal? If you have not defined one, or are unsure of the direction you want to go in, take some time to meet with your team to clearly define what your purpose is. Often, your organizational objective is reflective of your mission statement.
Figure Out Your Website Goals
Now that you have clearly defined your organizational objectives you can define your website goals. When creating goals for your web page, ask yourself what you want to achieve with the web content on your site. It’s that simple. If you sell a certain product, your website should help you sell that product. If you provide research, your website should have provide access to that research. If you cater food, your website should help you book more events. When you identify these objectives you can integrate them into your content, design and user experience. Most importantly, you’ll have a baseline by which to track your data.
Remember to Cater To Your Audience
Now that the you have your mission statement, organizational objectives, and digital platform goals you must identify your customers. Who buys your products? Understanding your audience is crucial. If you want to sell your product you need to understand who buys your products. Additionally, knowing what triggers (emotional, physical, spiritual) influence purchasing behavior.
There are two factors at play here:
- By identifying your audience, you will have a clear idea of how to create relevant, persuasive content to attract customers to your site.
- By understanding your audience, you can create content that spurs people to action. This is critical. By understanding your audience, their habits, and where they are in their decision making process you can create a content strategy that will position your products in a light that will encourage customers to do business with you.
Make a Content Hypothesis
Your content hypothesis ties back to catering to your audience. Your content hypothesis is the information you provide that you think makes your audience take action. Could it be a white paper, a case study, or a compelling video from a satisfied customer? When you are creating your hypothesis, it’s best that you have a solid idea of who your audience is and what they want.
Define How You’ll Measure Success
Your key performance indicators (KPIs) are metrics you deem useful to track your progress toward your goal(s). They are usually quantitative. For example, if you are producing research on a particular topic, one of your KPIs may be the number of white papers downloaded. If you are selling clothing, your KPI may be the number of shirts ordered online during a particular promotion period. In essence, your KPIs are telling you whether or not the content you created has had a desired impact on your audience.
If you’re interested in a more detailed outline of this process and more concepts on content strategy and web design, check out Return on Engagement, 2nd edition!