Having original content is a valuable tool for your business. It helps to define your image, voice, and unique perspective that differentiates you from your competitors. Original content can also help educate potential customers about your industry and inform them about the products or services you offer.
While providing original content is great, developing a content strategy is even better. Content strategy is all about taking the content you create, turning it into leads, and eventually generating revenue. There is no precise formula to make the transition from content to revenue, but there are some steps you can take to create a strategy that works for you.
1. Examine your content’s social interactions.
In the early states of drafting your content strategy, it can be extremely useful to examine the social interactions of your content. This will help you understand just how well your content is resonating with your audience. Ideally, you should observe engagement across all platforms. Accuracy will be crucial. In order for social interactions to be a useful indicator, you will have to accurately track what posts on what platforms are causing what reactions. Successful analysis of the social interactions that your content creates is what will enable you to start the process of tailoring your content for eventual revenue.
2. Aim to be the thought leader.
Once you begin using social interactions to fine tune your content delivery system, you can start the process of becoming the expert or thought leader of your industry. The key to making the shift from a content creator to thought leader can be summed up in one word: consistency. Thought leaders in every industry consistently deliver insightful and helpful content. Becoming a thought leader is a gradual process but there are two indicators you can look for that will let you know it’s starting to happen. First, you will start to receive requests for input from your target audience and other thought leaders. Second, you will see an increase in the number of mentions and shares you receive. Basically, the more people respect your opinion and value your content, the more attention you will receive. That’s one of the perks of becoming a thought leader. As people share your content, your overall reach will increase. For that reason alone, becoming a thought leader is a key aspect of any successful content strategy.
3. Watch for trends of increased traffic.
Being a thought leader also has the benefit of increasing the traffic coming to your site. Use search engine analytics to see what traffic is organic and what content is spurring that traffic. It’s also helpful to look for spikes of increased traffic growth. While traffic growth over long periods is most often attributed to things like search engine optimization, spikes of traffic growth is often an indicator that certain content is more successful at drawing traffic. Examine your top traffic content, figure out the factor that makes it successful, and adapt that factor into your overall content strategy.
4. Generate traffic that engages with your site.
An increase in traffic is great, no doubt about it, but it is much more important to make sure your traffic is actually engaging with your site. In general, it is better to have less traffic with a higher engagement rate, than loads of traffic with measly engagement. If you find yourself in the latter situation, your traffic could be unqualified, not interested, or simply not enticed enough to engage. This is where your content strategy comes in. For each piece of content, you should strive to understand how the traffic it generates behaves. Look at the bounce rate, time on site, and pages per visit. Use this information to determine which content is delivering the best traffic and then adjust your strategy so that the traffic you receive engages with your site.
5. Create a means of capturing leads.
You do not have to be a business guru to know that lead generation is important. Leads are easily converted and ultimately potential sources of revenue. Therefore, it is critical to understand that engagement on your site is not enough to create leads. A fundamental aspect of your content strategy has to include a means of converting engagement into leads. Even something as simple as asking visitors to enter their email will work. Once you have successfully created a way to convert engagement into leads, examine the different lead conversion rates that each piece of content produces. By tweaking your content to be efficient lead convertors, lead growth is inevitable.
6. Convert your leads into revenue and carry on.
Finally, you’ve done it. You’re a thought leader in your industry and your content is consistently generating useful social interactions. Not only do you see an increase in traffic to your site, but your traffic is engaged and easily turned into leads. You’ve achieved all of this by developing a content strategy that utilizes your content to it’s fullest potential. Now, it is up to you to take the leads your content generated and turn them into revenue. And remember, there is no perfect content strategy. You will constantly need to evaluate how your content is performing and adjust it with the goal of providing the most useful content for your audience and ultimately for your business.