Content is often considered an online business owner's primary resource. It drives traffic. It helps make a sale. It provides authority, credibility and liking – all buying triggers. It also helps you market your business.
Unfortunately, many business owners write their content without any direction or purpose in mind. They may write fantastic content. Yet if it’s missing a purpose, it’s missing an opportunity. So what do you want your content to accomplish? It does not matter if it’s short like a blog post or an article. It does not matter if it’s a larger content piece like a report or e-book. It needs a purpose.
Potential Content Purposes
* To drive traffic to a web page
* To increase SEO
* To drive traffic to a sales page
* To generate affiliate income
* To boost credibility and authority
* To motivate a response/comments/links
* Collect opt-ins
You may find that occasionally your content has more than one purpose. For example, a report may be designed to collect opt-ins. In addition to the opt-ins you may also include affiliate links within the body of the report to generate income. Or you may link back to a sales page on your website to promote your products or services.
On the other hand, if your content is missing a purpose then you’re missing out on a valuable opportunity.
Making the Decision
The best time to determine the purpose for your content is when you create a content plan. Different people take different approaches. You may plan your content for the coming week. Or you may plan it for the entire quarter. (If you don’t plan your content at all, consider starting a new practice. Planning your content helps you make the most of your efforts.)
When you plan your content you’ll likely determine the keywords and the topic. You’ll also decide when you’re going to publish it and where. It makes sense to integrate your content into your traffic generation, SEO, sales and marketing strategies. This means assigning your content a purpose.
For example, you may know that in three months you’re going to launch a new service. Your content during that month leading up to the launch will ideally support the launch. It’ll generate interest and excitement. The purpose of the content therefore will be to drive traffic to your opt-in page. People can sign up ahead of time and receive notification when you launch. They may also receive special pricing. Your content can also generate awareness for the need of your new service. Or it can send traffic to your sales page once you launch.
How to Include Your Purpose in Your Content
Every piece of content needs to have some sort of call to action. For example, if you want to motivate comments and feedback at the end of a blog post, you have to ask for it. That’s your call to action. If you want to send people to a sales page, you need some sort of “Visit LINK to learn more.” Your purpose will be integrated into your call to action.
Take a look at the content you have planned for the next week or month. Does each piece have a purpose? Do you have a call to action? Is your content part of your overall business growth strategy? If not, make some quick changes and start reaping the rewards.
As an online business owner, you know that content is one of the best tools you have. It drives traffic. It provides your audience with the value and information they seek. It also helps you market your business, products or services. Content is essential for online marketing success. You can achieve greater success if you take the time to plan your content.
What Is Content Planning?
Content planning is simply the process of taking a look at your calendar and deciding what to write and where to publish it. Content planning involves a few primary criteria:
* When will you publish the content?
* Where will you publish it?
* What will you write about?
* What’s the purpose of the content?
* What are your keywords?
* How can you repurpose the content?
You’ll also want to consider how far ahead you want to plan your content for. Many online business owners take a tiered approach. They plan large content projects for the entire year. For example, they may publish a report each month. They also take a look at their content on a quarterly or monthly level.
If you don’t plan your content or are struggling to plan it effectively, consider the following tips:
* Use a calendar that gives you a big picture and you can write on. A paper desk calendar is a great planning tool. You can write your content ideas in pencil for easy modifications. Then, if you prefer electronic organization, you can transfer the paper plan to your Outlook or e-calendar.
* Plan how you’ll integrate your content into your marketing strategy. For example, you could decide that in March you’re going to publish ten articles on article directories. You’ll also want to make sure this content ties into any season or holiday.
You’ll also want to ensure it supports any new products or services. You want to make sure your content has a purpose. It may be simply to drive traffic to your website. Or it may be to drive traffic to a sales page or increase your opt-ins.
* Leave room for change. The best content plans leave room for inspiration. The greatest ideas often come out of the blue. If you’re a stickler for your plan and don’t allow room to add your content inspiration into the mix, then you’re missing out.
* Finally, don’t forget to take a look at how you can repurpose your content. It’s not only a great way to get the most return on investment, it can help fill content gaps.
When you plan your content, make sure you’re looking at both the macro and micro picture. Make sure you look ahead and take the entire year into consideration. At the same time, plan your content right down to the keywords and topics.
Planning your content for the entire year may take a day or two to accomplish but it’ll save you tons of time down the road. Instead of wondering what you’re going to write on, you’ll have the answers all worked out. Best of all, your content will fit with your other marketing efforts to create a comprehensive business growth plan.