Best Practices for Content Development
Step 1: Gather Information
Before anything else, you’ll want to find out more information to help you strategize better. This information can include anything from target audience demographics, what competitors are doing, previous website data and performance, or marketing goals.
Google Analytics is a great tool for gathering data from your website. This resource can help you answer questions about website visitors, conversion rates, marketing strategies, and content creation.
Some questions that data from Google Analytics can help you answer:
- How do I improve my conversion rates?
- How many times does it take for a website visitor to convert?
- Who is my audience?
- Do I need to improve the mobile version of my website?
- Should I focus on potential new customers or recurring customers?
- Is my website too slow?
- What leads my customers to make a purchase?
- What do people Google search before clicking on my website?
- Is my social media marketing effective?
- Where are my website visitors coming from?
- Which of my webpages is the most popular?
All of these questions can lead to developing a more effective strategy for content development.
Step 2: Analyze Your Data
Now that you have your data, you need to interpret all the information you have just gathered. By delving deeper and asking more questions from the following key categories, you can get closer to developing the right approach for creating and implementing your content.
- What type of content (videos, infographics, blog articles) does your target audience find the most value in?
- What does the content consist of (how-to tutorials, valuable advice, fun stories, or testimonials)?
- What type of content are your competitors publishing?
- What content is doing well?
- What keywords are they using?
Website Data and Performance
- Which pages do well on your website?
- Where are you getting the most organic traffic from?
- What is the average time users spend on a webpage?
- How will you measure successful goal completion?
- What steps will you take to accomplish your goals and how will you take them?
- Are there any obstacles standing in the way? How can you get rid of them?
Step 3: Strategize
Your strategy should find a way to incorporate the answers from Step 2 into your content creation.
At this stage, it helps to know a few things:
- What are your goals?
- Who is your target audience?
- What format of content do they like?
- How will you ensure your content is unique and stands out?
Consider the answers to these questions, as they will help inform some key decisions to be made in the following areas.
After analyzing all the information Step 2, you can now have data-driven answers for your content development strategy. But before content can be developed, it’s essential at this stage to clearly define your goals—are you trying to increase brand awareness, generate leads, improve conversion rates, or increase customer satisfaction?
Once your goals are clearly defined, you can tailor your content to achieve these goals. For example, if you are targeting someone at the beginning of the sales funnel, you may want to increase brand awareness by creating a video showcasing the benefits of your product.
Your data in Steps 1 and 2 should inform your content strategy when it comes to knowing what your audience wants. For example, if your target audience likes informational blog articles, you may want to consider publishing how-to guides on your blog. Looking at how your competitors’ blogs perform, you can gauge how long your articles should be. You can also look at the length of time users spend on your website to further inform your strategy. You will also want to identify relevant keywords that your audience searches for.
Your content should align with your goals and what your audience wants.
For effective, quality content that captures your audience, consider telling a story. Evoke emotion, pique interest, and compel your audience to be more engaged with your content. If you are creating testimonial videos, you will focus on people at the middle stage of the sales funnel, when they are considering purchasing your product.
One way to deliver maximum value to your target audience is to focus on a niche. While your website can be more general, consider creating content that is specifically tailored to one niche. Having specific content that caters directly to your audience’s needs can establish your authority in the field, leading to higher audience engagement and retention.
Step 4: Create
Armed with your data-driven content development strategy, your content should be optimized for your audience. Whether you are creating a video or writing a blog, your content will provide value to your audience and help you achieve your goals.