Here’s a challenge: Quit your job and dedicate the rest of your life reading all the available blogs online. Good luck; it’s a never-ending task!
There are 5,000 new blog posts published around the world every minute—that’s how saturated the market is. Problem is, among these thousands of posts, only a few of them are good, original, and actually helpful.
A lot of people upload content just for the sake of it and because they know they have to. When this happens, they sacrifice quality for the benefit of quantity, and unfortunately, it doesn’t do much to increase their leads.
Why have a content strategy?
In 2017, the Content Marketing Institute found that content marketing gets three times more leads than paid search advertising.
This alone reveals how important having content is in advertising and marketing your brand. Entrepreneurs should invest resources in making sure that one, they have content that they consistently roll out, and two, that the content they share with their target audience is of excellent quality.
To make sure that you achieve that level of quality, it’s important that your brand has a content strategy. A study by B2B Content Marketing revealed that 72% of marketers claimed that a major key to their success in 2018 was having a good content strategy.
And it makes sense: better planning will lead to better results. The same applies to your content. Having a content strategy for your blog will not only give your brand a clear direction for its identity, it will also get you more clicks, more reads, more engagement, and a higher quality of followers.
Starting with the end in mind
As with most brainstorming and planning, the first question we often ask ourselves is, “Where do we start?”
For a content strategy, you start with the end in mind.
Define your goals. Determine why you’re writing your content in the first place.
- Do you want to increase your leads?
- Is the purpose of your blog to educate your audience on who you are?
- Is it to update them on what’s happening in your industry?
- Or is it to build your brand?
Have up to three goals for your strategy so that the content you roll out throughout the next weeks, months, or even years will show that your brand has a strong identity with a thought-out direction and plan.
When you know what you’re doing, your customers and prospects will build their trust in your brand much faster.
Forms of Copywriting
Now that you’ve answered the ‘whys’ , your next focus should be the ‘hows’.
There are various forms of content, and the most popular is copywriting. But even copywriting is no easy task. There are six styles of content that businesses should build their copywriting around for them to be able to create content that is compelling, trustworthy, and consistent with their identity as a brand.
Your Hero’s Journey: People love stories. But, people love them more when they have an inspiring and motivational takeaway from these stories.
When your audience learns about the real struggles you as an entrepreneur have faced and eventually overcome—from your humble beginnings to your awe-inspiring success in a cutthroat industry—they form a connection with you, one of admiration and trust.
Having your audience know of your readiness to help them grow is key in building trust. In our blog, ‘How to Tell a Great Story’, we mentioned steps on how to structure your Hero’s Journey through a series of guiding questions:
- What led you to business?
- What challenges did you face?
- How did all these challenges change you?
- Why are you best to help your customers?
The Hero’s Journey can be told both about a person (you) or a brand itself. Using it for a brand leads to a subtype of copywriting: brand story copywriting. It isn’t too different from telling it as an entrepreneur– you just need to write it in the perspective of your brand.
The Hero’s Journey is best used to introduce yourself, your brand, and what you do. It will help your audience warm up to you.
Thought Leadership: A thought leader is an individual or business that is recognised as an authority in their industry and whose views and expertise are sought after.
These leaders are seen as empowering visionaries who think outside the box and share new themes or different perspectives on issues within your industry or about business in general.
Thought leadership copywriting generally needs to be lengthy, since you are going in depth in talking about a ‘new’ perspective. It should be factually correct, backed up by reliable sources. And, the author (you) should be positioned as a valued and meaningful contributor within your industry.
To be considered a thought leader, your goal is to have other people say it about you first.
SEO Keyword Copywriting: According to a study by Hubspot in 2020, over 64% of marketers actively invest in search engine optimisation (SEO) and according to a survey by SEMrush, 67% of marketers say SEO is the most effective marketing tactic. SEO is a tool that helps your content reach the first page of search engines like Google, Yahoo!, and Bing.
In our blog, ‘How to use storytelling to build your audience’, we discussed how SEO increases the quality and quantity of traffic to your website, particularly through structuring your content with the use of specific keywords to be mentioned throughout your article or page, and by writing content that directly answers questions that your target audience is likely to search for.
By knowing these, it will be easier for you to choose your keywords and structure your content in a way that answers their questions. If you have exactly what they’re looking for, search engines will bump up your content towards the top.
Opinion Copywriting: Having an opinion and showing it through your copywriting is a good way to humanise your brand.
For opinion copywriting, it is best to choose topics that are hot and trendy, so you know that these are being heavily searched for and that people would want to read various perspectives on the subject. You can even pitch your copy to online publications and magazines for more reach for your brand.
In writing opinion copy, it is important that you as the writer have broad knowledge of the subject and have a clear understanding of the message you want to convey to your audience. Draw in current themes so that your piece is newsworthy at the time of writing and make your headline polarising.
Make strong claims and back them up with some sources too, so that readers know that you know what you’re talking about. And so you don’t come off as too pushy or aggressive, use a conversational tone in your copy.
Be direct and authoritative, but never condescending. Remember that not everyone will have a clear grasp about the topic you’re talking about, so relay your opinion with that in mind.
Joint Venture Copywriting: Joint Venture copywriting is basically showcasing your support network. It is writing copy that features businesses with services that are complementary to your own but don’t overlap.
Through this, the businesses you mention will likely share your content since it is also good publicity for them. In turn, both businesses benefit from gaining a wider audience and likely even more trust.
It’s a win-win method, and it also lessens your need to consistently think of new ideas for your own content, since their business would have ideas to offer too.
Case Study Copywriting: Case Study copywriting is a means to prove that you actually had a solution for your market’s problems.
The best way to do this is to write about a customer’s experience after using your products or services. This becomes a giant customer testimonial that you can feature in your blogs, social media, and even in pitch decks and proposals.
To do a proper case study copy, interview your customers and have them explain their story before, during, and after they used your product or service. Articulate the problem that needed to be solved and the solution you provided. Explain the results you achieved for your customer.
Case study copywriting is very reliable in showing why your brand is not just ‘all talk’. People like to see proof especially coming from those who have actually paid for it.
In writing a content strategy for your blog, the ‘whys’ and ‘hows’ are not the only things to plan for. The frequency of your posting and the length of your content are also factors that largely affect its visibility in search engines and social media platforms.
On Facebook, for instance, posting content sparsely will get your page buried and risk not showing up at all on your followers’ feeds. Posting regularly, helps websites know that your page is active and is producing valuable content for its audience.
To more effectively implement consistency in content release, use a calendar. Story League uses a project management tool called Notion.
In Notion, Story League is able to:
- itemise all our topics,
- include pertinent details per topic (links, checklists for tasks to accomplish, etc.),
- schedule posts (when to start on them and when to upload them), and
- arrange them by progress.
Having a calendar tool such as this helps in keeping all your plans organised. It gives you a lot fewer things to mentally keep track of.
Ideally, your brand should have about 26 topics to be posted throughout the span of six months. That will ensure you post every fortnight.
Google analytics also prefers long form copy, so it is ideal to keep each blog post between 1500 and 3000 words. Longer articles tend to have more unique content, which is important when getting your brand stand out in its oversaturated market.
However, people generally don’t have the time nor the attention span to read through huge walls of text just to find the single answer they’re looking for. This is why it is important to break your content down into smaller, more readable chunks by adding subheadings. Use SEO titles for your subheadings too.
Get others involved
Content creation is not easy. With the competition getting tougher each year, original and noteworthy content takes longer and longer to produce. According to a research by Orbit Media, it takes 67% longer to write a single blog post in 2019 than in 2014. Additionally, 38% of the bloggers who spend over six hours per article report “strong results” from blogging.
To reduce the pressure on your team, task others to write content, especially on the subjects their role covers.
Through this, your content will be more insightful and will have more valuable information to share to the audience.
By having a content strategy that aligns with your brand’s marketing goals, you will be able to create better content more efficiently, and your content will have a wider audience.
To have a better understanding of a functional content strategy, sign up to our content workshop and six month strategy build. Utilising our content workshop and six month strategy will lead to a significant increase in views, follows, and ultimately, customers.
“High-quality web content that’s useful, usable, and enjoyable is one of the greatest competitive advantages you can create for yourself online.” ― Kristina Halvorson, Writer of Content Strategy for the Web.