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Tips for Creating Your Blog Content Strategy

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by Startacus Admin

Startacus recently ran a social media marketing workshop for startups at NI shared creative workspace Eighty81. Part of the workshop focused on creating an overall content strategy - and so to pass on some of this advice, we thought wise to share some valuable tips for all to read.

Here we focus specifically on creating your blog content strategy, which will make up a core part of your overall content strategy...
blog content strategy

Your product or service isn’t everything.
The best service or product in the world won’t get very far if nobody knows about it. This is, of course, where marketing comes in, but startups should be doing more than saying ‘look at our product’. In many cases, your customers are buying into you and your business almost as much as they are your product, so every bit of content you write for your business blog, newsletters, social media, is not only showcasing your product, but also yourself and your business, and building your brand.

As well as staying in people’s consciousness, it is important to keep producing content that promotes a company that people want to be associated with. In order to keep up with this, you need to create a blog content strategy. Conveniently, here are some tips to do that!

What goes down best?

This study by Buzzsumo has a lot of interesting findings. In short, the best formula for content that will be read, shared, and engaged with is: $$$=(imagery + emotion + interest) x word count.

  • Word count - Interestingly, the above study concluded that long pieces of content, rather than short were shared most. We tend to think that short is better in order to keep the reader’s attention and to appeal to those having a quick look during their lunch breaks, etc., but don’t neglect the longer, more in-depth pieces. This doesn’t mean everything you write needs to be 3k-10k words long (the most shared lengths, surprisingly), as people still like bite-sized stuff, so be sure to balance long and short.

  • Lists - List posts are popular, as people can easily skip over entries that are not of interest or irrelevant to them more easily than they can in a solid wall of text, and they give the reader multiple options, things to look into, ideas, etc. Lists of 7, 10, and 23 go down best.

  • Guides - People are fond of guides for obvious reasons. They boil down extraneous information to get to the heart of an issue and help solve it. Step-by-step guides are easy to follow and give people a sense of security, tips articles give important things to think about while allowing the reader the freedom to go about the issue however they like, explainers...explain things.

  • Imagery - Infographics are particularly popular, but all social media posts should be accompanied by imagery of some kind, as should articles and blog posts. Videos are a good way of appealing to the readers’ visual nature while cutting down on the amount of content you need to write.

  • Emotional engagement - You don’t have to make people cry or split their sides laughing, but something that appeals to an emotion will always do better than something that is interesting but does not. Something that inspires awe and/or amusement will go down best - who doesn’t like to laugh or be wowed?

blog content strategy - images
Imagery expanded

We have said it before: people are visual, and anything with imagery will instantly be more attractive. This means adding images to social media posts, sharing infographics and other images that inform (interesting graphs, pie charts, etc.), and peppering articles with images. In the last case, you can use imagery that is vaguely related, simply as an aesthetically-pleasing way to break up the wall of text, whereas in social media the imagery is often taking the place of textual content. Don’t overdo it in articles or the reader won’t be able to see the forest for the trees.

Part of planning your strategy will be to identify a good source of free, public use imagery to find the aforementioned generic images to put in articles. This will save you time searching later.

Tone

Decide on your tone going forward. The tone you use in your content will be different across the various platforms, and will be different depending on various factors such as the kind of business you are running and your product. Remember what we said at the start of this article: people are buying into you and your business as much as the product. Your tone will be a big part of this. A more friendly, informal, engaging tone may create more of a connection with people, but a more formal, professional tone might suit your overall brand, product, etc., better. It is up to you to decide on tone, but just make sure to take it into consideration and keep it consistent from the start.

blog content strategy - timings and frequency
Frequency

There is no definite answer to how often you should publish content, with different experts saying wildly different things, and studies producing different results. They key, though, is consistency. Don’t publish 20 articles in one month and then only produce two the next. Plan how many articles you are going to publish per week and stick to it, at least roughly; post on social media as interesting things come up, but aim for a base number of posts and shares.

The same goes for your business newsletter. Email is an important part of both your marketing and content strategies. Plan how often you will send out a newsletter and stick to your schedule. It is important that the newsletter actually have something to say, rather than being sent out simply because it’s time, but if you are producing content regularly this won’t be an issue. You are sending it to people who have gone the extra mile to be involved with your business, though, so plan what extras you will include for those people.

Don’t publish content and forget about it; continue to promote it even when it is old. Only when it is no longer relevant should you let yourself forget it. You can use something like Hootsuite to schedule social media posts, so you don’t have to waste time going back repeatedly to share. Keeping a list or spreadsheet containing your content and its subject could help you keep track of what to promote, when. For example, if you have Christmas-specific content, there’s no point promoting it in June, but you don’t want to forget that you have it when Christmas rolls around again; or when International Women’s Day rolls around, having a list of articles relating to the day specifically, or female-led startups, for example, will be of great help and will save you time searching your content-rich website for relevant content to share.

blog content strategy

Timing

Timing is a tricky one. Some report that Tuesday and Sunday seem to be the best days to publish content, whilst others may say that Monday and Wednesday - it can really vary. This is really where your target audience comes into play. For example, statistically, more men read blog content in the evening and at night than women. And while Sunday might be a good day generally to publish, is your content too business-related to appeal to people on their day off?

Finally, you should be updating your strategy all the time, based on new information. Keep an eye on what days, and what time of day, you get most shares of content; note any differences in what kind of content does best on these days and times; watch what kind of content your audience responds to best (though don’t use this information to oversaturate), including its length. Being told, when the best time to social share is one thing, but knowing your audiences habits is another.


About Startacus..

Startacus.net is an online and offline platform that has become a leading publication, information source and workshop & event facilator for a broad range of startups, entrepreneurs and b2b brands and programmes. Contact us if you require more information. 


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Published on: 12th March 2017

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