Content should exist because there is a target set of audience - people who will read, watch, and/or look at your stuff. Keep in mind that the reason we are making content is not to make ourselves feel good, or to archive and document what our company is about. We make content for people – users who drop by in your site because they want to know you!
Establishing your users (User Profiling)
I’ve gone through this in my last entry ‘Establishing your Content Identity‘. You have to establish who your users are. Let’s take a simple example – a guy who has plumbing problems. If you’re a plumbing company with a plumbing website, the reason why this guy is in your website is to fix his plumbing problems. The sink is leaking water like crazy and he just wants to fix it and clean things up.
We can conclude that:
- This guy is impatient, irate and in a hurry
- This guy is looking for the easiest, quickest solution
- This guy has no time getting to know your company/brand
Does your content strategy fix his plumbing problems?
A simple, User Centric Content Strategy would be:
Get right to the point – Don’t beat around the bush. Don’t start with “Welcome to the Plumbing Solutions Website. Plumbing Solutions has been around 100 years…” No one in a running plumbing problem will give time to read that stuff.
Don’t try to be funny – This guy is not in a happy situation and chances are, your jokes aren’t gonna make him laugh.
Be task-oriented – This guy wants actionable solutions. Only those things in your content will matter to him.
The thing is, your Plumbing website doesn’t have only this kind of user. You also have the user who is just looking for plumbing services because of difficulties that they don’t want to fix themselves. Thus, we can categorize your users into these two types of people as seen in the table below:
Designing your content strategy to cater to the first type of user with a high likelihood will be the better choice because they want to find things fast while the second type of user has all the time he needs to browse through your content.
- Your Content strategy should first tackle quick, easy-to-use, simple information for customers who have immediate plumbing problems. Why? Because chances are, most of your site’s visitors are people who are such.
- Secondly, your content strategy should be in creating helpful, plumbing-related content that educates your customers and boosts your credibility as a plumbing solutions brand. Who will read this? Past customers, possible prospects who are looking for plumbing advise without immediate plumbing problems, or perhaps other plumbers who are new in the field.
Having this content strategy in place, you are making your site’s content centered on users. In order to successfully do this, you need to understand your users – not just who they are but what they’re doing and how they feel. By knowing the why and when, you can get one big step closer to delivering the right content at the right time.
What does Content Strategy have to do with SEO?
That is the big question. I think Jonathan Colman puts it perfectly in this awesome 46-slide deck: