How to Put Together a Rational Content Strategy for Winning Business

content strategy to attract website visitorsI just posted on Facebook a link to HubSpot’s latest E-Book: 15 Business Blogging Mistakes and Easy Fixes. I recommend you get the EBook. HubSpot does a great job of providing some excellent information on blogging and social media. Whether you use their service or not, their EBooks alone are worth getting on the mailing list.

A rational approach to online presence

The graphic above – shown again below – demonstrates a very basic overview of what I consider to be a rational and effective content strategy.

content strategy to attract website visitors

Blog and Mailing List is Key

Yeah yeah.. everyone is saying email is dead and the social stream is how people connect. Yes and no. The social stream is a reality but it is a noisy and often disengaged space. You need to be there for sure.. because “everyone” else is.

But, if you want to really get the best bang for your social media buck, your content should be driven from your blog and traffic back to your blog.

Social Engagement to True Engagement

Social media activities should engage people enough so that you are worth listening to. You must create high-value content that is ultimately housed and categorized on your blog. That is what gets people off the Facebook wall or twitter feed and to your site where you are no longer competing with cute kittens, political rants, and renewed high-school crushes.

The Ethical Bribe Still Lives

Just as with HubSpot’s EBooks, give-aways that provide a reason for site visitors to join your mailing list is the ultimate true engagement. You know have someone who has demonstrated their interest in your information.. enough that they will “put up with” you’re ongoing messages and perhaps even help advance your cause.

Increase the value and engagement

After that, make sure you do not forget about those who have engaged while pursuing new engagements. Continue creating high-value (educational) content. Provide better ways for them to connect and engage. Get your fans/list involved with who you are and what you do.

Tools I Use to Help Generate Content

Google Reader

I’ll be providing a tutorial on this soon. Google reader allows you to subscribe to blogs, news, twitter feeds, and other web information so that you are notified about when they are updated. It is great for consolidating information and is an excellent source for ideas.

Google Docs

Are you tired of hearing me extol the virtues of Google Docs? I have a content planning Workbook with a few sheets in it.  Ie: Google docs has an Excel style spreadsheet

Content Ideas Sheet: I store things I can blog about and links to very interesting pieces of content.

Content Calendar Sheet: When I am ready to blog about something, I move it to this sheet and put a date on it.

Links to Check: This sheet is for links I want to check. They are not yet on the content ideas sheet but might be something I look at later. I track the date I put it in the sheet and where I saw it. I’ll also add a short note to the link.

Content Publishing Process

I’ll cover this in much greater detail later this week. But in short, it looks like this…

  1. Publish on blog/website.
  2. Publish link back to blog on social sites
  3. Capture email addresses on blog/website.
  4. Compile blog content for periodic (2-week) newsletter
  5. Republish link on social sites (content reuse)

Simple.. right?

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