Why is content development so important?
In order to produce successful content, you need to streamline the process of making the content in the first place. Content is the magnet of your website, and it is one of the most significant tools in helping your brand achieve its goals. Therefore it is crucial for you to have a solid content strategy ready for you to implement on your website and make the vital improvements.
Content is the main reason people would visit your website, so a content strategy will help guide you in planning the what, where, and when of your content creation. If you feel like the content of your website is no longer relevant or appealing to you, how do you convince your website visitors not to feel the same way?
Any redesigns of your website content should be aligned with that of your other social media platforms. It would be confusing if a customer visits your website from your brand’s Instagram account only to find that the content design differs from the ones you have on your feed. If you haven’t touched the content on your website in a while, then it must not be up to date with your other social media pages and may need a refresh.
Stages of Content Development Process
1. Defining your goals
Is your content relevant to your brand? If you produce content just for the sake of it, then there’s a chance that your content is not being accepted by the audience the way you want it to be. Before crafting a certain post, you must first think about the value that it adds to your website—is it educational content? Perhaps problem-solving? Take into account who you’re making the content for because it will affect your language use and writing. Does it need to be more formal as it is aimed at professionals or experts?
If you’re posting a certain content just for your website and not across all social media platforms, you need to maintain a content schedule that will make things easier and more consistent for you. Regularly scheduled content can also be anticipated by your audience as customers could become accustomed to the timing of your posts. Uniqueness and innovative content are also useful to distinguish your brand from your competitors. Think of the things that can make your content different from others in the same boat and how to make it more interesting to your target audience.
For instance, a local business named Amazin’ Graze keeps its website up-to-date with the latest seasonal content as we approach December. Christmas is around the corner, and when a user views their website, they are first met with the falling of snow and a Christmas-themed site. Not to mention that the first content available is regarding their Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales, so it compels people to check them out and see what’s in store.
Through this observation, it is clear that Amazin’ Grace has content goals that revolve around the festivities that happen in a year, and not simply putting out the same content regarding their brand and products all year round. They even have an entire section just for Christmas on their website which showcases their ultimate Christmas collections. Furthermore, they also include services such as gift messages. Even if it’s a small action such as creating special gift cards for your potential customers, it can go a long way, bringing in more customers for you.
If you cater to these festive needs and take into account the latest trends, you’ll be able to put your business in the spotlight. Craft your brand’s content goals around the wants and needs of your target audience, and you will deliver them exactly what they desire.
On the other hand, if you are not looking to cater to festivities for your website content, Lilin+Co is a good example. Albeit they have products that are displayed just for Christmas such as their Naughty or Nice Christmas Candles, they do not change the overall layout of their website for the festive season the way Amazin’ Grace does. This does not mean that it is a bad thing, it simply means that these two businesses have different content goals, and you need to know exactly what your brand’s goals are before diving into the creation process.
To know what your audience needs means you have to get to know them first, so this brings us to the next section.
2. Target each of your personas
When creating website content, it is common to think about what you want to say instead of what your audience wants to read. Keeping your various audiences in mind while you’re creating content is essential because you need to know what is important to them. After all, they are who your content is truly for, therefore you need to put their desires first and think about what the best content for them is. Digital marketing for websites is not the same as digital marketing in social media, so in order for your content to be seen, you must attract the right people.
If you create target personas for your content structure, then it is easier for you to visualise the people you’re trying to reach. Once you understand what the persona would want or need, you can personalise your content accordingly and determine who your key personas are. Produce content that is relevant to their interests, needs, and goals, and you might meet your own. Remember, you have more than one audience, and your website should have a variety of content that caters to each of these buyer personas that you have determined.
Take Inside Scoop, for instance, their website is simple and straightforward, but they are also updated with current events such as the upcoming holiday season and their 8th birthday promotion. When it comes to target personas, it is evident in their Events & Catering section where you can see that they cater to various events ranging from weddings, annual dinners, and event launches to something as simple and fun as a birthday party.
This range of events shows how versatile their target audience is because weddings consist of young adults to middle-aged people, annual dinners could be for a company big and small, and birthday parties could be for children or teenagers. When your business has a wide target audience, make sure to be inclusive of every single one so they know that your business also caters to them specifically.
For more narrowed down and specific target audiences, we can take a look at the local and popular brand dUCk. Their website is painted with their signature purple, making it very easy for their customers to distinguish them from other brands in the same industry. You can already tell who their target audience is based on the images that they display on the homepage alone, and that is something that your brand needs.
dUCk, be it the scarves or the cosmetics and various other lifestyle products that they offer, are catered to adult women. When they have a specified audience like this, they are able to make their products and promotions resonate with the target audience. For example, during October, which is Breast Cancer Awareness month, dUCk launched a Pinktober campaign where 10% of every purchase from the collection was donated to Breast Cancer Welfare Association Malaysia and it helps with spreading awareness regarding the issue. Besides specific issues such as Breast Cancer, they also have a few other amenities as readymade content on their website such as free digital wallpapers, tutorials on how to style their scarves, and even the service of personalising your dUCk product such as having your name on the handbag.
So in a nutshell, it is way easier to curate relatable and relevant content when you know who your target audiences are. If you are targeting a corporate audience, then having a colourful website with content following the latest social trends might not cut it. It’s different the other way around, where if you’re targeting teenagers or young adults, a sleek, monochrome website with wordy content that doesn’t excite them in any way will not appeal to them.
If you take a look at our own website, we stick to a colour scheme that best represents us as one of the digital agencies in Malaysia. Apart from showcasing what we can do in order to help businesses grow in the digital age, we also provide a blog section full of updates regarding both our company and the digital marketing industry as a whole. Sometimes we slip in a few tips and tricks that could assist our target audience in their journey of enhancing their business with the growing usage of social media and digital advertising.
Whatever it is that you decide to put out as content on your website, you must ensure that it is beneficial to your audience and keep in mind that they might turn to your brand to find solutions for the problems that they have in the same area of expertise. Know your audience, know what you can provide to satisfy their needs.
3. Creating a content calendar
If you are tired of missing deadlines or forgetting to put out content on days when you’re supposed to, create a content calendar. Start mapping out a schedule of what content you want to post, how often you post, and even allocate specific dates of the postings in order to optimise your results. This way, you’ll be able to track your content progress as well, even across multiple platforms. Without a calendar, you risk duplication of content and worst of all, creating gaps in essential content.
When your website content has consistency, it leaves a mark on your audience because they will grow accustomed to your posting schedule and know when to expect new content from your brand. By having a content calendar, you are able to plan your content ahead for the month and keep track of everything to ensure the postings run smoothly. Creating content ahead of time also gives you the opportunity to craft out high quality ones instead of churning out content at the last minute. Nothing good ever comes out of rushing.
In a content calendar, you can establish the content pillars and topics that best suit your brand before creating each singular post. Once you know what the main pillars of your content are, it will be easier for you to figure out the minute details of the messages you want to send to your target audience. For instance, Pet Lovers Centre provides a Pet Advice section on their website where they produce blog posts about the care for different animals as well as tips and tricks that could help pet owners in the long run. Their pillars stem from significant topics such as breeds and behaviour and training, and these two alone are already informative and helpful.
What does your brand do? What area of expertise do you offer to your customers and how can you help them solve potential problems? Your audience would click on your website and read through your content if they find it interesting or helpful, so ensure that whatever topic you decide to post about, you are giving the information that they need in an eye-catching way.
After all, when you write irrelevant content that doesn’t align with your business or the desires of your audience, then there is a high chance that these people would simply scroll past your content or not look at it at all. In order to avoid this from happening, creating a content calendar where you can thoroughly plan each post to the best of your ability becomes a vital part of your marketing strategy. Earlier we have told you to get to know your audience so you’ll know exactly the kind of content that they want to see, so now we are telling you to take the next step and make sure that you are fulfilling your own goals apart from satisfying your potential customers.
4. Use the right language for efficiency and performance
Your content needs to be understood by your audience, and not all of them would be familiar with the words that you are used to. For instance, internal jargon might be known by people in the industry at a professional level, but there’s a chance that your audience has no background in the area. Hence you must use verbiage that your audience can comprehend easily. If your audience is more technical, then you can use technical language with the thought that they will understand in mind. Otherwise, it is better to stick to simpler language that will resonate with them more while also demonstrating your expertise in the industry.
The type of language you use in your content also becomes a defining factor of your brand’s image. Is your business the fun kind, with preppy, trendy words slipped in here and there to resonate with your target audience? Or are you the formal kind with zero playfulness and 100% biz? Whichever tone and voice that you think is best to represent your brand, then that is the one that you need to stick to. As you may have picked up on already, consistency is key. Your brand would look like it’s all over the place if your content and language don’t align with your brand’s image of values.
5. Studying your competition
To keep your content interesting and relevant, you need to start analysing your top competitors and observe the way they craft their content. If their practices are good and can be learned from, then you can borrow them and find a way to ensure that your brand also stays on top of trends, implementing your own version of their ideas that best suit your business.
However, don’t only look at the good side of things. You have to determine what your competitors are lacking and claim your place by filling in that void. Solve the problems that the audience has before they bounce into the arms of a competitor instead. It is best if you know how to overcome your brand’s own weaknesses so that you can utilise them in shaping a better business. Where another company lacks, your business steps forward to save the day. It is only fair that you’re aware of your brand’s ebb and flow first prior to pin-pointing others’ weaknesses.
What makes your content stand out from your competitors? What kind of content would make your audience immediately recognise your brand because it is your signature content and you always come through with the best answers to their problems and never ending questions? Think about it. If you and a competitor both have content A, B, and C, but they lack D, then you can swoop in and fill in the void before them to attract your audience towards your business.
An example would be the difference between two popular, local brands for scarves such as the aforementioned dUCk and one of its biggest competitors Naelofar. Even though both brands have their own line of scarves, clothing, bags, accessories, and essentials, they each have something that the other lacks—dUCk has cosmetics, and Naelofar has prayerwear.
Although both their target audiences comprise of adult women, it is evident in this situation that the latter brand caters more towards Muslim women through their use of the word “Hijab” instead of “scarves” and the fact that they include prayerwear in their collections. dUCk on the other hand moves more towards the modernity in the lives of adult women today, with their various cosmetics collections and different sets of scarves. Sure, you can say that both of them cater towards Muslim women, but one is distinguished than the other, and at the end of the day, it’s the customer’s preference that comes into play.
6. Maintaining a stable social media presence
The only way to keep a stable social media presence is through posting often. Just as stated in the content calendar section, you must schedule your content to ensure that you are putting out just enough for your website and social media platforms alike. Post often, but not too often to the point where you clog your audience’s feed with solely your content. Make it easy for them to share your posts so that your brand can reach more people through the help of your own targeted audience.
Consistent postings will make your audience expect more from your brand, especially if your content is interesting to the point where they would anticipate each one, ready to share it to their own pages and profiles. If you don’t post regularly and leave gaps between significant posts, then there’s a chance that you’re turning away potential customers due to the inactivity of your page. When a user visits your website and sees that the last blog post is from six months ago, they wouldn’t be revisiting anytime soon.
Stay on top of trends in your industry and try to craft out creative, compelling content beforehand so that you won’t be swamped when the month comes. If you have your content ready for consistent postings, then you can sit back and watch as each post drives in your target audience and ensure that they stay looking for your content every other day.
7. Mastering SEO optimisation
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the very heart of effective strategies digital marketing needs, and you must know the fundamentals of good SEO writing to ensure the success of your website and its content. It takes a lot more than regularly performing keyword research and keeping up with changing trends.
Firstly, you must make sure that all your website’s content is indexed and use the proper formatting tags such as H1, H2, and more. It’s best to keep individual page URLs short, using dashes to separate words. No one likes lengthy URLs, after all. If you can learn to rank for Google, then you can produce authoritative content and Google will prioritise your content. When performing keyword research, you can try to use tools such as SEMrush to help you find the most relevant keywords for your website content.
Now, you might think that keywords are nothing too critical for your business, but they matter, and they matter big time. Keywords are what your target audience enters into the search engine when they are looking for a specific result. You would want your site to appear in the first page, preferably high up in the ranks that they see your site first. Typically, users do not bother to click on the second or third page. They only remain on the first page, scrolling through a few top links to see which ones catch their attention and if they have the information they need.
Your meta description is crucial in this process too, because it summarises what the content on your website is about and if they carry the answers to the questions your audience has. If your meta description doesn’t align with the actual body of text that your content has, then it will give a bad impression for your potential customers, and they might not trust your site again. So find the right and relevant keywords and use them in your content, making sure that your website appears to your target audience. How are they going to see you if you do not provide them with what they are looking for?
SEO marketing changes frequently, just like the ever-changing trends. So to keep your brand relevant and on top of trends, it pays to stay abreast with industry experts.
Having good content on your website is no doubt one of the most crucial aspects of pushing your business in the right direction towards success. When you know who your competitors are and what they’re doing, who your target audience is and what they want, you can craft content that is beneficial to them and your business as a whole. After all, the end product of your content is to get people to trust your brand and convert them into customers, so you must think about their needs and how you can provide them with the right solutions through your business.
Invest your time in creating quality content with Digitally.Asia today, one of Malaysia’s best digital marketing agencies. Our experts will help you optimise your website’s content and appeal to your audience. Find out more by following us on Facebook or get in touch with us here!