Content StrategyThe impact of Google’s Panda and Penguin updates has been well publicised, and companies are being loudly encouraged to produce SEO marketed content in order for their sites to rank highly in search engine results. Whilst companies understand that this content needs to be unique, and are producing it as such, not all content being published is relevant, engaging or in line with company goals.

Making your online content a cornerstone of your digital marketing and communications strategy can help you build your online presence, encourage users and customers to engage further with your brand, increase your online presence and build brand awareness, all in addition to improving conversion rates. For these reasons alone, creating engaging and relevant content suddenly takes on a whole new meaning.

Before you jump in with both feet, consider what makes your brand special. Help your online content stand apart, as well as your brand, by highlighting those differences. Decide on a tone of voice and then stick to it across all your online content. Identify your unique selling points, your brand values, and use them as guidelines across every platform for digital communication.

Speaking of platforms, there’s no need to spread yourself thin trying to cover every single digital platform available. While a blog is the best way to deliver online content, your target audience will help you determine where else to concentrate your efforts. The same is true for social media. Tailor your content to suit each platform or social media site you use, and remember to give your audience the ability to share your content through social media, helping to increase your brand’s reach organically.

Your audience should drive your content, and creating engaging, meaningful content that is relevant to your audience should be your highest goal. But how do you know what that is? Your current audience should be able to help you narrow it down, so ask for feedback. If you’re already creating content, analyse what’s working and what isn’t, see if there’s a pattern. Put together a content plan for the next quarter, using events, product launches, holiday seasons (if applicable) or trends to give you possible subjects.

Don’t forget that straight articles aren’t the only way to share content. Infographics, videos, podcasts, reviews, buying guides, opinion pieces and images are all popular and acceptable alternatives to a standard article or blog post. Take a page out of popular bloggers’ books and create a range of unique content that will help attract a wider audience.

While producing great content is fantastic, if you have no way to measure the impact of said content then it’s all for nothing. Key metrics should be agreed before launching your content strategy. For example, an increase in user engagement could be one key metric you might want to see, so include it in your content strategy and then regularly monitor and measure your progress to see what works. Content is still vitally important to digital marketing, but without strategy you could just be lost in the depths of search engine results.