How to Develop a Content Strategy for a Website

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What is a Content Strategy?

Content strategy is the game plan for reaching your organizational goals through your online content. Content strategy can be intimidating, but that should not stop you from taking the time to create a clear plan to market and maintain your website. Here’s a helpful guide to get you started when putting together your strategy for the upcoming year.

Understand Your Assets (First things first)

Time, money, resources; all of these need to be considered and allocated in a realistic manner. For example, if your organization wants elaborate changes to your site, but you do not have the budget for it, then you will need to reset expectations of what can be achieved within your budget. Similarly, if you do not have the appropriate number of team members for projects or the time to dedicate to a specific task, your content strategy should reflect those details. Or perhaps you want to transition to more video content, but do not have someone on your team with those skills. Maybe you will want to consider bringing someone on or hiring a freelancer. This is not meant to discourage you, but instead urge you to be realistic as you plan to save you stress (and cost) down the road.

Put it into action:

Sit down with your team and decide what each person’s role will be and the time designated to content creation and maintenance. Nail down your budget in real terms so you know what you are working with. Create a list of all of the goals your team has and see how that compares.

Understand The Purpose

This is probably the most important step when creating your content strategy. You need to know the why of your each piece of content before determining how to create them. Here are some examples of common purposes:

  • To inform the user about your organization
  • To persuade the user that your organization can meet their needs over competitors
  • To increase leads by developing a connection with the user through meaningful and targeted content

Put it into action:

Create a mission statement for your content and make sure that it aligns with your organizational goals. Really take your time creating this and ensure that it covers all aspects of what you are hoping to accomplish.

Understand The Audience

We’re sure this is no surprise to you, but knowing your audience is key to everything. Who will be reading your content? Who do you want to be reading your content (target audience)? You must understand the demographics of your audience in order to effectively reach them and develop an appropriate content strategy. Also take note of what type of content is most popular with your current audience. Is your blog being viewed more than your written papers? Are your videos being viewed frequently? These details will tell you about your audience and what content they prefer. 

Put it into action:

Develop Buyer Personas and then interview your target audience to create a Customer Journey Map. What age group are they? Where are they located? Do they primarily use mobile devices to view your website? There are so many great details that you can gather from user testing that will help you shape your strategy.

Understand The Context

Context is all about the situation in which your users will be interacting with your content. Maybe your users only visit your website from their phone, which could potentially affect the formatting of your content. When are your users interacting with your content? The time of day could affect your timing of posts or updates. Although these aspects may seem small, the little details can make a big difference for developing your content strategy.

Put it into action:

Send a survey to your users with questions about how and when they interact with your content. Refer to your Customer Journey Map to see where the key touchpoints are and create content to assist and engage with your audience. Search your data for trends and make a note of consistencies among users. 

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help

You are not alone! Content strategy can be a big task as you get started, so maybe an extra hand would be a good investment for your organization. There are also a wide variety of free online resources to help you develop a strategy as well as teams such as ours at CommonPlaces that would love to help out.

Put it into action:

If you are struggling with developing a content strategy or don’t even know where to start, we are here to help. Our team of marketing experts would love to work with you and create a customized plan. Check out some of our previous work if you are curious or reach out for more information!


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