Whether you have a flawless editorial calendar or you’re not even sure what one looks like, everyone can improve on content development. Prioritizing your content needs is definitely a key challenge you will face in this process. One of the easiest and most effective ways to tackle this that I recommend to clients is to listen. Knowing what to listen for in meetings and day-to-day interactions with coworkers, and knowing how to react, is a powerful ability when addressing your content needs.
I thought it might be helpful to take a few of the most common complaints that I’ve heard clients reference, in relation to content, and give my recommendation on what might help.
“No one reads the content we have.”
It’s hard to make a justification for more content if people are saying no one reads your existing content. If you have verified through utilization reports that readership is indeed low, there are several recommendations you can make to your team.
- Content Audit: You may have good content, but it might not be in the right places on your site. People might not be able to find posts if they are buried on hidden pages. An audit will also help determine the true quality of content on the site by indicating problem areas and giving you the opportunity to improve.
- SEO Audit and Recommendations: You very well may have excellent content on your website, but it may not be surfacing on any Google searches. An audit of your current SEO practices, as well as recommendations on how to improve, can help your content get into the hands of people looking for it.
“We want to offer content, but don’t have the staff or time.”
Relevant and rich content can be a great way to draw people to your website, but a lukewarm commitment can leave that content dry and unreadable. Without the proper resources dedicated, content will sit stagnant and purposeless.
These are some simple content types that require little maintenance once they are complete, and could help you get back up and running:
- A series of articles based on services your organization offers and the subject matter experts who can advise. The MailChimp blog is a great example of how writing on your area of expertise can drive content to the site and position your organization as a house of thought leaders.
- Yearly editorial calendars, so everyone knows what content is available and what is coming. These calendars help take the stress out of content planning. Organizations usually keep these calendars private, but the HootSuite blog offers a list of templates that can be helpful.
“We want to expand our global sites.”
Localization and translation efforts can make a global site worth visiting for your clients. If you are expanding your website to a different country, it’s important to think about how that audience will differ from your current audience. Localization and translation efforts can help you:
- Provide text in different languages.
- Make text more relevant to foreign audiences.
- Remove offensive or confusing references that may not make sense globally or in certain countries.
- Make changes to site structure so certain global audiences can interact with your site in a way that is familiar to them.
“This piece doesn’t sound like us. It doesn’t fit with the site.”
If you’re hearing that your content is not fitting in with the rest of the website, it is likely a content branding issue. Good, strong content can help promote your brand only if it is actually aligned with the brand.
An editorial review and possible rewrite of your content can help it better align with your brand. Ensuring that your content represents your brand means that your pieces can be passed from people to people, publication to publication, and still have the same tone and voice.
If you and other people within your organization can’t reach consensus on what that brand is, it would be worth your while to create a well thought-out brand platform and strategy. Ryan Schulz, One North Director, Brand, speaks more to this in his blog post, Brand Planning and Digital: A Framework.
“We just can’t do that.”
In short – yes you can! Improving the content on your site doesn’t have to be a massive undertaking. If you are hearing these types of complaints within your organization, it would be worth your while to take 10 or 15 minutes to simply brainstorm solutions. Look to sites you enjoy for inspiration and see if there are elements within them that can translate to what you and your organization are trying to accomplish.
Interested in social media content? Read about our recent investment in Tell Your Story to further your social marketing capabilities.
Need help thinking in the right direction for better content marketing? Read 10 Tips for Doing it Better (Content Marketing, That Is).