Any SEO agency worth your time will tell you that the content is perhaps the smallest piece of the puzzle in your content marketing strategy. It is merely the vehicle by which your business will build its brand reputation and increase visibility. The strategy and solutions behind the content are where you really need to focus to ensure that your efforts are on the right track.
Don’t get us wrong. The content that you provide absolutely matters. The subject should be relevant, and the writing should be flawless. It should deliver information and assistance to your audience, and it should always be relevant to your industry. However, too many companies spend so much time focused on the content itself that they forget to spend time on setting up a solid framework and foundation with their SEO and content marketing strategy.
What is Information Architecture?
Information architecture (IA) is simply the way that you organize, structure, and label content to align it with the overall goals of your content marketing strategy and your business marketing efforts in general. There are four main elements of this process:
- Organization Systems: How your business structures and categorizes content
- Labeling Systems: How information is represented
- Navigation Systems: How users move around the website or navigate content
- Search Systems: How your audience looks for information
Essentially, it’s about fitting all of the pieces together in the giant content marketing strategy puzzle to achieve the goal of helping your visitors find relevant information, complete tasks, or gather resources from your business website, blog, and other places where you publish content.
Because of this, your information architecture is going to inform content strategy, user interface design, and user interaction. No matter how good your content is, if you don’t have this structure in place, you’re not going to create the most effective content marketing strategy. If you want to be successful in content strategy and developing a strong IA, you need to have an in-depth understanding of how content is created, stored, accessed, and presented based on industry standards.
Incorporating a Solid Content Strategy
You can write the most captivating, attention-grabbing, or information-rich content that is available online. You can spend days, or even weeks, having content created and curated for all of your online marketing efforts. And still, if you don’t have a solid strategy in place for publishing and distributing that content, it’s not going to make that much of a difference. It’s not just about what you’re putting out there; it’s about why and how you are putting it out there.
What are you offering to the audience? What kind of content does each channel or medium require in order to achieve the goals of your business? These, and many other questions, will need to be answered in order to help you create a dynamic content strategy that gets the results that your company deserves.
What is the Purpose of Content Strategy?
Obviously, part of your content strategy is getting the content to the right places and the right people. However, the true purpose and intention of a solid strategy for content marketing is more about creating cohesive, useful, engaging content that attracts users and offers sustainability for ongoing marketing efforts. With today’s highly-social Internet, it is more imperative than ever to reach the right audience with the right message and to do it in the appropriate time and place.
Setting Up Your Strategy
When you are planning for content marketing, developing a strategy can be a challenge for those who have never been here before. Fortunately, there are some helpful questions that you can ask yourself to ensure that you are employing a strong strategy and creating user-friendly, value-added content in everything that you do.
- Who are you trying to reach? (Target Audience)
- Why are you publishing content and where will it go? (Intent/Distribution)
- Who is creating, managing, and executing your content strategy? (Execution)
- What kind of content are you going to publish? (Authority/Insight)
- Where and when will the content have the biggest impact? (Execution)
- At what point in the content strategy should you engage in sales conversations? (Conversion)
- Are there organizational changes that need to be made? (Administration)
- How are you going to execute your strategy within your company? (Execution/Intent)
After each of these questions, you’ll see a designation for elements that are essential building blocks of your Information Architecture and content marketing strategy. These include things like your target audience, marketing intent, distribution efforts, execution strategies, administrative tasks, and offering brand authority and insight. Each has its own place in your organization’s content marketing strategy and will be crucial to your overall success.
Content Drives Marketing
Your marketing efforts will serve two masters: your customers and search engines. A customer might know you by name, but in order to rank in search results, you have to make sure that you have a solid content marketing strategy that includes SEO and other optimization efforts. Almost two-thirds of digital marketing professionals report content creation is one of the most successful SEO marketing tools. What’s more is that they insist content must have value.
In fact, WHY you are posting something matters far more to most of your audience than what you are actually posting. They want to understand where you are coming from and how you can help them with whatever products or services they need from your organization. Content marketing certainly isn’t the only digital marketing solution that’s becoming a necessity, but it is a popular topic among many of those who have yet to experience just what content strategy and marketing can do.
WYW Can Take Your Information Architecture Higher
There is no reason for you to have to settle for sub-par marketing solutions. Even if you think that you know everything that you need to know, the industry changes every day, so there is always more to learn. Contact the WYW team to discuss your content strategy and find out how we can help you develop a robust content marketing plan that will hit all the right marks and get your brand noticed everywhere that you go.