Everybody wants to be the ruler of the couch, and everybody wants to be the ruler of the Internet. But you see, if you’re a business concern, making yourself visible to Google search can become troublesome and backbreaker – better make sure you’ll get yourself a cozy chair before taking the plunge – it’s gonna take some time.
Why do we need a content strategy?
You may have all the greatest skills ever – if you don’t have a solid marketing plan, you’ll become the Tesla of the 21th century – no one will give a crap about you because you’ve already lost in front of some Edison dude who just happened to have a marketing strategy related to the contemporary trends.
Yeah, Tesla is considered to be one of the greatest inventors of all time, but at the time he died, nobody gave a crap about him. Death makes an artist – that’s just ridiculous.
Contemporary trends? There’s only one trend going on these days and it goes by the name of Game of Thrones. Things can get messy on the way to the Iron Throne of the Internet also known as The First Page of Google.
You’ve only got three main options: to be either a good person (in that case you’ll kinda die fast and furious), to be the evil dude everybody hates, who’s going to make it to top 10 in Google search engine (until one day when you’ll be punished by the High Septon – also known as Google – because of your black hat mumbo jumbo), or to be the badass khaleesi.
Content is khaleesi
At this point, Daenerys Targaryen is no longer a khaleesi, but the Queen of the Andals and the Rhoynarand the First Men, Lord of the Seven Kingdoms, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Breaker of Shackles, Queen of Meereen and Princess of Dragonstone.
Think about building your content strategy and think about Daenerys’s development since becoming a khaleesi – what do these two things have in common?
Check out 9 lessons you should learn from Daenerys Targaryen before building your web content strategy:
1. Find your motivation
Even if you think big, try making baby steps. Start with finding your motivation. If you won’t do that, everything you’ll engage in will be just skin and bones – you don’t want that. You don’t want to be involved in a project you don’t believe in so you better pack your bags, go in for an adventure, track down your inspiration, come back and prepare for battle.
2. Establish your main directions
You see, it’s okay not to be aware of certain things at first, as long as you’re trying and you’re doing your best to be the best. After catching sight of that catalyst of yours, establish your path: what are your main objectives (improve brand awareness, increase leads, increase sales, bring people on board), who is your target (create some personas), how do you want to communicate with your audience (create messages for your personas), what type of content will you share (evergreen articles, open-source articles, tutorials, case studies, infographics, videos etc.), what resources do you latch on to.
Oh, and don’t forget to keep your eagle eye on your neighbor’s yard.
3. Research the battlefield
Know everything about your audience and your competition and act properly. Do not be a copycat, but a reformer, an enhancer, an improver. Know your enemies (starting with your closest ones), and be acquainted with your allies, too.
They say it’s not nice to stare at your neighbor’s yard. Not knowing where to head first is not nice either, but if you’re misdoubting and have no idea what to do, investigate, flush out that neighbor, research and develop your strategy.
4. Start communicating with your audience ASAP
Learn Dothraki and other languages so you can start communicating with your audience. Well, yeah, Dothraki won’t take you very far, I suppose.
Talk to your people – tell them how you can help them so that you can help yourself in the long run. Explain to them why would they care about you by offering them a feeling of personal investment. For a customer, it’s hard to relate to a product – it’s easy to relate to an experience – tell a story as it relates to their needs.
5. SEO, blogging and social media are your three dragons
A dragon is no slave – if you do not find a way to raise them well, no one will.
Create a content strategy. Optimize your website (if you don’t have a website, this article is no use for you) by identifying the right keywords, optimizing its page title, the meta descriptions, using headings and CSS, alt images and friendly URLs.
And please, avoid keyword stuffing, it’s really annoying. Also, the High Septon will penalize you if you use too many of these – trust me, you don’t want to be punished by the High Septon.
When creating content on your blog, don’t forget about your audience. Format your texts, use links, CTAs and attention grabbing article titles. Most important, be creative, innovative and useful – find out all about your target and try to answer to its questions. Give solutions, throw in new ideas, be a pro and don’t lose sight of your sense of humor.
Last but not least, share your content on social media. Create an editorial calendar based on a selected persona and establish the purpose of your content.
In the end, become independent and make the best out of these three awesome ”weapons”.
6. Be honest.
Even if at first you do not have many followers, lead them, encourage them, inspire them, be true to your principles and more will join your cause. Let everyone know you, show them you’re the best and focus on being the best.
In the long run, fall in love not only with your product or your services, but with your audience as well.
7. Accept advice from everybody.
A queen must listen to all. The highborn and the low, the strong and the weak, the noble and the venal. One voice may speak you false but in many there is always truth to be found. (G.R.R. Martin)
8. Experiment and make mistakes
It’s the only way you can grow. Maybe you won’t find that motivation, maybe you won’t know anything about your ”friends and foes”, maybe you’ll grow into being one arrogant content marketer who doesn’t like to communicate with his or her target.
Maybe you’ll take your dragons for granted, they will drift apart and stop listening to you. They will return to you eventually. Making mistakes is natural, healthy and helps you to be more aware of your power and your responsibilities.
9. Learn how to ride your dragons
Okay, so here you have them: your directions, your audience, your competitors and your three dragons. Now what?
Now comes the hard part: learning how to ride those dragons. Each and every one of us has its own style of riding a dragon. If they’re savage and unmanageable, it’s okay. Like I’ve already told you, experiment until you nail it.
On your way to the Iron Throne, never stop building, never stop creating, never stop trying to be the best – content marketing is all about perseverance, improvement, dedication and riding dragons.