Four steps to effective digital content

We all know that establishing a consistent social media presence is healthy for brand awareness, but only when content is produced with purpose will it do more than earn empty impressions in the news feed. A digital content program can help with that. By devising a digital content plan that serves the right message to your audience in an effective, engaging manner, they’ll better understand what you stand for. Here’s where to begin when developing a digital content program.

1. Know your target audience
To get to know your audience, take a deep dive into the people who are already engaging with your website and social media channels. You’ll find these insights on Google Analytics or social media’s native analytics.

One way to understand why web visitors are seeking you out in the first place is by taking a look at Google Analytics’ in-market segments under the Audience tab. This will display what your visitors are actively searching for. As a result, you might notice that most of your visitors are searching “Employment,” which you can use to better communicate your culture and work in a way that will engage potential job seekers.

2. Designate content themes
You can’t be all things to all people. You have a better chance of engaging your target audience if you hone in on your messaging. To help focus your content strategy, brainstorm the elements that set your business apart from others in your industry. Consider the problems you can solve and how your stance on these topics aligns with current trends. Then, decide which topics allow you to speak as an authority. These decisions will help form your content pillars: your go-to sources for developing digital assets. Breaking topics into relevant themes, or pillars, allows you to invest resources on creating content that you can own while presenting a consistent digital look, message and tone.

3. Use different formats
If you want to give your audience the opportunity to gain a awareness of your expertise, develop a downloadable white paper so they can read more from an industry leader. Or, provide deeper insights from a subject matter expert by encouraging people to stream the latest podcast episode on your website. Different content formats will serve different needs and interests, providing an opportunity to test and learn what performs best.

This content should be strategically distributed on social media platforms where your target audience is most likely to see it. If you’re marketing toward recent college graduates who are looking for employment opportunities, promote your content on LinkedIn. But don’t be afraid to test against different platforms to evaluate the best channel for your content strategy.

4. Monitor and optimize
A review of the native analytics offered on social media will help you quickly understand which content themes, formats and channels are earning your audience’s interest and engagement. Making sure you have a business account on your social platform of choice will allow you to take full advantage of these analytics. On Facebook, you can view engagements and impressions on a post-by-post basis. Most importantly, the platform compares these measurements month-over-month, so you can conclude what’s working and what’s not as you improve your future digital and social strategy.

With a digital content program in place, your business can harness the power to bridge the gaps between your story and your online audience, and find the optimal methods for delivering the message. By getting to know your audience’s interests and honing in on the stories you and your business are best served to tell, you can deliver value to an audience that's ready to listen.