Content development is more than just creating pieces of consumable content for people to see. The goal of developing great content is beyond just getting more traffic to your website or social media channels. It’s about creating valuable, relevant content to help you grow, engage, and retain your audience.
With content marketing, you walk your customer through the sales funnel, making your business stand out when they are ready to purchase.
Think about it: When your prospects are ready to purchase, you want your brand to be top-of-mind. That’s where a solid content development strategy comes in.
You’ll position your business as a thought leader by consistently creating valuable and relevant content; that’s how you’ll make it stand out.
In this article, we’ll cover what content development is and why your business needs a well-thought-out content development plan.
We’ll also share some of the best content development strategies that work for us at Scaling With Systems.
Content Development: An Overview
What is a Content Development Strategy?
A content development strategy involves creating a plan to guide the development and management of content. The goal is to reach higher-level goals by increasing traffic, leads, engagement, and sales.
Businesses must be intentional about their content development process. Without a clear plan, you’ll develop content that isn’t as effective as it could be in nurturing your audience to bring in new leads.
It’s not enough to just know the definition of content development for business; you need to know the right strategies and tools to create impactful content. That’s what we’ll share in this article.
What to Include in Your Content Development Strategies?
Your content development strategies could include creating any of the following forms of content:
- Blog posts
- Social media posts
How to Be Creative with Your Content Development Process?
Content is crucial for businesses, but it can be hard to develop new ideas. Some tips to help you generate fresh and exciting content for your audience:
- Leverage efficient tools: Inspiration can come from all around us, but sometimes it’s hard to find the time to sit down and write. One way to overcome this is to use tools that make it easy to capture ideas and inspiration on the go. For example, you can take photographs of things that catch your eye or use apps that translate voice to text, so you can speak your thoughts out loud and record them for later. By keeping a list of topics and notes, you can easily refer back to them when you have time to write.
- Stay hyper-focused on your consumers’ needs: Your consumers are the lifeblood of your business, so it makes sense to keep their needs front and center when creating content. By understanding their needs, you’ll develop content that speaks to them.
- Hold regular brainstorming sessions: Come up with new and unique ideas for your content development plan by holding brainstorming sessions with your key leadership team. By putting your customer at the center of the exercise, you’ll generate ideas that you might not have thought of otherwise.
- Don’t be afraid to delegate: Entrepreneurs often have a lot on their plate. Delegating time-consuming tasks in the content development plan to a team makes sense. By outsourcing content development to digital marketing teams, you’ll save multiple hours every day, while focusing on scaling your business.
- Find your inner unthinking genius: Our brains are incredibly powerful, but we don’t always use them to their full potential. Sometimes the best ideas come to us when we’re not actively concentrating on a problem. Give your mind time to wander and come up with new ideas. Activities like exercising or doing something you intrinsically enjoy can help facilitate this. This way, you can tap into your “unthinking genius” and develop more creative ideas than you might have thought possible.
Content Development Roles & Responsibilities
One of the biggest mistakes business owners make in their content development process is trying to do everything themselves. They already have a lot on their plates running the whole business.
Taking on the responsibility of creating, researching, editing, posting, and distributing the content is unnecessary.
Because of the effort required to create content, and the time for it to yield results, business owners end up putting online content development on the back burner.
Eventually, they can get overwhelmed and give up on the idea and miss out on such a great opportunity for their business.
Treat your content development plan as you treat your business like we do at Scaling With Systems; hire the right people for the job. For an effective content development strategy, three roles need to be assigned. These include:
There can be no one who understands your business more than you. As the business owner, we recommend that you be the content creator.
We know that you probably don’t have a lot of time on your hands to fill that role. Eventually, you’ll probably delegate content development to different team members. One of the actions that slow people down is the research aspect of content development.
If you’re creating content from the beginning, and defining a great research process, you can then pass this role off to a content development team (like a YT team or Blog department) and give them the procedures for gathering effective research. Since you’re the expert in the business, your intel will be invaluable.
How To Research Intelligently
First and foremost, know your audience’s needs. Your research should be less about an idea out of nowhere and more about, “what does my audience need to know? What information are they looking for.”
As a content creator, take charge of the research process and gather insights that will inform your content development.
Researching may involve interacting with your customers, keeping an eye out for industry trends, and staying informed about the latest developments in your field.
While it requires some effort, taking the time to research and understand your audience will ultimately result in more impactful content.
Once you are done writing or shooting the content, you can then send the content to your creative director.
At Scaling With Systems, we do that through Asana. This makes the entire content development process seamless. Project management systems will be your best friend regarding content development and team communication.
You want to have no communication gap in the workflow. Especially in remote work settings.
The content director’s responsibilities include:
Overseeing and managing the creation and distribution of all content (e.g. websites, social media, blogs, email, etc).
The main responsibility of the content director is to implement content development strategies that align with the greater business goals. Some tasks of a content director may include:
- Developing a content calendar and editorial schedule
- Creating and managing a team of writers, editors, and designers
- Developing and maintaining a content style guide
- Researching and identifying new content opportunities
- Staying up-to-date on industry trends and best practices
- Ensuring that all content is consistent with the organization’s brand voice and messaging.
As a content director, delegating content responsibilities is key to managing a team. The following are some steps a content director can take to delegate content responsibilities effectively:
- Define clear roles and responsibilities: Each team member should clearly understand their role and the responsibilities that come with it.
- Assign tasks based on skills and expertise: Team members should be assigned tasks that align with their skills and areas of expertise. This ensures that they work on tasks they are well-suited for and can complete efficiently. Once they get the raw content from you, they’ll tag the editor, social media manager, or anyone needed for that content to go live and be distributed.
- Set clear deadlines and expectations: Team members should clearly understand when tasks are due and what is expected of them. This helps them prioritize their workload and ensures that content is produced on time.
- Feedback and support: As a content director, it’s important to provide feedback and support to team members as they work on their assigned tasks. This helps them understand how their work contributes to the overall content development and how they can improve.
- Communicate regularly: Regular communication is key to keeping everyone on the same page and ensuring that everyone is aware of any changes or updates to content development.
- Assess the team’s performance: Regularly evaluate your team and adjust the strategy and delegation as needed.
An editor’s responsibilities will include the following:
An editor is responsible for polishing content (written, audio, or video) to make sure it is accurate and aligned with the brand’s voice.
The responsibilities of an editor in a content development plan includes:
- Reviewing all content
- Ensuring consistency with the brand’s tone
- Assessing the quality and making suggestions for improvement
For video editors specifically, their responsibilities include:
- Reviewing raw footage
- Adding special effects and sound
- Ensuring that the video aligns with the brand’s tone
- Collaborating with the production team.
An editor plays a key role in repurposing content by taking existing pieces and giving them new life in a different format or medium. This can include:
- Breaking down a long-form blog post into smaller, easily-digestible chunks for social media
- Adapting a white paper into a webinar or presentation
- Re-recording a podcast episode as a video for YouTube
- Creating an infographic from data in a research report
- Transcribing a video into a written article for a blog.
Questions To Ask Yourself To Develop Content That Converts
Who Will Consume Your Content?
Think about who your target audience for your content is. Your content development plan should be created with your desired audience in mind, while also being aware of the different type of content consumers across channels.
It’s suggested to use various content types and channels to deliver tailored content to each persona. Your target audience might be fitness business owners. But are you targeting fitness business owners who only read? Or those that only listen to podcasts? This is where variation in your content development strategy is key – target both!
What Problem Will Your Content Solve?
Isn’t it great to find a product or service that solves your problem? Your content should do the same for your audience. It should coach and educate them as they identify and address their problem.
Effective content development supports both sides of your product or service: those still figuring out their main challenges and those already using your product to overcome them.
Develop content that reinforces the solution(s) you offer to build credibility with your target audience. This helps position your brand as a problem solver and thought leader.
What Makes Content Unique?
Be honest; you’re probably not the only one offering a similar product as yours. Then, how do you stand out from the competition? You need to let your potential customers know what makes your product better or at least different from others.
Think about what sets your business apart. This could be your long-standing history or the unique brand voice that makes you stand out. Prove to your audience why you’re worth buying from and listening to.
Once you’ve figured out your unique selling point, spread that message through your content. By highlighting what makes you unique, you’ll be able to attract the right customers and stand out in a crowded market.
What Channels to Publish on?
When developing your content, it’s important to consider the preferences of your target audience. Long-form video content may perform well on platforms like YouTube, while shorter, snackable content may be more popular on TikTok or Instagram. You’ll have audiences on different channels, and it’s important to spread your content across these platforms.
Identify the channels where your audience spends the most time and focus on those for maximum reach and engagement. By doing this, you’ll be able to create an online content development plan for allocating your resources, ensuring the best results.
How to Manage Content Development & Publication
Creating and publishing all your content can be daunting. Make the process more manageable by asking yourself:
- Who is responsible for creating what?
- Where will the content be published?
- When will it go live?
This may be easy enough in a small team as one person may be the sole decision-maker. But as your business grows, you may need to collaborate with content teams to establish an effective process.
One way to streamline the content development process is to use a content editorial calendar organized around topics.
Pro Content Development Tips
When it comes to your online presence, content development and SEO strategy go hand in hand. To be successful in both areas, you need to know what your audience wants and needs. This includes understanding their questions, desires, pain points, and challenges.
From there, you can research the keywords they use to find answers and solutions. With this information, you can curate high-quality content and unique user experiences around those topics. That content will connect your brand to your audience at the perfect time.
Don’t underestimate the impact unique content development strategies can have on your SEO. Brands that invest in organic search tend to have a larger market share online.
Mapping Content as per Audience’s Journey
Developing unique content development strategies that center around your target audience is crucial for success. You can identify key moments influencing a buyer’s decision by mapping out the customer journey.
Then, develop content addressing important moments in their journey, such as solving problems. Influence these decisions through blog posts, articles, and videos. By empathizing with your audience, you’ll ensure that you’re solving the right pain points.
Aligning the Content as per Search Intent
Align your content with search intent. Provide the type of content, information, and answers that someone searching on a given keyword is actually seeking. This is a crucial aspect of Google’s algorithm. These search intents include:
- Navigational: Users are looking for a specific website or page.
- Informational: Users are looking for information on a particular topic.
- Transactional: Users want to purchase, book a service or complete a transaction.
- Commercial Investigation: Users are researching products or services before making a purchase decision.
- Local: Users are looking for a business or service nearby.
- Voice Search: Users ask a question via a voice-enabled device.
Create SEO Topic Clusters
Consider using SEO topic clusters. It’s a great way to approach your content development by targeting specific keywords and creating a full-funnel marketing strategy.
Think of it as a hub-and-spoke model, where you have a central pillar page (the hub) that covers a broad topic in-depth. Then, you have several related, longer-tail cluster pages (the spokes) that dive into specific subtopics. The pillar page links to all the cluster pages and vice versa, so it’s all connected.
It’s like having all the information your audience needs in one concentrated place. Not only does it help search engines understand the relationships between the pages, it also helps your audience find related information easily. It’s a win-win!
Content Atomization (Break The Content Down)
One way to improve search engine rankings is through content atomization. It’s breaking down a single piece of content into smaller, more digestible pieces.
For example, you might take a research report you’ve created and turn it into multiple pieces of content. These could include videos, audio recordings, additional reports, white papers, webinars, presentations, data visualizations, and more.
It’s a great way to get more mileage out of your content and reach more people. But be careful not to harm your SEO. Content atomization should be done in a way that doesn’t overlap and negatively impact the original piece of content.
When done right, you can use atomization to develop content that effectively increases reach, traffic, and engagement.
Provide Online Tools Along with Content
When you provide your audience with valuable, free tools, they often link to it, helping to strengthen your backlink profile and improve your organic rankings.
For example, Maybelline’s collection of makeover tools generated almost a thousand backlinks. And CoSchedule’s headline analyzer tool attracted links from over 6,600 websites. It’s a great way to create unique and useful content that people will want to share and link to.
Content Development Process: FAQs
What is a content development strategy?
A content development strategy involves creating a plan to guide the creation, deployment, and management of content throughout its lifecycle. The goal is to support key business objectives such as increasing traffic, leads, engagement, and sales by using content effectively.
What is good content development?
When crafting good content development strategies, it’s important to set clear goals and key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure success. This acts as a roadmap for your steps to reach your desired outcome.
Even with careful planning and execution, sometimes content campaigns don’t meet their KPIs. It’s important to review and analyze what went wrong and make adjustments for future campaigns. Continuously refining and improving your strategy will ultimately lead to better results.
What is the most effective way to develop content?
Blogging is a valuable aspect of content development, as 60% of consumers research products and services by reading content. Deciding on a topic and starting writing can be challenging. Alongside writing opinion pieces and announcing new products, there are several proven strategies for creating effective blog content. We’ve shared some content development ideas in this article.
What is content development in writing?
Content development is the process of researching, planning, creating, and editing written material for a specific audience and purpose. This can include articles, blog posts, website copy, e-books, and other types of written content. It is used to inform, educate, or persuade readers.
What is content development in marketing?
Content development in marketing is the creation of various types of written, visual, or multimedia content to promote a business. The goal is to attract and retain customers, build brand awareness, and drive sales. For online content development, focus on how, where, and when to publish the content to reach the right audiences.
Wrapping Up: Content Development Techniques
With so much content being thrown at consumers and individual B2B buyers, it’s no surprise they feel overwhelmed.
Your content development strategy must be on point to stand out in this crowded space. Create a strategy to develop content that grabs attention, drives traffic, boosts engagement, and ultimately leads to conversions.
Create a comprehensive experience that fits into the customer journey and purchase funnel. Brands that provide the best digital experiences will come out on top in the long run.
Scaling With Systems specializes in building client acquisition systems for you that bring in new leads consistently.
Our team has helped countless business owners free up their time and bring in millions. If you’re ready to take your business to the next level, book a free consultation call, and one of our advisors will be happy to speak with you.