“Content is King.” Bill Gates coined this adage back in 1996, and it still rings true today. Content has the potential to drive traffic to your business, generate more leads, and improve your overall conversion rates. But that doesn’t mean that creating it is easy. Considering the over-saturation of content available online in our digital world, content development faces more challenges than ever before. 

In order to be truly effective, everything you produce needs to be relevant and grounded by strategy.  With that in mind, here are some common challenges that many creators face in content development. 

Keyword Research

You could argue the key to effective content development for the web lies in your keywords. These are the words and phrases that are most relevant to both your audience and your business. 

In order to know what keywords to focus your content around, you first need to understand your audience. Countless hours can be spent creating polished, well-developed content. But if that content isn’t what your audience wants, then it is basically a wasted effort. The goal is to get your audience to find and ultimately consume your content. So it makes sense to take the time before diving into content development to truly understand your audience and discover the keywords or phrases that they are searching for. 

It is also important to understand your industry as well as your competition. It can be helpful to evaluate your competitor’s content and see what kinds of keywords they are using. Then you can try incorporating some of those relevant keywords into your content strategy. 

All that being said, you also want to consider which keywords your business can realistically rank for with regard to SEO. Any keywords you use need to actually relate to the content you’re publishing, and should also support the products or services you offer.

Having a Content Development Strategy 

Another reason that content development teams can sometimes get lost is when they don’t have a well-defined and planned out strategy. 

Strategy is essential for pretty much all aspects of the business. You need to have a plan of action. That’s not to say that you always have to follow your plan to a T, or that you can’t make adjustments when necessary. But having a strategy in place helps to guide your actions, point you in the right direction, and allows you to pivot more easily when something doesn’t work. 

The main component of your content strategy should refer back to your brand. Any content you create should be in line with the purpose and character of your brand. The voice, tonality, and positioning of your content have to be consistent with your brand identity. Otherwise, you risk confusing or turning off your audience. The channels you choose to distribute your content should also be appropriate for your brand and your industry. And, importantly, your content development efforts should support your brand’s overall business objectives and initiatives. That’s why it’s so important to have a plan before you dive into the content aspect so that you know that anything you create will be worthwhile to your business, and it will be more likely to be effective. 

It’s also important to have a plan for how you’re going to market promote your content. If you don’t, your content will likely just be lost in the void of the internet. People need to be able to find your content, so that means having a strategy in place that delivers your content to your audience in a variety of ways. 

Establishing a Posting Schedule

Aside from putting out valuable content, one of the keys to establishing a loyal audience base is consistency. Having a regular posting schedule sets the audience’s expectations, and they’ll always know when and where to find new content from your brand. The key to maintaining a regular posting schedule? Actually setting that schedule in advance! 

From your keyword research and content development strategy, you should have determined the types of content that your audience is interested in, and what channels you plan to use to post and promote your content. With those details, you can start to put together an editorial calendar for your content to help keep your posting on track. This schedule can be flexible. If something important comes up that you want to promote to your audience, you can adjust your schedule to add those topics or promotions in. But having a schedule will ensure you don’t fall off the map entirely. 

Content Working With Design

Finally, design is also an important element of content strategy. Online, the main ways to distribute content are through your website and other digital platforms like social media.

No matter what form your content takes, it needs to be enhanced by the design. Both the design and content need to work in tandem to support one another. On your website, the user needs should be able to consume your content seamlessly throughout their experience. The same is true on social media or other digital platforms. All visual design components should work to enhance the content and vice versa. 

Most importantly, your content and design should remain consistent across all platforms. To improve the overall user experience, your audience should immediately recognize that your content belongs to you, regardless of the platform or channel they are on. 

Your content development efforts should be part of an ever-evolving strategy. The digital world is constantly evolving, which means your industry and your audience is too. You need to be aware of these trends and changes so that you will be better positioned to adapt when necessary. Understanding these common challenges with content development will help you secure a more efficient strategy.