How to get creative with content: An interview with Hannah Smith

How to get creative with content: An interview with Hannah Smith

With more than 15 years of experience in the industry, Hannah Smith has worked with a range of well-known companies, and her creative work has won multiple awards. She knows her stuff when it comes to creative content. That’s why we decided to pick her brain and ask her a few questions about content strategy and how to create content that helps you achieve your goals.

The SEO industry agrees that having a good “content strategy” is critical. But what does that mean? What does that look like?

I think that part of the challenge here is the term “content strategy” itself. It’s a term that means different things to different people, right? There are a bunch of definitions out there, but the one Adria Saracino and I came up with when we were at Distilled (c. 2014) is still the one I use today:

“A content strategy is the high-level vision that guides future content development to deliver against a specific business objective.”

I like this definition because I believe all content should be goal-driven: i.e., what you create depends on what you want to achieve. As such, the first question you must answer when formulating your strategy is: what is your core objective for this content?

For example, if you want to increase your revenue, one way to do that might be to rank better in organic search for terms relating to your business. If that’s the direction you want to go in, then you’ll need to figure out what you think you’ll need to do to achieve that. 

You may need to update and improve existing pages and/or create new pages. Plus, page content aside, you’ll also need to think about how you will help those pages rank. So you’ll need to think about internal links; and potentially external links too.

I like thinking about content strategy this way because it forces you to plan out your activity sensibly and think about measurement from the outset.

But back to your question – of what a “good” content strategy should look like – to my mind, a content strategy should have the following:

  • A clear objective
  • A well-researched hypothesis and a plan – i.e., what you’re going to do to achieve that objective
  • Clearly outlines internal and external resources required, plus costs
  • Explains how these efforts will be measured (i.e., appropriate tracking is in place)
  • Includes key timelines and dates to review progress and results
  • Is appropriate and realistic – i.e., this is something that the business can execute

How do you close the gap between “writing blog posts and articles” to producing creative stuff that’s more impactful, successful, etc.? 

I get the sense that you’re talking about creating content designed to get coverage externally – e.g., from journalists and/or other

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This article was written by Jono Alderson and originally published on SEO blog • Yoast.

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