It’s easy to get sucked into the “publish content for the sake of publishing content” game. Maybe your boss is eager to get the blog in motion, or a competing firm has started posting new articles on a daily basis.
Compelling as they may be, “because my boss said so” and “because AB&C Architects is doing it” aren’t business goals. Unfortunately, in architecture firms, the content role often falls upon a person with dozens of other responsibilities, from responding to RFPs to, you know, being an architect. To maximize content efficiency, it’s important to take a step back and officially define the “why” behind these efforts. Your content goals will serve as your North Star throughout the production process, ensuring that every content-related task is both strategic and worthwhile.
Below are a few typical architecture firm content goals. While your objectives may be a bit different, these examples can help your firm build the foundation for a more strategic approach to content and publishing.
Goal 1: Increase Site Engagement
By building your goals around measurable statistics, you’ll be able to track your progress and determine whether strategic adjustments are helping or hurting. As you dig into your site analytics, look for issues and opportunities for improvement, such as:
- Are people leaving as soon as they get to your home page?
- Is the average visitor sticking around for a few seconds then moving on?
- Are visitors neglecting your projects pages?
Next Steps: With analytic-backed issues identified, start thinking about how you can confront these issues head-on with content. What types of articles will move visitors from your home page to a key project page? How can you reframe project stories to encourage visitors to dig deeper?
Goal 2: Position Your Firm as a Thought Leader
As far as marketing terms go, “thought leadership” is fairly cringe-worthy — but that doesn’t mean it’s not important. Terminology aside, the point is to share the ideas and strengths of your top designers and engineers, whether that means publishing pioneering research, imagining the future of sustainable design, or circulating industry-specific insights. You want prospects, potential hires, and competition to think of your team as the experts.
Magazine cover stories and conference speaking gigs are great ways to get your firm’s leadership in front of a key audience — but that doesn’t mean you can’t create opportunities of your own by publishing content online.
Next Steps: Start a firm-wide conversation about thought leadership. Not everyone’s a writer, so be ready to float alternatives from ghostwriters to one-on-one interviews. Come prepared with thought leadership samples from your firm’s competitors.
Goal 3: Freshen Up Site Content
A once-beautiful building that has fallen into disrepair is an eyesore, and the same is true for a neglected news section. No, you’re not going to lose out on contracts because your blog isn’t frequently updated — but if your site has a blog and the last article was published 16 months ago, it doesn’t reflect well on your brand. A site built for content deserves the upkeep.
Next Steps: Take a close look at your team’s schedule and figure out how often you can realistically publish content. It may be as seldom as once a month — but make a commitment to stay true to that goal. Start mapping out your editorial calendar so you can transform your to-do list from abstract concepts to real assignments.
Goal 4: Recruit New Talent
Hiring the best and brightest requires more than posting the occasional job opening. For younger generations, office culture, career development opportunities, and other perks are important. Your news section is the perfect place to build a narrative around your company’s employer brand.
Next Steps: Gather a list of the company perks worth covering in online content. Maybe it’s your holiday party, sending designers to the AIA Convention, or firm-wide community involvement. Plug these topics into your editorial calendar.
Whether your firm’s goals align with these or not, try to identify between two and five content goals. These objectives will keep you on track and justify the time it takes to plan, write, and promote new content on a regular basis.
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