Having a strong content strategy in place before you produce the content itself will ensure that you save time, save money and see real results for your company and brand.
Here’s how to go about creating one:
1. Look at your business goals
You can make the most beautifully shot video in the world, with huge viral reach, but if your goal was increased sales and the video didn’t generate a single extra sale, then what was the point?
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Consider whether you want to use content to increase brand awareness, engage with customers or generate sales. And then create your content ideas to suit this specific goal.
2. Consider your target market
To develop effective content you need to place yourself in the shoes of your target market.
Are they a new mother looking for helpful articles on dealing with toddler temper tantrums? Or are they a CEO concerned with cutting business costs?
Imagine what they would find useful, informative or entertaining and then produce content like that.
This is also worth bearing in mind when it comes to SEO: What common terms will they be searching for on Google? Incorporate those into your content, but only where they fit naturally.
3. Look at frequency, format and tone
What are your resources like when it comes to producing content? If you have someone devoted to the task then you may be able to produce a new piece of content a day, but if someone is doing it as a side job, then one a week is more manageable.
Don’t produce work that’s of a lower standard – rather produce fewer pieces, but do them properly. Also think about what format your content will be in.
Will your audience respond well to videos? Blog posts? Infographics? Finally, consider your organisation’s tone or voice and ensure this remains consistent through everything you do.
4. Ask the right people the right questions
Most businesses have plenty of sources of educational and entertaining content, but few know how to get this information out of their employees.
Ask an actuary about the products they’ve developed and they’ll soon wax lyrical about what they do in a way that is seldom communicated to your target audience.
Ask your product managers about new trends in the industry and chances are they’ll get extremely excited about something on the horizon that your target audience would love to know about.
Extracting this information is about asking the right questions and the best way to do this is often face-to-face.
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5. Make a calendar
Once you’ve formulated your strategy, you can then start working on your editorial or content calendar. Add in deadlines, assign people responsible for each task, allow time for approval of content, and lock down ideal publishing dates.
Have meetings regularly with key stakeholders to discuss new ideas, who’s doing what and how the process is moving along.
Above all, be adaptable as you learn what sort of content your audience is engaging best with, so that your content strategy is continuously improving.