How to create a kick-arse content strategy
Creating content for your business can be tough.
No matter what industry you’re in, how you communicate with your audience or clients is crucial to your success - you need the right content, created in the right way and targeted at the right people.
But before you get excited and start banging out your next blog post, it’s really important to take a step back and take the time to formulate the strategy for your content so that you know what you’re aiming for and what you need to do to achieve your business goals.
Don’t be scared! By following some simple steps, you’ll be able to put together a plan that can serve as the basis for all of your content ongoing.
Creating a content strategy is really just about focusing on three key areas: results, research, and content creation.
Aim for results
First up, before you do anything, it’s really important that you know exactly what you want to achieve from your content as this will influence what you do and how you do it in a big way.
You’ll also want to plan how you’re going to measure your results, because if you don’t know this before you start, you might find out later that you should have been tracking something different all along.
First step is to think about your goals. This is all about why you’re creating content in the first place. Start with what you want the content to achieve, on a really broad level and then think about what success looks like. It’s really important to identify this from the outset so that there’s a real purpose for every piece of content that’s created. So whether your goal is to increase awareness of your business overall or to generate leads, get this really clear in your head so that it informs the rest of the strategy.
Once you’ve got your goals clear, you need to focus on how you’re going to know you’ve achieved them - how are you going to measure the performance of each piece of content? Making sure this is clear up front is critical so that you know you will actually have the ability to measure the results you’re aiming for, and also to see how your content has performed, and learn what works best, and what has the most bang for buck.
You might want to track article views to gauge an increase in awareness, or you might be more interested in email open rates, or the actual number of leads generated - it all depends on what you’re trying to achieve.
Do your research
There’s no point creating a content strategy without first knowing who you’re talking to and what they like, so the next step is to do some research.
First, you need to identify your audience and work out exactly who you’re wanting to target, so that the content can be created with these people specifically in mind.
Then, you need to assess their media presence. Where do they hang out online (or offline)? This step is all about identifying where your target audience spend their media time so you can determine the most effective places to deliver them with content about your business.
And finally, you need to establish what type of content they like. This is getting into the meat of the strategy and is about pulling out the key content types that the target audience will respond to. So, this may be enewsletters, social media, videos, podcasts, case studies, blogs, events or traditional advertising.
How to create a content plan
Once you’ve got your audience covered, it’s time to get into the nitty gritty and work out what specific content you should create - keeping in mind what goals you’re trying to achieve and the people you’re talking to.
First item on the list to tackle is messaging.
- What are the key pieces of information that you’re trying to get across?
- What’s the point of difference that makes what you’re selling better than anything else in the market
- And why should your audience care? Nailing the why and the “what’s in it for them” is the key here.
Next, you need to choose the platforms and content types that you’ll use and determine how and where you will push this content out. Will you write a blog that gets promoted in your enewsletter and on social media? Or would your message be better communicated as a video or advertisement?
Once you’ve answered these questions, you can then pull it all together and get down to business creating content that works for each platform and delivering it to your audience.
The final piece of the puzzle is then how you plan to optimise the content you’ve created. This just identifying what tactics you will employ to make sure your content has the best chance of being seen (and acted upon) by the right people. So, for example, you might pay to promote your posts on Facebook or create a Google adwords campaign to help your content rank in searches in your industry.
Once you put all these components together, you’ll have your content strategy. Even if you aren’t confident in coming up with the answers to all of the questions, you’ll at least know what information you need and where you might need some support.
It's A LOT to take in and do yourself. If you need to talk it through or get a second opinion, give me a call and we can nut it out together.