As a business, you’re going to want to consistently be publishing new content to keep your audience engaged and interested. In order to do so, it’s important to develop a content strategy.
“Content is king”
A content strategy focuses hugely on the planning, creation, delivery and maintenance of content. It’s all about building a content roadmap that’s full of content ideas you know will be interesting and engaging, especially to your audience. Content that you publish is what gravitates people towards you; if people enjoy your content, they’ll hopefully want to take further interest in you, whether that be to search for more of your content or follow your channels to see your content in the future.
Every business is going to have a different content strategy. It’s about making your content strategy personalised and unique to your business. This being said, there are some generic factors that should go into a content strategy…
The first big step to take is to define your goal. Define what you want the outcome of your content to be; whether it’s one specific piece of content, your overall content, etc.
Make your goal/s as specific as possible
Make them SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, timed); for example, “I want a click through rate of x% on this piece of content by this date”. This is then therefore specific, x%, measurable, click through rate, attainable, realistic and timed with the end date. If you want to have more of an overall goal for all your content, still try to make it as SMART as possible and make sure that all the content you plan to create will actually help you progress towards that goal.
Without defining your goals, your content isn’t going to have any order or sense of direction. Your goals will help shape your content and content ideas.
As a business, you should already have an understanding of your ideal audience. Your ideal audience can be described as the audience that have pain points and problems that your services or products are solving.
However, just having an understanding of your audience is not good enough.
You need to build up a true persona; an ideal client profile
This ideal client profile will outline everything there is to know about your ideal client - ranging from their age and gender to their industry and interests. Outlining all of this will help you create and publish content easily and effectively as you know what works and how to get their attention.
All businesses have competition. No matter what business or industry you’re in, you’re going to have competition. This is what makes it so important to research into your competitors and understand them.
It’s good practice to take time to get to know your competition; what they do; how they do it; who they do it for, and so on.
Then you need to focus on their content and their apparent content strategy, if you can decipher one
Take a look at the types and formats of content they’re writing, how often they publish new content, how often they share this content, what message they’re promoting, what voice they’re conveying, and so on.
As well as looking at their content in particular, try taking a look at the engagement they receive. Look at how their audience interacts with the content they’re sharing. This way, you can determine what content their audience enjoy the most - which can be useful for you to know as you will have a similar target audience to your competition.
Then, it’s time for the biggest and most important part; the content plan. When it comes to the content plan, no one can tell you how to write it and how to structure it. It’s all up to you. The main things to consider are answering these questions for all the content you plan to write…
Why: are you writing it?
How: will this help your audience?
What: are you offering?
Answering these questions will ensure that all the content you’re planning on writing is going to be worthwhile and has true meaning. If your content is sporadic and randomly planned, it won’t be as effective and engaging.
It’s best to make sure all the content you’ve got planned helps you progress towards your goals and has meaning
When it comes to writing your content plan, you can write it in any way you want to. You can use mind maps to think of ideas, use a calendar, anything that makes it easy for you. Perhaps spend half an hour just writing down as many ideas as you can think of, and then afterwards turn the ideas into a more cohesive plan that makes sense and has a sense of direction.
You need to remember to make all the content you write valuable. It needs to add value to people’s lives, as well as being engaging and interesting. Your content needs to be shareable (or linkable if it’s your website!) and understandable. There needs to be meaning to your content, if there’s no meaning, readers may feel there’s no point to it and just click away.
As mentioned in the “content plan” section, you can spend some time thinking of ideas and then turn it into a calendar, and this is where we discuss the calendar.
The “editorial calendar” is really a fancy name for a calendar in which all your content ideas are going to be placed so you know when you need to write it all by, when you want to publish it, and so on.
This is important as it makes sure you never lose track of what you’re doing and you can easily see what content to prioritise
A calendar is also important as it helps you cohesively place together pieces of content within the same day/week/month that make sense together. For example, if one week you’re publishing your book, you will want to publish more content about your book, less content about writing tips. It’s about making sure your content plan comes together nicely and works together well in your calendar. Your calendar will also show you how much content you’re sending out each week and this will help you stay consistent in your strategy.
As a business, you’re going to want to write content. The content that you write is there to engage your potential customers, and get people interested in you.
Therefore, it’s more important than ever to build a content strategy.
A content strategy enables you to see into the future and understand what content is going to help you progress towards the goals you’ve defined for yourself
It’s in place to help you be as productive as possible and get the most out of your content. The more content you write consistently, the better, as people will see that you’re active and persistently updating your content and feel positively about this. As well as this, people who enjoy your content will keep coming back for more so it’s great to write as much good quality content as you can.
A content strategy is built up of a large number of things; yet it’s there to benefit you in the best way possible. It’s there to ensure that you keep your audience engaged and entertained, constantly giving them new content to keep them interested in what you have to offer. Your content strategy will help you keep organised and stay on top of what you’re doing to give you the best performance possible.