Every business has a strategy; goals, objectives, milestones and how you’re getting there inform the everyday tasks of you and your team. The same is true of your content strategy. Your content strategy is the marketing arm of your business strategy and it’s more than likely how you’ll win leads and build relationships with your audience, which is ultimately the aim of your business.
So your content strategy might be the most important thing at your AGM and is regularly reviewed at team meetings and one-to-ones, right? Right?
At this point if you aren’t nodding along with enthusiasm and are, in fact, scratching said head with bemusement, it’s time to get a clue.
What is a content strategy?
Your content strategy is the reason behind every piece of media or comms that you share as a business. It keeps you on the straight and narrow, makes your content feel joined up for your audience and reinforces your brand. You’ll find your content strategy within your business plan and in the personal goals of each team member.
Look to your business strategy – what are your goals and objectives for the business? High level e.g.
- Gain X number of leads in 2018
- Increase physical footfall
- Engage a new audience
- Increase web conversions
- Increase brand visibility
How do your business goals break down into actions you can achieve with content? For example, if your goal is to get more footfall, perhaps you could consider a strategy including:
- A professionally-shot video guide of your process and premises
- A blog series to introduce each member of the team
- Daily IG stories take-over by each team member documenting a day in the life
- Run an email campaign with offers on particular products or services with reminders to book face-to-face appointments etc
Your key messaging document is going to inform your content, so make sure it’s to hand and up-to-date and, crucially, relevant to the objectives you’re focusing on. Not sure what your key messages are? We’ve written a handy guide to identifying and using them in your strategy. We’re so good to you.
Have another check of your audience against the above two steps. Are the personas you’ve created still reflective of the objectives you’re aiming for? Don’t forget to identify factors necessary for the content strategy:
- Where do your users hang out online?
- What media does your audience like the most? i.e. gets you the most clicks or engagement (IG posts, blogs, infographics etc)
- What topics do they like to see?
- What language do they use?
- What are they talking about? (Have a look in feedback and comments)
There are lots of different types of content to choose from. Find out which your audience prefers and invest time into cultivating your tone of voice in that medium and always make content specific and useful. Content includes and is certainly not limited to:
- Social media
- Videos (and all the various guise on video – IG stories / facebook live etc)
- White papers / downloadable resources
Gather your content in its raw form by plugging to news channels / social accounts and updates relevant to your industry. Ask your team to get involved – we have a messaging group where we gather ideas for content and discussion on what’s hot at the moment. Have a look at your analytical tools like keyword research and find out the specifics of what people are looking for and when.
Plot your content. We’ve developed a content planning resource to help plan your year – make that your starting point, then build up and fill in the gaps. You might want to take a specific focus every month – concentrating on each of your objectives in turn. Keep the planner as a live document that you revise regularly to ensure you’re maintaining relevance to your audience and industry.
Manage & Measure
- Review your planner on a regular basis – make it a standard item at team meetings and reviews
- Ensure momentum: assign actions for every aspect of the planner
- Check your work: use software analysis (usually available with every platform) to gather statistics on click through, readership, open rate etc
- Adjust accordingly: what’s working and what’s bombing, take note and tweak and re-measure
Let us know how you get on and if you have any top tips to share @giantpeach. And if you’d like a session with a couple of experts to identify key messages or to plot out a content strategy – give us a shout and we’ll get you on your way.