Ever heard the phrase “content is king?” Content is the key to grabbing your audience's attention, shining a spotlight on your brand, and driving your business forward. But, creating content without a game plan—a content strategy —is like setting sail without a compass. You might float along, but you're not likely to end up where you want to be.
Enter the magic of a well-thought-out content strategy. It's your roadmap, ensuring that every piece of content you churn out has a clear mission, resonates with your audience, and adds value to your business goals.
Let's dissect what makes a content strategy successful, and look at how each component plays its part. Whether you're a veteran content marketer or a rookie, this guide will equip you with the tools to build a strategy that's on target. So, fasten your seatbelts, and let's jump right in!
Content Strategy Unpacked: What is Content Strategy?
I'm so glad you asked. Content strategy involves planning, tweaking, and maintaining content—whether in images, videos, written, or any other media you might use in your business. Compelling content is about nailing your message and putting it in front of the right people at the right time.
The Building Blocks of Content Strategy
Still with me? Let's take a deep dive into what the elements of a content strategy look like.
Understanding the Why: Set Clear Content Strategy Goals
Before thinking about creating a strategy, you need to ask yourself what you want to achieve. Do you want to increase your web traffic, engage more people on social media, or increase conversions? Once you understand your objective, you can focus on the best approach to ensure your content's success.
Know Your Tribe
If you're considering content creation for a generic audience, you're setting yourself up for failure. You need to speak to your ideal customer, client, or prospect, and you should strive to offer valuable content specific to their needs. To do this, you first need to put yourself in your audience's shoes, understanding their likes and dislikes, challenges, and habits, along with their demographics (age, location, etc). Identify your customer persona, and you'll be on the right track to crafting content that resonates with your audience.
Take Stock with a Content Audit
If you're a start-up, this stage may not apply to your business, but it will be a crucial step for many business owners. Scrutinize your current content efforts, dividing the high-traffic pieces from those that aren't getting attention. Review existing content, and you'll likely find opportunities to repurpose, content gaps you should fill, and content that could be improved.
Get Organized with a Content Management System
It's no easy task to keep on top of content when you have multiple channels to cover, but a CMS (Content Management System) can be an effective solution. A CMS will allow you to streamline your content flow to nail down content for analysis, creation, and publication.
Brainstorm and Craft Engaging Content
At this stage, you'll have set clear goals, defined your audience, gained valuable insights from existing content, and built a CMS; everything you need to create and promote content that packs a punch, so long as it resonates with your audience.
Spread the Word
Once you've created content, ensuring your audience can find it is vital. This means understanding which platforms your audience uses, whether it's social media, blogs, videos, podcasts, or email newsletters.
Measure and Analyze
Once your content has been put out into the wild, you'll want to see how it's performing. Is it reaching the right people? Is it getting engagement? Are you hitting your goals? Using tools like Google Analytics can help to understand these metrics to plan for any changes that could edge you nearer to your goals.
Content strategies are ever-evolving, requiring flexibility as your audience's needs change, business trends shift, and as your business scales. Keep the steps in this plan in mind, and you'll have a content strategy that sets you up for success.
So, what's the secret ingredient of a successful content strategy? Combining planning, research, creativity, analytics, and a commitment to continuous learning. Whether you're just starting or looking to refine an existing strategy, remember that every piece of content you create brings you one step closer to your goal.