Content is ……..
When it comes to marketing any business, great content is crucial. When we talk about content, we mean everything your business uses to promote itself. That could include:
- Website text
- Blog posts
- Social media posts
- Offline content like leaflets and magazines
What is a content strategy?
A content strategy is a vision that guides you when developing content and should help you achieve your business objectives. We recommend businesses of all industries and sizes to put together a content strategy as it will help enhance your brand, ensure consistency and help you stand out against competitors. Once you have a strategy nailed, it should help make your marketing activities quicker and easier as you will have a clear direction.
Why do I need one?
Without a strategy, a business’s content will often lack themes, consistency and purpose which can be confusing to your audience and impact on your brand’s credibility.
Without a strategy, your business could very easily go down the path of creating random, generic content which simply won’t help your brand stand out against competitors or show the world how awesome your business really is.
Having a well thought out content strategy will give you clarity. Here are six steps to creating a content strategy for your business,
- Your audience
Think about your target audience and what kind of people they’re likely to be. Understand their needs and desires. Consider where and how they will see or engage with your content. This will help you identify where and how you should target them.
This is going to be different for every business so it’s important you take your time on this. Consider interviewing some of your customers to help you establish answers to some of these questions. If that isn’t possible, some online research may help you identify the purchasing habits of different types of audiences.
What are the key objectives of your business? Your content should help you to deliver against these so it’s important they’re considered within your strategy from the beginning. You may also have some specific short and long-term objectives for your content marketing, such as reaching new audiences or promoting new products or services.
- Audit and Analysis
Map out what marketing assets and tools you already have. For example
- Social media platforms
- Professional photography
- Staff with marketing experience
Are you using each of these effectively? Are they helping you meet your business objectives? If not you should consider how you improve them or whether you should be using them at all. Think about what you discovered about your audience in step 1 – are these tools/skills helping you reach your target audience? Are you missing something?
- Voice and tone
Your business’s voice should reflect its personality and identity and be used across all of your marketing and communications. A distinct consistent voice will help increase your brand recognition and keep your messaging consistent.
The tone of content will vary depending on the context of the content. You may want to add some humour when promoting a new product – great. However, it may not be wise to do so when dealing with a serious customer complaint.
Consider creating a style guide that sets out your business voice and tone. This may include:
- Details of your branding – for example which colours should primarily be used.
- Common phrases and language – for example customer friendly turns of phrase or layman terms for jargon or technical language
- The five Ws (and a H)
You will probably recognise these. These simple questions are really handy to use as a tool when developing any content. You should generally be able to answer all of these for any content you produce for it to be useful and relevant.
- Why – What is the purpose? Will it help you meet a business objective?
- What – What is the message? Is it clear?
- Who – Who is the audience?
- How – How should we present the content? For example, would this work best or an infographic or video?
- Where – Where will this be seen? At what stage of a customer’s journey?
- When – Will it reach the audience at a time that they’re most likely to see/engage with it?
- Monitor and tweak
Set some SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time-bound) objectives for your strategy. For example:
- Grow social media followers by 500 by X date.
- Increase traffic to website by 10% by X date.
Monitor whether or not you’re achieving your objectives. If not, you may need to tweak your strategy (after all – nothing’s perfect!). Look at what is working well and what isn’t. Marketing platforms, particularly social media, and consumer habits are constantly evolving. We recommend regularly reviewing and tweaking your strategy to reflect these changes – put some time in your diary to do so.
Interested? Book a 121 consultation with us to work on your content marketing strategy.
If you found this blog useful, you might also want to read: 7 Top Marketing Strategy Tips from 7 Experts for 2018