Content is the lifeblood of the internet. Without it, you’re left with a virtual blank slate. Boring, huh? The smart alternative is the creation of a coherent content strategy that not only takes into account the needs of your business and your clientele, but also offers a strong yet flexible structure for achieving goals through constant evolution.
Let’s break down five things you need to know when creating your content strategy:
1. Start with the big picture. Ask yourself about your overarching goals and your company’s current – and future – strategy. You need a straightforward roadmap of what you’re looking to produce and for whom you’re producing it. This means you’ve got to understand your audience. Who are they? What interests them? What are they seeking? Not all people can be painted with the same brush, making it vital to create groups within your audience and strategies to reach all of them. It’s certainly possible that rather than a single typical customer, you might have several different types of frequent clients.
Nest does a great job thinking outside the box – they are so much more than a thermostat. Using user generated content, they are able to highlight their biggest fans while telling a really compelling content story the build their brand.
2. Understand your brand. After all, how can you create compelling content if you don’t know what it’s all about? Getting a handle on your brand means putting your thoughts down on paper — or pixel, depending on what works best for you. Start by identifying strengths as well as challenges through an analysis of your competition. How can you differentiate yourself? The answer will help you drive content.
There is no better company that understands brand better than Disney; a brand that clearly needs no introduction is constantly using content marketing to reinforce their brand in a unique way.
Video is also a great way to showcase your brand – in fact, organic video in Facebook is literally blowing up. Here is a great example from one of my real estate coaching clients. Notice the organic reach this one video has (note: he has 243 likes on his page but this video reached 900+ people):
3. Brainstorm. Here are several questions that will help guide your inquiry and offer a more coherent picture of what you want to achieve with your content strategy:
- What type of content catches the mind and imagination of your customers?
- Who are the most important people to target with content?
- When thinking about who I want to target, what do I want them to connect with our brand?
- What do I want to emphasize in terms of our brand?
- What information does my clientele want?
Here is a great example from GE on Twitter using content to tell their story in a compelling way that invokes emotion:
4. Delivery of Content. You’re ready to begin selecting the ways you’re going to deliver your content. This can include any or all of the following channels:
- Your website
- Other sites that you control
- Paid channels including sponsorships, pay-per-click search ads and social media promotions
- Social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+, etc)
- Industry influencers including bloggers and journalists
Here is a great example of real estate agent Amy Youngren using Instagram effectively to highlight her clients:
5. Showtime! Go forth and create your content plan! This may entail an editorial calendar, planner or both. However you tackle the task, though, make sure that your content schedule flows well with a combination of the large and the small.
Looking for more blog inspiration? Check out Microsoft’s behind the scenes blog:
For more resources check out the post titled, The 4 Pillars of Digital Marketing Strategy for Pros and Amateurs and How to Launch a Successful Social Media Strategy. Also if you haven’t already signed up to receive my Content Strategy Grid, get on it!
What are your thoughts or questions? Let me know in the comments below!