How to Craft a Killer Content Strategy
We live in a time where it seems as though the entire world has mastered what it means to create or distribute shareable and engaging content. That being said, starting from scratch can be incredibly daunting for brands and businesses that are yet to fully take the content marketing leap.
The never ending questions on what to say, how to say it and where to place your content can be incredibly overwhelming when taking a deep dive into the world of content. No need to bury your head in the sand if this is your current status, we’re here to simplify and make sense of some of the complex content strategy templates you probably searched for before arriving at this blog post.
Side bar: thumbs up to you, if you came straight here!
There are 10 things anyone who desires to create a killer content strategy must know, but before we jump right into them, it is worth it to look at what a ‘content strategy’ is and why beginning with one is the most important part of the content production process.
A content strategy is a building block. It is the foundation that every (content-related) thing you do for your business will rest on. Without carefully laying the blocks, your entire content framework will eventually come crashing down.
A lot of brands jump right into the content creation process – they share their logo, photos of their office space or even images of their products. While doing all that might make you feel like you’ve hit the ground running, it will only be a matter of time before you run out of content to share. In fact, without a proper plan, your audience might even begin to predict the content that you’re going to share online.
When it comes to developing a content strategy, some people assume that it is only applicable to brands that will be creating content from scratch. There is also the assumption that when brands opt for content curation, a content strategy is no longer required. This couldn’t be further from the truth because in order to determine if content curation is even the right direction for your brand, you need to have carefully mapped out a strategy that answers some of your content-related questions or concerns.
There are 10 basic questions to consider when crafting a killer content strategy for your brand or business.
1. Why on earth should you invest in content creation? – When agencies or content studios try to pitch content marketing to brands, they always get one question and that is: “Why on earth should we invest in this?”
This question is indeed very valid and it’s one that brands need to really ask themselves. You have the right to question why you should be on social media, what the ROI would be for your business and if the “awareness” you receive would be beneficial to your sales numbers. The key thing here is to identify some of your business goals and see if content creation will help you reach your goals. If the answer is yes, then you can delve deeper into crafting your strategy.
2. Who should you talk to and where do you find them? – Figuring out who your digital audience is and what platforms they are on should be the next step. This will help you create a smart distribution strategy. Not only is shoving your content down everyone’s throat counterproductive, it’s also incredibly expensive. Narrow down your audience to the people who need to hear your story the most and focus on distributing your content to the channels where these people are present. For instance, if you run a small cake business, your best bet might be choosing a visual platform like Instagram and making it your main distribution channel.
3. What assets do you have? – Did you ever create a corporate video in the past? Have you ever had a blog? If you already began building an online presence without a proper strategy in place, now would be the time to take inventory of all your existing content assets. You will need to figure out if the old assets can possibly fit into the strategy being built. You will need to ask important questions such as: “Will the newly identified audience be able to connect with our existing assets?” OR “Will these assets sit well on the selected platforms?”
4. What are others saying? – A comprehensive competitive analysis will help keep you ahead of the curve. Take a moment to discover what the competition is missing and how you can provide your potential audience with more relevant stories.
5. How is our story distinct? – To cut through the content clutter, your story needs to not only be distinct but also be told distinctively. What are you saying to your audience that the other brands within your space are currently not saying?
6. What value can you add to customers with your content? – When creating a distinct story, you need to think about the inherent value of your content to consumers. Are you offering valuable information in a field of interest? Are you educating or entertaining them? Why should your potential audience trust you or even be loyal to you? We can guarantee that if indeed your content is of value; your audience will definitely keep coming back.
7. What is your brand’s persona? – If your brand were a person who would it be? An easy way around this would be to think of a well-known person that embodies your brand’s character. In a previous post about content red flags, we spoke a bit about how to adequately develop a persona/character for your brand.
8. What are some ideas you can pursue? – Here is where the exciting part begins. Based on the answers to your questions above, you can easily create more ideas which should be broken down into content pillars. These pillars are the framework which would then determine what the specific content ideas would be. This is where you figure out what content format will best enhance your stories. Will your ideas be communicated best through videos, images or words?
9. How much you can commit to the ideas? – Your budget will determine what you can create and how much you would need to spend to get your content in the face of your audience. A proper distribution strategy that shows how much you will put behind your content is just as important as creating the content itself. What good is it if you invest in creating amazing content that no one sees?
10. How will you measure your success? – The last step in winning with your content strategy is to create key performance indicators that are clear and achievable. Setting goals for your brand will help you effectively track and measure your ROI. Do you want to receive more leads and sales or are the number of eyeballs (impressions) your most crucial KPI? Tracking and measuring the results will help you determine if the content strategy you have created is helping or hurting your brand.
Need an expert content strategist to guide you through these steps? Talk to us here.