Creating a winning content strategy for your company
Picture this: You are in a busy market where the shops are overflowing with wares and the deafening chaos of the market makes you feel as if you are standing under a giant speaker.
The vendors keeping yelling prices on top of their voices and sweat soaked visitors keep crowding the already crowded bazaar. This gives you a good visualisation of the Internet and, in particular, the noisy world of content marketing.
The internet is swarming and it’s getting more and more jam-packed every second. The more crowded the internet gets, the difficult it becomes to make your content stand out. Even though, you cannot turn the noisy volume down a notch but you can most certainly cut through the clutter. This can be done through content strategy.
Content Strategy for your business helps an organization focus on communicate better and it’s not just about the content but it is all about alignment of people, organizational goals, processes in place, technologies and customers. Content Strategy concentrates on where the organization is headed towards and then uses the content to help put the organization there, step by step.
Define your objectives
First and foremost, you need to define your objectives before you can iron out your content strategy. Ask yourself what is that you want to achieve through your content strategy. Detail out whether your communication strategy needs to be aimed at creating or enhancing brand awareness, more visibility, lead generation or nurturing the client lists. Whatever the goal, the content strategy needs to be weaved accordingly.
Define Your Target Audience
You may be doing everything right, churning out amazing content, through all trending media and promoting them with the best advertising strategies, it won’t make an iota of difference, if you haven’t defined your targeted audience.
Taking the marketplace analogy again, if a seller doesn’t know who s/he is selling to, he won’t be able to sell properly and for long. Spending huge amount of money and time without a clear defined target is akin to setting sail in the sea without any idea of where you want to go. Define your target audience and work towards achieving an optimal communication with them.
Do the Research
One of the major element of creating a content strategy is research. Research as much as you can regarding your objectives, what your target audience want to see, and what kind of content float in the industry you are in. Before you can create a content strategy, you need to perform the required research and gather insights from all possible sources. The insights that you gather will form the basis of your content strategy.
Define the medium
After you have set the objectives, defined the target audience and done the necessary research, you need to define the content medium you want to go after. Create a channel path and follow it. The internet is littered with media you can use to push your content but doing too many things or not choosing correct channel may prove detrimental.
Choose whether you want to create content through social media, articles, White Papers, Case Studies, Videos, Infographics, Emails, eBooks, Podcasts, Webinars, Press Releases, etc. You need to go deeper and choose specific social medium and other content where your target audience visit.
For instance, if you want to use Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Youtube, blog etc., you need to ensure that whatever medium you choose, the content needs to be updated on a regular basis. More often than not, organizations choose way too many media to start with, only for it to be left without any update for too long. Choose few and choose wisely and stick to it.
Look at the competition
Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer. This adage is so true in case of organizations. Look what your competitors are doing and find out what they are doing correctly and where they are going wrong. Emulate the good and rescue the bad.
Select Success Metrics
Before you can finalize on the content strategy, you need to finalize on what success metrics you will be expecting out of it. With ambiguity comes dissonance. Whether you want more engagement, more traffic, more visibility, whatever be your criteria, settle on clear success metrics.
Create an Editorial Calendar
The last part of your content strategy would be to document your content plan. Plan out a roadmap for your content production and add content according to objectives, themes, promotions, seasonality. Check out your web traffic flow and plan accordingly.
This editorial calendar will not only provide a panoramic view of your content strategy, this will help you pivot things you feel are not working. It also helps in putting the related teams on the same page.
Craft ‘good’ content.
The importance of good content can never be stressed enough. Always keep your audience in your mind while creating content. Content should be crafted keeping the benefits of your customers. Instead of stuffing their inbox and newsfeed with inane self-praise, create content which would be informative and entertaining to your visitors in some or other way.
Ideally a good content strategy acts as a long-term framework for all organization communication and guides the entire marketing plan. A good content strategy provides navigation to an organization from where it can be steered towards a better positioning. Create proper content strategy and see your marketing efforts soar.