It’s almost an annual tradition for us to highlight the importance of creating a content strategy and how to best position your future messaging for the coming year. But outlining all these vital steps doesn’t offer much when the reasoning is unclear: how can businesses benefit from creating a comprehensive content strategy? The short answer – pre-planning off insights.
When done correctly and thoroughly, these strategies outline who your audiences are, what they’re looking for, and how your brand addresses their needs. These key insights then inform a plan for content production and marketing that can span a week, months, or the calendar year – depending on your research.
Content Driven by Purpose
Before you can even consider your content plans, you must first understand you’re your brand vision, product/service offering, and target customers (both current and intended). Let’s break those elements down a little further.
Brand mission, purpose, and vision – these three things determine your overarching goals, the value your deliver to customers, and how you envision an improved world through your positive impact.
People are more responsive to brands that express character while operating beyond the pursuit of profit to stand for something greater. Often brands aren’t just selling a product or service, but a lifestyle, an ideology that complements people’s way of thinking.
When you understand your business’ larger purpose and how your product/service enriches the lives of those that use it, then you can better understand your competitors, customers, and the content you should create.
Once you’ve outlined your business purpose and ingrained these concepts into your staff, you can then think about your customers. Consider the kind of people that engage with your brand, their key demographic information, their ambitions and hopes, and how you help make their lives easier.
These insights should inform audience/customer persona creation. In an increasingly digitalised world centred on experiences, audience personas use key customer data and business goals to generate accurate representations of your target-market demographics.
Audience personas should become second nature to your content creators as their preferences, challenges, and hopes should inform what you produce, the tone of voice your brand conveys, and how you connect with new and existing customers.
Some of this data can be easily attained through your social media platforms and CRM systems. Work with your sales, service, and IT teams to get a holistic understanding of how each function views your customers, what they believe to be the ideal persona for those that connect best with your brand.
Another powerful way to explore content angles is to look at your SEO and competitors’ output – research the key search terms your audiences search for, the keywords your blogs and content are reaching, and what kinds of content your competitors are creating to attract and retain audiences.
Planning for Content Creation
Now is the time to research your various platforms and how they correlate against audience personas – would a person that requires your service more likely linger of Twitter or LinkedIn? What times are best suited for publishing new posts and blogs?
It’s okay to go outside your own metrics for this, since other businesses will have a greater following, branding strategy, and content cadence that works for them. Your role is to find what works for other and understand how it aligns with your unique needs, audience personas, and wider vision.
When it comes to deciding of content types and cadences, the key is consistency. No matter what platforms best speak to your intended audience, it’s much more important to remain consistent with your blogging, posting, and engagement. Nothing helps your business lose discoverability and ranking quite like inconsistent posting.
Considering the wide range of content channels audiences can access, it’s important to prioritise the right platforms and be intelligent with how you produce content. This means utilising the right platforms and getting the most out of your creative output.
For example, if you produce a video then you should be publishing it simultaneously across various video streaming platforms with the right branding and SEO optimisation. Furthermore, you can repurpose this digital asset for other platforms, such as converting the video into a blog or infographic. This helps diversify your reach while getting greater usage from your marketing and production.
To discover more tips on how and why a content strategy can help set the foundation for being a more customer-centric, insightful, and enticing brand – download our Ultimate Guide to Creating a Content Strategy.