When marketing your products or services, the actual process of advertising is only half the job. The other half, in this digital age, is the development of content (and more particularly a content strategy). It’s the best way to be viewed as an industry thought leader that can be trusted for products, services, and information.

We fiend for content. Every day we read news articles, scroll through social media timelines, stream countless hours of video. It’s all just content for consumption. In the corporate world, business entities must adopt and demonstrate personalities that speak directly to clients through different platforms and media.

This doesn’t just mean having an active and engaging presence on social media, but optimising SEO so people searching for your products and services find your name and solutions easily. That also means managing channels like your Google and Facebook reviews where customers go to air grievances or share their experiences with your brand.

New Year, New You, New Content Strategy

A content strategy sets up the messaging you’ll be sending to the market for the long term. This not only lets you plan out what you’ll produce, when it will be produced, and what audiences you’ll target – but it helps you address concerns your potential customers may have and accommodate for impromptu things such as events or product releases.

The first step in developing a content strategy is setting out some clear and achievable goals. These goals should be measured and adjusted as you progress through the year – such as understanding what kind of content will help generate 100 new sales leads. Setting goals provides long-term vision and short-term motivation so you can organise your time and resources accordingly.

Next step is to assess your current assets. First look at what current content you have on file and evaluate how it engages with audiences. Then map out the events, programs, or initiatives your organisation has planned for the year. See where these things overlap, such as content links to a new service you’re offering. This will also demonstrate where you have content gaps so you can start planning around your audience expectations.

A Content Strategy That Addresses Audiences’ Needs

Now identify your different audience profiles and their stages in the customer journey. Understanding your key audience personas and their place in the buying process will help you craft content that will attract, engage, and convert them according to their demographics and needs.

Remember, the purpose of a content strategy plan is to ensure consistency in quality and frequency. You want to be tailoring your content to your intended audiences – speaking to their needs, addressing their challenges, and offering solutions. If you can create online engagement then you’ve secured yourself an audience that will help generate leads and eventual sales.

It’s all part of the word-of-mouth network that has developed through social media. But to stay relevant and at the forefront of people’s minds, you need to produce content that resonates with them and is likely to get read, liked, and shared.

Understand how to write for any audience or platform using our free Ultimate Guide to Content Writing. Download it here and start connecting with your audience using a little word magic.

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