Content. It’s everywhere – on your news feed, on billboards, on the TV, on print ads, on the web. You can’t escape it.
It was once said that content is king. They weren’t wrong. But, with content everywhere and ALL the time, it’s now QUALITY content that reigns supreme. We’re so desensitised to seeing it that generic, bland content doesn’t cut it. If quality content is sitting in the top spot of the marketing monarchy, a content strategy is surely the king maker.
What is a content strategy? Content strategy is the high-level thinking and strategic approach to creating relevant and on-brand content that works to achieve business objectives. A content strategy creates a vision for how your brand is communicated across every touchpoint, from print advertising, to social media posts, to blogs and editorial content.
Think of it as your go-to guide for content creation. But, it’s also more than that. It’s how to cut through the noise and reach your audience with content that engages and converts them.
Let’s start from the top with a “Beginners Guide to Content Strategy.”
In the beginning there was a business…
And that business had goals. Big ones. The scary, make you tremble in your crocs kind. This business also had a strong brand, with some marketing activities happening here and there.
You know your brand and marketing are important. But how to truly leverage your band and maximise your marketing expenses? That’s a different story. Enter “Content Strategy”.
Stage One: Brand and Business Analysis
Let’s talk brand and business
A solid brand is one that engages, captivates and remains highly relevant with its audience. People feel a strong sense of attachment to branding, just like John explored with “The xx” album recently.
From a strong brand, a unique and creative content strategy can be designed.
This content strategy connects your business goals with your target audiences through the strategic use of content and communication channels.
Think of it like a “connect the dots”. We start with your brand, what your business goals are and who your target audience is. From there, we connect the dots, all while analysing your competitors and staying ahead of the trends to ensure recommendations are relevant.
What this strategy looks like is as unique as your brand. There isn’t a “one size fits all” approach to developing a content strategy.
Stage Two: Audience definition and channel selection
Channelling to success
Without any real direction or a strategic approach, marketing activities can feel like a bottomless money pit. You know you need to engage in marketing, just not how to use it to achieve your business goals and get your brand message out there. Should you advertise (but where?!), write a blog, try out social media… hire a blimp? Who knows?!
Then there is the whole issue of knowing how to reach the RIGHT people, not just any people. Kathy, the crazy cat lady down the road (you know the one!), might think your flyer drop is cool, but is she about to invest in a new mining plant? Probably not.
And how do your audience want to hear from you? Do they like to read? Do they shy away from new technology? Are they a millennial?
Persona mapping and channel selection are VITAL components of any content strategy. Channels must be selected based on brand appropriateness and audience relevance.
Think of it like a “connect the dots”. You start with your brand, what your business goals are and who your target audience is. From there, we work to connect the dots.
The content strategy considers how your brand should be communicated across each of the channels selected, while maintaining a focus on working towards business goals. The result? Content that converts!
Strategic content creation helps ensure you’re investing in the right way.
Stage Three: Content Creation
Time to get creative
The business objectives, brand, competitors and previous activities have been analysed. Channels have been selected and we know how to leverage the brand USPs on each channel to target the channel’s audience. We know the channel messages, how they relate to the overall message and how to create content that converts.
Most importantly, we know how the marketing activities are going to work together to work towards achieving the overall goal!
Now for the fun stuff… content creation!
Whether your content strategy calls for direct and “loud” campaigns, or consistent and regular communication, it has provided a solid foundation on which content can be created. Best of all? Because you have a go-to strategy complete with best practice guidelines, the creative process is so much more efficient!
Keep it up!
A content strategy guides you on how to engage your audiences in two-way communication. No one wants to just be talked at all day! Worried about how to respond to comments on a Facebook post? No stress, your strategy outlines what to do and can even give some sample responses.
Not only does a content strategy provide framework to monitor the success of your content distribution, the framework provides for effective governance of all content activities. This helps keep everything on brand and purposeful!
If you want to get serious about creating content that converts, you start with a strategy. What that strategy looks like is as unique as you, so get in contact to chat about how we can help you!