Every brand you know and have interacted with has connected with you through their content.
You must have heard the marketing proverb, ‘Content is King’; to reach and inspire potential customers to action, then your content has to be the right fit, both for your business and audience.
This is your unique content strategy.
To accomplish your content strategy and marketing goals, you must audit your operations to identify what resources are available for the creation and deployment of your content strategy. This is referred to as your content plan and includes the type of content, relevant Calls To Action (CTAs), and platforms from which you can share your work.
So what are the different steps needed to build together an effective content strategy?
1. Content Audit
First of all, your content audit will involve strategically placing every member of your team into a role fitting their expertise. Effective marketing teams will have the following:
Marketing strategists to come up with your content plan
Content writers to use their creativity to create relevant content
Content editors to proofread and assess relevance and accuracy of the information
Content promoters to help distribute and market the work on the prescribed channels
Designers to create graphical and visual content
Videographers to produce, shoot and edit videos should the startup need them
Content analysts to assess the incoming audience data and produce optimization reports to inform content strategy.
2. Mission Statement
A mission statement guides your organizational content goals.
In order to efficiently accomplish your startup’s mission, you can use the SMART goals method.
Set specific goals that are measurable numerically with data, and are also attainable considering your resource pool. Ask yourself if these goals are relevant to your overall strategy and if the deadlines set are reasonable and timely.
3. Finding Your Ideal Audience
The next part of your content strategy involves correctly identifying your audience. Determining the following:
Demographics i.e. their gender, age, ethnicity, location, job title, income etc.
Psychographics i.e. their interests, hobbies, habits, buyer behavior etc.
Challenges your product/service is facing
Pain points i.e. the problem that your product or service solves for your audience
Search behavior i.e. where is your audience looking for solutions to their problem
Content type i.e. what content format does your audience find easier to consume. The content types vary from blog posts to Youtube videos, e-newsletters, e-books, social media content, white papers, research reports and many others. Choosing which type to deploy depends on your audience needs as well as the distribution channels to deploy.
Your help i.e. how you aid the discovery process of the solution your audience is searching for.
Once you have these in place you can categorize your audience into two: those who are most likely to make a purchase and those who require more convincing with different kinds of content.
4. Creating, Connecting and Measuring that Connection
The most important part of your content strategy begins with the creation process. Your organization needs to establish the brand voice, message and design quality in order to maintain consistency.
A content marketing calendar, which includes publishing date, topic, format and distribution, is also imperative to keep your writers and designers on schedule.
Establishing a content strategy ultimately involves trying to create a master plan for your startup in order to get results. You can use in app analytics tools on various social media channels to check the performance of your distributed content.
Creating a content scorecard can help you keep track as well.
What mistakes to avoid?
Content marketing doesn’t foster results in one day (unless you go viral) and many make the mistake of quitting immediately after they start because of a perceived lack of good results.
Other startups forgo the need for good quality and expect irrelevant content they publish to be well received. Still others opt to publish their posts on one platform, for instance a blog on just their website, and wonder why no one is reading their work.
The marketing proverb might go ‘content is king’, but the old adage continues with, ‘but distribution is queen and she wears the trousers’! Happy creating!