I've played a crucial role in all of my clients' content strategy. Using strategic thinking, 12+ years of content marketing experience, and in-depth research, I help them define their audience, find the content gaps their competitors are leaving open, and decide the best way to reach the people they need to reach.
There are three main elements to creating a content strategy:
Setting your strategy involves answering the questions of what goals a successful strategy would attain, who the strategy is meant to attract and inform, and what that content looks like. It will help you set content pillars, the types of content you want to use, and how best to use the content you create.
Process Establishment & Activation
A strategy is only effective if it has processes in place to run efficiently. This step involves setting up a roadmap to follow that will establish the framework for your strategy, creating a content calendar to follow, and setting up the tools that will help you create and distribute your content.
Research is the backbone of a content strategy. Before you can do anything else, you have to perform meticulous research about your audience, your market, your existing content, and your competitors.
What do you already have?
An audit of your existing content will tell you what you already have. It will show you where your content may be overlapping and provide insight into how you may be able to repurpose the content you have in place.
I perform a content audit by consuming all the content your company currently has and identifying each piece's strengths and weaknesses.
How good is your current content?
It's not enough to just identify what content your company currently has. The content must also be analyzed to see if it serves its purpose in helping your business reach its goals.
I perform this task by digging into your analytics to see how well each piece of content is performing.
How good is your competitors' content?
The most effective content strategy doesn't just overlap with what your competitors are doing, it fills in the gaps that they leave open.
I perform a competitive analysis on your top three competitors by consuming and analyzing all of their available content to see what they don't cover.
What does your audience require?
Using your own social media, various online forums, search queries, and questions your existing customers are asking your sales and support teams, I find what your audience really needs to know.
What are the real people you serve saying?
There is no better resource than your existing customers. I will find out what they're happy with, what they're unhappy with, and how you can communicate with them more effectively.
Who are you really trying to reach?
While all your customers are obviously individuals, there are bound to be common threads running through what they need from you in terms of communication. I will find these common threads and create general buyer personas for you to talk directly to with your content.
What insights does your team hold?
Research and analysis does not all come from the customer-side. Your team also holds valuable insights into what content you should be producing.
I facilitate a 2-3 hour workshop with 3-7 key members from your marketing team to uncover these hidden gems. This is perhaps the most valuable step in the research phase.
2. Strategy Setting
Once the research is done, your content strategy has to be established. This is done through figuring out what you want your content to accomplish, who your content serves, how it serves them, and how best to get your content to those people.
Strategy establishment components
What does success look like to you?
Together, we figure out the goals your content needs to fulfill in order to be considered successful. We also address how your content will reach these goals, and the key performance indicators you will measure to see if it's successful.
Who is your content for?
We identify your audience's habits, interests, content consumption routines, and what they need to get out of consuming your content in particular.
Content pillars and types
What form does your content actually take?
These are two to four subjects that will form the foundation of all your content. They should be subjects your audience is interested in and that you are uniquely positioned to talk about.
These are the specific types of content you will create. They can range from website pages, white papers, videos, webinars, blog posts, newsletters, or whatever we find that will fit your audience and goals best.
How do you use your content?
We establish the two to four marketing channels that you will use to distribute your content. These could be things like starting a blog, starting a YouTube channel, sending out a newsletter, using paid advertising, or using your existing social media channels. The key is to start small and concentrate on your chosen channels. Once you have established processes, start experimenting to see how you can improve.
Process Establishment & Activation
When we know what channels you want to use for your content distribution, we can then develop the processes you will follow to create that content, upload it, and distribute it to your audience. We can also activate the necessary tools you will need to do this.
Process establishment & activation components
Three-month road map
Getting started with your content strategy.
Three-month content calendar
Exactly what content will be created.
Exactly which tools you need to enact your strategy.
I create a roadmap for you that sets deadlines for each section of your strategy and outlines what needs to be done and by whom. This helps you clearly see how to get started on your strategy so you can avoid delays and confusion.
Your content calendar, which I will create for you, tells you exactly what content needs to be created, which channel it will be distributed on, and what business goals it serves.
I will set up and activate any necessary accounts on the tools you will require to enact your content strategy. These include tools for project management, tools for content creation, tools for content production and distribution, and tools for measuring content success.