Do you ever get the sneaking suspicion that your social media isn’t working? Or that your website isn’t as effective as it could be? A surprising number of businesses don’t spend time planning digital content, and the worst part is that it always shows. Poorly planned content often has no real purpose or substance, and results in content that has weak messaging, poor design or ineffectual distribution across your digital channels.
When it comes to creating content, whether it’s for your blog, social media or a larger piece of marketing material, the golden rule is that each piece of information should earn its place and work towards the larger message of your marketing or business strategy.
And that’s where content strategy comes into play. Building a content strategy that supports the big picture will ensure that what you put out there is good quality, has a purpose and most importantly hits the mark.
4 Steps to Success
Define your purpose and hit your target.
The arrowhead of any strategy is its purpose. Why are you posting this information? And why now? The more targeted you make your purpose, the more pointed and effective your strategy will be. Whether you’re trying to promote brand awareness for a new product line or encourage lead generation if you can develop content that serves a purpose then you will find it easier to come up with ideas of what to say, how to say it and where to share it.
Decide who you’re speaking to
If you’ve ever worked with a copywriter, one of the first questions they’ll always ask is “who is the audience?”
Why? Because it’s a critical factor in deciding what you’re about to say and how you should say it.
9yr old girls love My Little Pony, and there’s no doubt they want to know all about their favourite toy. But there’d be no point sharing a detailed quarterly sales report with them, no matter how much they love My Little Pony. The subject fits, but what’s being said and how it’s communicated doesn’t fit.
Always keep in mind who’s reading and write for them.
Coming up with ideas often feels like the hardest part when it comes to creating content. But when you have a clear direction and a defined purpose, it becomes much easier to zero in on a subject and be specific.
Whether you’re trying to be entertaining, informative, educational or provocative, whether you publish a list or an infographic, a video or a report – being specific will make your message stand out. It will also help you be perceived as an expert in your field, or an authority on the subject.
Not least of all, being specific helps your content become more relatable and most importantly memorable.
Compare these two statements:
“I love coffee”
“I like my coffee strong, like my opinions. An acquired taste on both accounts.”
Measure your success
The beauty of digital content is that it’s measurable. Unlike printed material and advertising, the success of any digital campaign, content or ad is easy to track and measure.
Everyone has access to the free tools we use to measure the performance of digital content – whether it’s website visits, social media posts or Google ads. You can figure out what’s working, which content performed the best, the worst, what post had the most engagement or resulted in more clicks or conversions.
Whether you’re using Instagram’s professional dashboard, Google analytics or a WordPress plugin, there’s no excuse for not measuring the performance of your content. The results might not always be impressive, but even knowing what doesn’t work can help figure out when to use a different strategy or try a new tactic.
If you need help to research, identify and execute your strategy plan, we happen to be pretty good at it and we’ve got a team of planners, designers and wordsmiths ready to help. Get in touch on firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call on 01628 525 449 to chat about your content strategy.