Do I need a content strategy and how do I create one
Do you need a Content Strategy? The word strategy sounds complicated, but it doesn't need to be. Having a strategy is more than a plan, and it's more than deciding on a few tactics.
It's putting a stake in the ground of where you want to get to and how you're going to get there. It's the why, who, what, how AND where.
To know which way to go you need to know the destination.
I heard a great analogy recently, if you’re heading from Manchester to London don’t take directions to Scotland.
What is a content strategy?
A content strategy is made up of:
What you want to achieve
Vision, mission and values
What, where and when
What do you want to achieve?
Set SMART goals. These are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely.
Example – Reach 1000 email subscribers by [insert date].
Vision, mission and values
Defining who you are as a business, what you want to be known for and the values you hold are all crucial factors to communicate in your content strategy.
These the things that make you unique. By weaving in your values into your content strategy you are telling the world who you are and you are attracting people the people who share them.
This is the most important step, if you do nothing else spend time doing your research. Read this blog for ways to get to know your audience even better.
Once we have done our audience research we know the things they are searching for online. Define a list of keywords that are important to your business goals and your audience needs.
Now we’re getting creative, I love this step. Your content themes are your top keyword terms that your audience are searching for that cross over with the solution you provide.
These need to be broad enough that they can be expanded into a list of content ideas but not too broad that they are meaningless.
Nutrition is a broad term that could be important to everyone – and we are not trying to reach everyone. So, your theme might be nutrition for midlife women. This is an interesting topic that has a specific audience and can still be broken down into sub-themes.
Each of your themes needs to have 10-15 subthemes.
For Nutrition for Midlife Women your sub-themes could be:
Preparing for menopause
Looking after your health in the [insert season]
Then you would think about content for each of your sub-themes, for weight loss it might be:
5 foods to eat when trying to lose weight
How to create a meal plan to lose weight
Top 5 healthy recipes for weight loss
How to have a better night's sleep and lose weight
Not losing weight, five surprising reasons why
What, where and when
Now you know what you’re talking about you decide on what formats, where to publish and how often.
For example, Live video on Instagram once a week. That video content will be repurposed into a weekly blog post and turned into 3 social media posts for Instagram, Facebook and if appropriate LinkedIn.
It’s important to find the content that your audience consumes often and that you enjoy creating.
It might be that your audience loves podcasts, but you hate talking. So, this won’t work because you will avoid creating the content and it won’t get done.
But maybe your audience also loves video and consuming short content on the move, so maybe reels or YouTube shorts are the way forward. You don’t have to do loads of talking and if you can get comfy on video (this is totally possible by the way, even for the most video phobic person) it could be a better option.
The what might be dictated by the where. If Instagram or YouTube are where your audience consume the most content then video is a great way to reach more people on these platforms, Live video even more so.
Plot out your publishing plan on a weekly planner, deciding what you will create on which days and when it will be published. Putting this down on a planner helps to cement it in your mind as part of your routine.
Right, now it’s time to pull it all together.
Get a 12 month calendar and plot out…
· Your key business dates – launches, events, seasonal dates
· Awareness days that are important to you and your audience
· Key themes for each month
· What content you will create
· What content you will curate/share
I am all about making life easy and simple, I have young twins at home and a hectic timetable, so I am onboard with simple and easy.
You can have full visibility on your social media, website and newsletter by only creating a few key pieces of content each year and repurposing that to an inch of it’s life….and your audience will still feel like they are seeing fresh content from you.
I have a blog all about this and a free checklist you can download here.
Whew that was epic. So much goes into a good content strategy but it’s not as complicated as it may seem.
I love to take clients on a journey to support them in putting together their content strategies. If you need more support to pull all this together book yourself a Kickstart Your Content: Action Planning Session here.