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How to create a content strategy - and why you should!

If you are new to creating content and you are not sure where to begin, creating a Content Strategy is a good place to start.

How to create a content strategy - and why you should!

Identify your goals

In order to create a strategy, you have to examine your intentions with regard to the content and be clear about what you want it to achieve.  These achievements need to be in line with overall business goals and should not just be about generating ‘likes’ and followers on social media.  Are you looking for brand awareness, do you want to drive referral traffic, are you looking to boost your email marketing list with new sign-ups, or are you looking for straightforward product sales or to generate interest in a new product or service?

Once you have your goals in mind, it becomes easier to create a strategy around them so this is an important part of the process.  Creating content for content’s sake, in an unfocussed way, is unlikely to bring you the results you want.

What to post where?

‘Content’ is a catch all term which covers a wide range of potential output and thinking about which content types match your goals is an important consideration.

If you are looking for brand awareness, think about appropriate content types.  Blog posts from individuals within your organisation focussing on their area of expertise can be SEO optimised around specific keywords and can lead people who are looking for answers to questions to your blog. Case studies and customer profiles can help to illustrate products and services you offer in a way which is not overtly sales focussed.  Videos can also be used to provide information, whether that is general – about the company itself, or more specific, video tutorials or guides about a specific product.  A lot of companies use social media to hijack popular culture and benefit from increased interest in trending topics – although do be careful here and make sure you are keeping it relevant (link to social media tips blog)

For lead generation and sign-ups, offering content which is valuable enough to be exchanged for contact information is a popular and effective strategy.  Think about content which is only available as a download, in exchange for an email address for instance.  White papers, which go into greater depth about a particular subject or provide valuable industry insights for example.  Toolkits or guides and shareable infographics are all the types of content which are often provided as downloads in exchange for an email address.

If you are looking for straightforward product sales, targeted ads or sponsored posts on social media, perhaps including promotional or discount offers are a good bet along with Adwords campaigns and remarketing.  Targeted email campaigns are very effective for boosting product sales, again, promotional or special offers also work very well here.

Plan and Schedule...

Having identified your goal, and thought about content types you then need to put this together to come up with a plan.  Your business and the volume of content you are looking to publish will dictate how involved this process will be!  For a lot of smaller businesses, just the process of having thought about goals and content to suit will have achieved 80% of the work involved in creating a strategy.  You may just then need to come up with a list of ideas and a posting schedule (we find it is useful to have a list of blog post titles for the coming month, it is then much easier to research and write them as we go along).  There are a number of useful online tools, both free and paid for, which can help you with scheduling – we use Hootsuite to schedule and post social media output over the month. 

Publish!

Once you know what you are posting, and when, all that remains is to create your content and publish (this is covered in more detail in a whole other blog post!).  For a lot of smaller businesses there is often a lack of time (and possibly expertise) for creating content, if this is the case, maybe consider a Content Creation service.   The content management module we use, ContentPro, makes it quick and simple to set up blogs, news articles, event listings etc. and publish them to your website (it has been created with less technical users in mind so it’s great for marketers like me!).  Ensuring you have a simple and effective way of uploading content to your website is essential to the overall success of any strategy.  If you want advice on what is available for your website platform - get in touch.

If you would like any more information about Content creationsocial media management or any of the other digital marketing strategies mentioned – get in touch with us. 



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