Learning how to develop a content strategy is amongst the most important skills you can learn as a businessperson in the modern world. Content is becoming increasingly important and relevant to how businesses operate and how successful they are–but that content will not reach its intended audience if it doesn’t have a strategy to guide it.
Here are some practical, solid steps on how to develop your content strategy. Developing a content strategy will be one of the most rewarding steps you can take in improving your website, social media, or other platforms.
What Are We Doing Here?
The very first step to developing a content strategy is to determine what you hope to accomplish with your content. You want to look at this from a high-level perspective.
Ultimately, whether you want to drive traffic to your site, bring exposure to your products and services, or become a thought leader in the industry will determine how your content strategy works. First determine what your purpose is, and then the plan can start taking shape.
Who Are We Doing It For?
How well do you know your customers? Who’s buying from you–and who do you want buying from you? Who do you want seeing your content?
These questions can seem intimidating at first, but when you stop and think about it, you probably have a picture in your head of your “ideal customer.” When you take that ideal customer out of your imagination and start plotting out the details of this person on paper, as you would plan out a character in story, it’s called creating a buyer’s persona.
This step requires some research and careful analysis, but essentially, you want to answer demographic identifying questions about this person–what is their income, background, age, and gender? What are their likes and dislikes?
The more detailed you can be about this, the better. It will help you later, when you’re nailing down a strategy that perfectly targets this type of individual.
Think How They Think
When your ideal customer (or content viewer) goes online, what are they looking for? And what words are they using in search engines to find it?
Be the answer to their question. They look up keyword X—your content is about keyword X and comes up first. They click on your page because it’s exactly what they’re looking for.
This is called organic traffic–nobody had to pay to access or post this material; it simply came up naturally in a search.
To use this strategy effectively, research your customers well and learn their searching habits in detail. You can then take five keywords that they are likely to search and create content around these terms. Your focus should be depth, not breadth: the content should provide detailed information about these topics.
Next, analyze what type of content your audience likes best. Videos, images, blogs etc. all have their own impact and are consumed differently. Sometimes one is more practical or favourable than another to your particular audience, and it’s important to tailor your content to suit those needs.
It’s also important to develop a tone or style that appeals to or relates to your audience, so they can identify with your brand. This will also lend uniqueness to your brand, making it more recognizable.
Make a Good Schedule
The frequency and timing of when you publish content is key. Sometimes content is missed if it’s not posted at the right time of day; other times, people stop visiting your site if you only post once a month. So it’s vital to find the perfect time to catch your audience members.