Strategy – Content Strategy and Development
The first step in developing a content strategy is determining your goal, or your reason for creating content in the first place. Whether content lives on a website or on a physical platform, it needs to have a core direction and purpose. Without that, content will fall short, appearing generic and simplistic to your customers.
Step 1: Research
The foundation of great content is high quality research.
Fact finding should be completed on the main topic of your content but attention should also be paid to the relationship between the company, customer, and competition. This research will allow you to distill your content, narrowing the focus to the information that will convey the most powerful message to your audience. When searching through data and other resources, consider the platforms and channels that you plan to use to share your content. This will directly impact the type of information that you are seeking out. Also keep the “tone” of your business in mind. Your business is an entity but it should speak to the public in a unique voice that they can relate to and recognize again in the future.
Step 2: User Focused
Having a deep pool of data and knowledge after completing a rigorous round of research is fantastic but you need to take a moment and make sure your information is appropriate in all aspects for your customers. Many companies that miss the content mark quickly dive into content strategies with all of the information that they want to tell their customer. The first thing that you need to consider is not your motives, but what the consumer wants from you. What are they searching for? What problems are they trying to solve? By identifying the needs of your target audience you can create content that will directly satisfy your audience.
Step 3: Refine Your Voice
Discovering the voice that your company uses moving forward when creating content is vital. Your voice needs to remain consistent throughout your content marketing, allow your audience to recognize and connect with the brand that you are creating. The strongest brands in the world develop a personal relationship with their consumers. When a customer interacts with an advertisement created by a company that they emotionally connect to, they don’t feel like they are being sold to, it’s more like interacting with a friend. Choose your voice wisely! Don’t forget to take steps to understand how you come across to the general public. You may think the voice of your company is “fun and friendly” but if your customers don’t agree you will need to tweak your creation methods as you go along.
Step 4: Direction
Once you start brain storming ideas related to your brand and the content that will be created in it’s image, you might be tempted to start putting the pen to paper but you need to remember to strategize before creating anything concrete. The quality of content is usually directly correlated to the amount of planning that goes into the process. A clear direction needs to be established and followed by everyone involved in content creation. Identify the major goals your company wishes to achieve through your content is a great place to start. If you don’t know where you are trying to go, you will likely end up in the wrong location!
Step 5: Story
Don’t forget to tell a story. You can write the most informative blog, but if it lacks the readability that comes with good storytelling, you will fail to develop a connection with your audience. Story telling is part of our DNA as human beings. We have been telling stories for thousands of years and it still remains one of the most effective methods of passing information along from one party to the next while keeping all parties involved entertained. Decide what the story of your company is and tell it to the world!
Step 6: Distribution
Once you have a strategy developed and have produced well written content from your research, it is time to choose your channels accordingly. Not every method of distribution will suit your business goals and it is crucial to identify the best route to reach your audience. Content designed for social media will be very different than content that will live on a webpage. Where do your clients spend the majority of their time online? What do they interact with? What sources do they trust?
High quality content will build customer relationships that can last a lifetime and help take your business growth to the next level. Need help communicating your message? We have an entire team of writers on staff here at Hiilite that are waiting to tell your story!