Five Components of a Successful Content Strategy
To create and execute a truly effective content strategy, there are certain things you need to have in place. To get you started off in the right direction, here are five things you absolutely need to have a place when crafting a content strategy that works.
Understand where you want to go
Every content strategy should start with clearly defined goals and objectives in mind. Are you creating the content to drive thought leadership? Is brand recognition more important for you right now? Or are you designing pieces of content to drive leads into your pipeline and convert business?
Understanding this can help you develop a more focused strategy that gets the results you want.
Know what your customers want
Beyond understanding the goals and objectives of your company, it’s important to understand the pain points, challenges , media consumption preferences and needs of your customers. Armed with this information, you can create target personas that help you craft content aimed at each specific segment of your targeting audience.
Creating a content strategy with your audience in mind allows you to create and promote content that connects and drives the results you want.
Focus on quality and value
Armed with an understanding of both your own goals and objectives as well as a thorough grasp of what connects with your target audience, the next step is to determine what content you plan to create. There are so many great content types and topics to choose from, and the info you compiled in parts one and two of your strategy will help inform your choices here.
Does your audience love ebooks? Do they prefer video? What topics would benefit them and help them address their pain points and challenges? Think about all of this as you plan the types of content and the subject matter you’ll include in your strategy.
Have a distribution plan in place
It’s like the age-old question. If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around, does it make a sound? Logically yes…or no…anyway, that’s a debate for another time! My point is that if you create great content, but you don’t have a plan to get it in front of your audience, it definitely doesn’t have any impact on your ability to achieve the objectives you set out to achieve.
Social media is one great way to distribute your content. Email is another great medium. Blogs, press releases, ads, sponsored content, curation tools. These are just a few of the effective methods of distribution available to you. Go back to your target personas and look at what you uncovered about media consumption preferences. Then narrow down your distribution channels to focus specifically on the ones you think will most effectively reach your audience.
Measure and improve
No content strategy is complete without a plan for measuring success. Based on the goals and objectives you hope to achieve, define your key performance indicators and what constitutes success. Let’s say your content strategy is focused on driving leads into the funnel and creating new business. You’ll want to set goals for things like the number of leads you collect via your landing pages and how many convert. For driving brand recognition, you would want to track things like social media shares and engagement, as well as website traffic.
The measurement portion of your content strategy should align with your goals and objectives and ultimately be designed to provide a clear vision into your level of success.
Give some serious though to each of these five things are you work through the development of your content strategy. You’ll be rewarded with a more focused, more effective strategy that actually helps you generate positive results.
Anthony serves in the Director of Marketing and Business Development at Granite Creative Group. He is a storyteller, a strategist and eternally a student of marketing. Most recently, he served in leadership roles for a global content marketing agency, a highly regarding institute of higher education, a software company and in the legal world.