A recent study showed that 71% of marketers still don’t know for sure if their content is effective. Could this potentially be related to the fact that 63% didn’t have a documented strategy in place? I think so.
So there is truth in the old saying “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail”…
As we champion brands to embrace the realm of digital, we also highlight the importance of a well prepared content strategy.
There’s no need to overcomplicate things, your content strategy should be able to be condensed into a single sentence. Two, at most. Here’s how.
Goal. Pain. Solution. Measure.
You can base your strategy off this simple framework. Through some research and understanding of your own brand, you should be able to write down your strategy in a single sentence using: Goal. Pain. Solution. Measure.
Keep it mind this isn’t a fully-prepared content strategy, instead it’s a framework for understanding how to develop one.
Identify what you want to achieve, as linked to a problem within your organisation. Don’t be afraid to get specific! That way you’ll be able to create actionable steps towards your goals. Some goals may include raising brand awareness, increasing our reputation or lead generation, for example.
Once you’ve identified your goals, it’s time to look at your customer’s pain. You’ll need to find out what barriers are preventing them from using your product or service, and ultimately hindering your ability to reach your goals.
A good exercise is to brainstorm a bunch of customer pain-points. Ask yourself, “What are the barriers preventing customers from using my product or service?”
It could be that they don’t perceive value in your product or service.
It could be that they don’t know how to use your product.
It could be that they are evaluating you against your competitors.
It could be anything. This is where your market research will come in handy.
Determine all the different pains they have and bundle them into themes. For each theme, you can start thinking about the type of content that will work best in solving your customer’s problems, which leads us to…
Now to the exciting part! The type of content you want to create. This solution relies heavily on the previous parts of the framework. It must align with your goals and your customer’s pain. For instance, if your goal is to generate leads, but your customers don’t trust your brand enough, then your content should be based on building trust for your brand. This could be done through different tactics, such as blogs, videos, white papers and more.
However, one thing to keep in mind is that no matter what piece of content you create, it must always support your goals. In this case, you want to generate leads, so you must ensure your content has a call-to-action back to your site to encourage them to sign up. Even if your content gets millions of views, if it doesn’t help you generate leads, then it’s a piece of wasted content.
Measurement helps you get a feel of what works with your audience and what doesn’t. You’ll also need to determine the right metrics to measure for your goals. For instance, you wouldn’t care too much for ‘Likes’ if you were trying to generate leads – you’d be more interested in click-throughs or the actual leads generated.
With an eye on your metrics, you’ll be able to determine what works best and create more content that meets your goals. However, it’s always worth stepping outside your plan and testing something new. The metrics will show you if it’s effective or not.
And now we put it all together.
Now that you have your content strategy down in one sentence, you’re probably wondering: “What’s next?” It’s time to think about the how.
How will you work on creating content that is valuable and informative?
How will you set up the right analytics to measure performance?
Think about the processes for your content: Creating, managing, optimising, curating and finally measuring and learning from your analytics. For instance, if you find that a particular blog post is performing well and is generating a lot of leads, identify why. Maybe you have some great graphics in there. Maybe it resonated with your audience emotionally. Maybe it was just posted at the perfect time. Learn from your past content and continue to optimise.
Now it’s your turn
Remember, this is not a comprehensive strategy. It’s simply a way for you to get your head around the bare minimum required. You’ll want to build upon this one-liner and flesh out your content strategy, including how to obtain the content you need. Often the biggest pain point for an organisation is not what needs to be done but how to get there.
Short on time or still a bit lost? Our team of skilled strategists can help you flesh out your content strategy. As an extension of your team we can work alongside you to create a strategy or craft one for you. Just drop us an email.