A good content strategy is crucial to the success of your blog because it allows you to come up with great ideas, measure your success and plan for the future. It is worth the time and effort invested because, in the long, its dividends set you apart from your competition. Without one, it will be near impossible for you to generate and publish the kind of content that builds a strong brand.
However, in order to build a good content strategy, you need to take certain things into account. This means that there are certain questions that you need to ask yourself:
What are we trying to achieve?
This is the most important question because it defines the “Why” and “How” of your content strategy. It is the foundation of the strategy so you need to know what the vital elements are in order to prioritize. This has to be properly articulated in other for you (or your team) to arrive at an effective content strategy.
Who is your target audience?
Your content is targeted at a certain demographic that can be considered as important to the success of your blog or business. We can describe this demographic as your target audience. Your content has to be tailored to connect with them at the one-on-one and two-way levels of communication.
You need to define who your target audience is. After that, scale them in order of importance so as to find out the most influential to your blog or business. This will give you a better picture of who your content should be directed at and actually goes a long way in making your content strategy more effective.
Why should you connect with them?
Now that you have defined your target audience, what is the importance of connecting with them? Your content should generate awareness and engagement among your audience. However, you can only achieve when you are clear on WHY you are communicating with them. You can find out the “why” of your communication strategy by outlining your communications goals.
What platforms should you use?
We are in the digital age now so content is transmitted via different channels nowadays. Consequently, social media platforms are the preferred vehicles of content dissemination these days. In order to optimize content dissemination, you have to the platforms that best suit your target audience. Take note of the different sub-groups in your target audience and examine how each sub-group seeks, consumes and shares content.Once you are able to ascertain this, test and explore the “waters” while observing other blogs use these platforms. Between these approaches, you will be able to arrive at the best platform to effectively propagate your content.
What content performs best?
You need to consider the best kind of content for each sub-group and platform. Users of visual social platforms will need a different kind of content than those who prefer written content or webinars and offline events. Try to produce premium content that is tailored to these platforms and the preferences of your target audience. More importantly, develop a great keyword strategy that optimizes SEO. It is important.
You should also try to draft user-generated content or influencer marketing-generated content into your content strategy.
How long will it take?
You need to decide how long it is going to take to execute. Make a timeline and for each stage, clearly define what you hope to achieve and how long it is expected to take; particularly the core components of your content generation and dissemination. Simplify the timeline by breaking it into daily/weekly/monthly workflows. This way you will be able to track your progress with regard to goals and timing.
Is it working?
Content strategy is worthless without a means of testing, fine-tuning or readjusting it according to real-time trends and demands. That said, you must be constantly aware of your success metrics: target audience growth and their engagement with your published content. One of the best ways to do that is to use tools like Google Analytics; native analytics built into social media platforms and third-party tools like Simply Measured.
How will the content be produced?
After all, said and done, the next step is how to figure out the creation of the content: in-house, outsourced or via influencer networks and users.
Define the priorities for developing content so you know whether the content will be produced in-house or outsourced. Once that is determined, you should create a workflow management system that links all the producers of content (staff and/or partners/contractors).
An editorial calendar is must-have. This is because, in the event of collaborative efforts, it charts out the content produced by the different groups/persons working together and makes it easy to see who is doing what at any given time. Remember to have a designated cache where all the materials used in the content production: documents, images and videos (among others) are kept.
What to do with the data?
The data gathered from the analytics tools could be regularly reviewed in other to get a better grasp of the trends in the data and their implications for future content planning and the overall improvement of your blog, brand or business.