How to create a content strategy for your business
Content without direction doesn’t reach the appropriate audience. With so much content available online these days, a good content strategy needs to be built on a solid framework of goals, targets, and milestones.
Your content strategy goals should relate to your business goals, and they should be both actionable and measurable enough to break down into specific targets.
For example, if you sell clothing online, a business goal might be to increase sales 5% this quarter. So, a goal for your content could be to drive awareness about your new seasonal line of clothing to create interest and ultimately boost sales. A target, in this case, could be to send weekly emails about your seasonal clothing line and increase audience engagement with your emails by 10% over the quarter.
To begin crafting your own goal-oriented content strategy, answer these questions:
- What goals do you hope to achieve through content?
- How do those goals contribute towards broader business goals?
- How can you break your goals down into smaller, more quickly achievable targets that contribute to your content goals?
- How will you track and measure engagement with your content?
- What key performance indicators will quantify your progress towards each target and goal?
- When do you hope to achieve each target and goal?
If you already have content in place, the first step after you answer the questions above is to audit your existing content to review its performance. Does the content resonate with your target audience? What do analytics and metrics show? How are your SEO rankings or results? The audit results will define whether you can build on existing content or if you need to start from scratch.
Either way, your content strategy should address the following specifics.
Once your goals and milestones have been outlined, you need to decide on a timeframe for achieving them. Relevant content releases should be planned at strategic points along the way. Even if your schedule has a bit of leeway, it’s always useful to have the workflow laid out.
Include a list of topics in your strategy so the content creators and curators have ideas to choose from. Remember, you want to inform and engage your audience, so the topics can vary greatly. But they should all be consistent with the brand or image you want your business to project.
Identifying your audience is part of your initial content strategy planning. But within that strategy, you may want to consider specific segments of that audience you’ll be targeting with each piece of content. Segments will vary based on the platform where you’re releasing the content, the content itself, and the product or service you’re marketing.
Again, as part of your initial strategy, you may have chosen the platforms where you’ll release your content based on where your target audience will most likely see it. But you might need to get more specific—some people will respond to blog posts on your website, and some will find you on social media. Be sure to consider how the content on each channel relates to the others. For example, your digital ads might drive newsletter signups and the newsletter might drive traffic to blog posts on your website, which include links to follow your social media accounts.
Links to content
Part of your strategy should be to thoughtfully choose the products, services, or external content you’ll link to. Keep the marketing funnel stages in mind and consider how the linked content will work at each stage. Don’t forget that links also factor into your SEO and how search engines rank your site.