Content strategy - do you have one yet?
You have a LinkedIn page, you are on twitter, you send the occasional email to your database but what do you put on them? This may sound like an obvious question, but a lot of companies struggle with maintaining consistency and relevance. Thinking of a new idea week after week can seem like a chore, especially if you do not have a dedicated person doing it. But having a LinkedIn page with no posts or a twitter account you post on once a week is a wasted opportunity, with all these channels you get out what you put in.
What you need is a content strategy and here are our tips to get started.
1. Understand what content is – content is one of those words that you feel you should understand and is used frequently. However, it can start feeling like every piece of content you put out has to be a profound piece of work, when content comes in many forms.
You are a company that produces anti-virus software, you are struggling to see what your content could be – it’s all so technical. Content needs to be appropriate for your market, not all content needs to be fun it should be informative and relevant to your industry.
This company could:
Write a White Paper on the anti-virus software industry – what has changed in the last five years, what challenges does the industry face and how do they see this developing in the future.
Do a series of blog posts on their latest software, a spotlight on key members of their team, current challenges in Anti-Virus Software, tips on how people can keep their computer safe.
Share industry news and comment on others articles via social channels.
Share influencers and experts posts or retweet them. Remember to also tag them where possible.
Look at creating videos, a set up guide to the technology or how the technology works.
Take pictures at exhibitions and events – this can be easily shared across blogs and social channels.
Tweet pictures from inside your business and of your teams to give a personality to your team's or your company.
2. Who is your brand and what do you want to say? It’s really key to define what your brand voice is and the message you are trying to convey, this will then act as a guide for creating content and also something tangible to the wider business. This is important if you want other within your organisation to contribute to content creation efforts.
In our example above it could be that their goal is to be seen as an authority in anti -virus software, providing practical advice and expertise in all aspects of the industry.
3. Define your channels – once you have worked out the kind of content you can produce, think about the channels you will use to distribute it and think about getting the most out of a piece of content across channels. For example, do a blog post, post it on LinkedIn, include it in a newsletter and tweet about it.
4. Who will be doing it – with a content strategy it’s a good idea to give responsibility to one person to ensure it happens. You can use others to create the content but the onus to ensure it happens is best kept with one person.
5. Think about what is feasible – setting yourself a goal to write a blog a week and tweet 10 times a day may seem unachievable at the start, it’s best to commit to a blog a month and tweeting at least daily to start. Yes, the best practice is to do it more frequently, but start small and build, rather than over planning and your strategy falling away as it’s unachievable.
6. Plan – try and plan a month in advance at least, if you don’t then you will quickly find you won’t produce any content. Last minute content is always challenging, build yourself a calendar and plot out subjects at the start of the month, that gives you time to find out the information you need.
7. Optimise – one of the most important stages within any content strategy is analysis and working out what resonates with your audience, ultimately this will lead you to improving the content you produce. This can be as simple as looking at the analytics in your social channels, but you should also look to build out your Google Analytics too, to understand what the traffic you are now driving to your site does.
8. Grow – once you are comfortable with the content you are creating and you have a good process in place, think about how you can move this forward. Can you increase the frequency? Can you get some software in place so you can schedule your content? Could other people in the business contribute? It’s important that your original strategy becomes scalable, always think about building on what you have.
A content strategy does not need to be a scary thing, think small and just get started. Really think about your business and the value you deliver your customers every day. Content is not separate to your business, it is part of what you do every day and a way to demonstrate the expert knowledge you have and service you deliver.