Whether it’s a blog, video or your social media presence, your content is likely to be your audience’s first point of contact with your business. As you work to grow and expand your reach, it’s increasingly important that you stay visible and top-of-mind for both current and future consumers. Well-curated content is a powerful tool for introducing yourself to your target audience and fostering authentic, meaningful interactions.
As with so many other aspects of your marketing plan, consistent, strategic execution is key to putting your content to work for your business. If you’re not sure how to get the content machine moving, here is a simple six-step process for creating and managing these assets.
1. Do your homework.
Effective content strategy begins with self-awareness. Before you even begin creating content, we recommend using a Brand Fingerprint to establish a deep and intimate understanding of your brand and what it truly stands for.
Once you’re certain that you know yourself, it’s critical that you know your audience. High-level consumer research, like behavioral segmentation, can reveal important information about not only who is seeking out your brand but why. Understanding what consumers want from your product category and which needs are going unmet will provide a valuable direction for your overall content strategy.
Know What Consumers Want
2. Determine your content pillars.
Now that you’ve established a deep understanding of your brand, your audience and their behaviors, take these insights and distill them into 4-5 core content pillars that will act as the basis for all your assets.
What does your audience want to hear about, and how do these needs intersect with your brand values? Content pillars like consumer education, culture, and product awareness help keep your content fresh and creative while still ensuring that each piece hearkens back to your brand’s essence. This is your opportunity to strategize an authentic perspective that explains how you plan to solve consumer problems in a unique way.
3. Produce your content.
Content creation can be a hefty lift for growing businesses. Fortunately, quality is much more important than quantity.
Choose a content creation schedule you can comfortably commit to and ramp up in the future as you can. It’s better to have one or two content pillar-relevant pieces each week than daily fluff. It’s great to stay timely but avoid chasing trends that aren’t a good fit for your brand persona.
Modern audiences consider authenticity a must-have from a business’s social media. One of the best ways to earn their trust is through user-generated content. Though it was once reserved for lifestyle brands, influencer marketing is making waves in various categories. Brands who haven’t already done so may want to consider how social media influencers could contribute to their marketing mix.
4. Share your content.
Use your content to grow your digital footprint and reach potential customers when they need you most.
Giving your content a home on your website is an easy way to boost traffic. Backlinking your own content and linking to high-authority sources will build trust and improve your search rankings over time.
Remember, however, that great content isn’t just about driving web traffic – it’s about starting relevant conversations. Once your content is live, you’ll need a strategy for community management.
We recommend adhering to our community management rules to avoid common pitfalls as you scale – consumers have increasingly high expectations for timely and helpful responses to their communications with brands.
5. Track your success.
In order to fairly evaluate the success of your content strategy, you have to set measurable goals.
Clicks and impressions are useful metrics, but they may not tell you what you really need to know about how your content is performing. Determine which KPIs will give you the most clarity over time (e.g. gaining subscribers, driving conversions, etc.) and hone in on one or two.
Content strategy is an ongoing process. Consistency is critical, so it’s very important to reevaluate rather than give up if you aren’t seeing the results you hoped for.
Because your content schedule requires a great deal of nurturing, this is an area of your marketing picture you may want to consider outsourcing. A professional content creation team can give these assets the attention they deserve so you see a return on your investment sooner.