I don’t want to bore you with data from numerous studies that document the positive relationship between strategy and success. Nor do I want to bother with discussing the many studies that have been done on the correlation between having written goals and actually achieving said goals. All you need to know is that businesses and people that have strategies and written goals are much more likely to achieve their goals than businesses and people who do not have strategies or clear written goals. Here’s a plan on how to create a mind-blowing content strategy for your business.
Know Your Purpose
Understanding your company’s purpose is essential in creating your content strategy. Everything you do should align with your company’s purpose.
If your goal is to be generously (or at least fairly) compensated for the time and money that you spend investing in your business, then your overall purpose should have something to do with creating value for your users.
So, why do you do what you do? What value are you attempting to create in the world and who are you creating that value for? How can you best communicate your purpose to your users?
Know Your People
I think the easiest path to success is to actually have been a version of your ideal user. It is much easier to be successful if you are a part of the market that you are attempting to serve or if you once were. It’s much easier to deeply understand your user, know their struggles, and know how to serve them if you are in their shoes or if you ever have been. It is helpful to create an avatar of your user and the more specific, the better. Why? Well, your audience is your Khaleesi (or ruler/queen for non-Thronies). People respond better when they feel they are being talked to directly. Don’t you hate getting mass texts? Think about it like that. Wouldn’t you rather someone send you a message specifically tailored to you? It’s really that simple: in order to best serve your people, you need to truly know who they are.
So, who are your people?
- How old are they?
- What’s their educational background?
- What’s their income level?
- Are you speaking to men, women, transgender people?
- Does gender even matter in your business?
- Do these people work or are they entrepreneurs?
- Where do they work?
- Where do they live in the world?
- What language do they speak?
- Are they fun or serious?
- Are they fans of Tupac or Biggie, Beyonce or Rihanna, Rachmaninoff or Tchaikovsky?
- What are their current struggles and challenges as it relates to your industry?
- What are their goals in relation to your industry?
- Why do they love you?
- What do they say about you?
- What do they say to you?
- What’s their perception of you?
It will be helpful to create a persona for your target user. Give them a name and a whole profile using the questions from above to help you start. Create as many as you like if you are serving a few different types of users.
Know The Others
You want to be different and you want to be better and for that you need to know the other people in your industry. You want to figure out how they write, the buzz words they are using, what they are doing right/wrong, and what you do differently.
- What gaps can you find in their content?
- What keywords are they ranking for?
- What are their most shared posts or most popular pages?
Knowing the answers to those questions can help push you beyond your comfort zone to offer more value to your people. It can also help you to connect with other people to do guest posts or create a partnership. You can use tools like SEMRush, SpyFu, and Moz’s Open Site Explorer to help you get an overall picture of other people and businesses who are doing what you do.
Know Your Numbers
If you are serious about your business and I know you are because you are reading this, then you need to know your numbers. You need to have at least a general understanding of your analytics.
It is helpful to know how people are getting to your site, how they are using your site, how long they stay on your site, and why people are leaving your site prematurely. Knowing your analytics is also important for tracking your progress.
You will want to know your baseline numbers from the time you start your content strategy so that you’ll be able to see if your efforts to refine your content are giving you the results that you want. You also want to be able to tailor your content for the content that people and Google love.
Know Your Goals
The whole purpose of creating a mind-blowing content strategy is to map out a clear documented map towards your goals, but what are your goals?
Be as specific as you can. Make sure you can track the goals with your analytics. Keep your goals flexible. They should be a little out of your comfort zone, but not so much that you feel overwhelmed.
It would also be good to give yourself a deadline for certain goals. An example goal might be that you want to increase your pageviews by 10,000 views each month.
Know Your Content
After you have a clear picture of your purpose, your people, the other people in your industry, your numbers, and your goals, it’s time to get to work on your content. This part should be a breeze.
Where will you post your full content?
What platforms work best for your audience?
Does your audience prefer videos, reading blog posts, looking at pictures, or what?
Once that’s decided, it would be a good idea to create an editorial calendar.
How often are you going to post?
What social media sites are you going to use: Pinterest, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Instagram, or where else?
Go where your audience is. Don’t waste your efforts on a platform if your audience isn’t there.
Review your current content. What’s working? What’s not working? What are your most popular landing pages, how can you make them better? For your pages that aren’t doing so well, what can you do to promote them? Can you create more compelling headlines and intro paragraphs? Can you add better visuals? What articles can you update and add more resources to? Now, go do it!