A content strategy is no longer an approach that businesses get to when they have time—it's an important part of staying competitive.
Users need to know, like and trust a brand before making a purchase. This can be done with content. With content marketing, the idea is to bring users into the fold with a soft-sell approach. You add value using content and nurture them to become paying customers.
Content marketing can show great ROI and help build trust with your audiences.
Below are five tips that can help when creating a consistent content strategy for your business.
1. Understand your brand story.
Before we can create a content strategy, you first have to know who you are as a brand.
Often when I work with clients, they are raring to go and get content and social media going, but don't know their own core values, core focus and brand story. As entrepreneurs, we need to identify who we are so we can attract the right types of prospects and customers.
A brand story is a significant piece of bringing in new audiences into the fold. As humans, we remember concepts through stories—not facts. When creating your brand story, think about why you started your business, what was your entrepreneurial journey and what is your passion.
Having a brand story differentiates your company from others and helps build trust with your audiences.
2. Identify your target market.
Once you have determined who you are as a brand, the next step in the content strategy process is to identify your ideal target market. When creating content, you don't want to market to everyone—as the saying goes, when you market to everyone, you market to no one.
If you're not clear on your target market yet, then consider using my Three Point Customer Profile Blueprint to identify your market:
- Point One: Narrow down your market with demographic information—age, gender, geolocation, household income.
- Point Two: Get deeper into your market's pain points and frustrations. How does your product or service address and solve these pain points?
- Point Three: Identify where your target market is hanging out. Are they on Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, YouTube or reading newspapers?
3. Identify the type of content that works best for your business.
When creating a content strategy, it helps to ascertain the type of content that resonates best with your audiences as that will differ based on your business.
Using video also allows for flexibility and connection with your audiences. It can help your audiences get to know you as a spokesperson for your brand or as a personal brand.
Besides video, there is also audio content such as podcasts and audio programs. Audio content can be very beneficial since it does not require as much attention as video—it can be done while driving or working out or walking the dog.
Written content is still the mainstream method and blog posts and articles are still very popular, although I have seen platforms like Medium and The Washington Post now create audio versions of some of their articles.
If your product or service is more complex, for example, a SaaS product, then creating case studies or white papers for your market may allow potential clients to better understand how your product can bring them results.
When creating your content, be sure to incorporate your brand story and how your brand solves for the pain points of your ideal target market.
4. Create content that can be repurposed.
Being consistent with creating content is a challenge I see with many businesses. But you can create one piece of content and repurpose it to make additional pieces of content for different types of media.
Here is one possible way to do this. Let's say you start off with creating a video. You can:
- Download the audio track to use as audio content on your podcast or for an “audio experience."
- Transcribe the audio and create a blog post out of it.
- Take snippets or quotes of the blog posts and create social media posts.
Now you have additional pieces of content that you can drip out to your audiences over a two-week period with just one piece of original content.
5. Distribute your content using social media.
You can distribute your finished content to all kinds of social media channels. Post your videos to YouTube, Facebook and Instagram. (Instagram now has IGTV where you can post videos of up to 10 minutes.)
You can upload your audio content to a podcast platform such as iTunes, Anchor.fm or Buzzsprout. You can post your blog posts to your blog and to content discovery sites such as Medium or Thrive Global.
You also have the option of posting your social media snippets to Facebook and Instagram and linking back to your video or audio content. To keep yourself organized, you can create a content calendar and keep track of all content you're posting and on which dates. Consider using scheduling platforms such as Hootsuite or Buffer to schedule out your posts in advance.
Using these five content strategies can help you engage with your prospects, add value and stay organized.
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