A quick and easy, three-step content strategy
Many of us make do for a ‘content for contents sake’ approach to strategy. This is not good!
But simple changes, simple frameworks and simple language changes can totally ease and enable a more successful journey towards content making, marketing and sales.
Here is our 3-step approach to getting started with creating a brand new content strategy. It’s not complex, overly technical or difficult to do. You don’t even need to make a lot more content (you might even end up making less), but it will quickly get you thinking and working on content in a simpler and smarter way.
Step one: Figure out your content types
Blogs, articles case studies, videos, demos, webinars… the list goes on, and on, and on! But if the list never ends, how do you work out where to start?
Your content strategy needs to be made up of three different content categories (core, supporting and promotional), which cumulatively contain no more than 3 or 4 content types. Each piece of content you create has to have a thematic, contextual and user journey focused relationship with another piece of content. You use your categories and your types to make this connection. Here’s a quick explainer of each content category and the content types you’ll find inside them:
- Core Content is‘Decision maker’ content that drives buyer behaviour. It also has a longer engagement time. For example; eBooks, podcasts, webinars etc.
- Supporting Contentis usually educationally rich and sits in the middle of your user journey as a broker, between content types. It has lower engagement time and mid-low creation time. For example; blogs, list posts, short videos etc (this blog is supporting content!).
- Promotional Content isthe small, easy to make and digest pieces of content that drive traffic towards supporting and core content. For example; facebook posts, paid adverts and tweets.
Pick one or two content types within each category to run with for about 3 months at a time. Decide what structure, length and word count you want to use for each type then only work with those types. Making sure you have an even spread across each content category each week/month and using clever links between each piece, will give you a much simpler and smarter way of working in no time!
Step two: Create a Content Calendar
People often try to sell content calendars as big and expensive things to implement. But it’s really not… it’s just a list of stuff to do!
You want to pick out 3 or 4 content types to work with across another 3 or 4 platforms (For example; short form blogs on your website, Q&A videos on YouTube and thought leadership articles on LinkedIn).
Every piece of content needs to answer a customer question and each of the questions will form the bulk of your content calendar. So, to get started, brain storm 20 questions that you can answer for your audience then give each one a content category and content type. From there, you work out when you are going to create and publish that content, based on what you think you can achieve each week or month. You can then use tools such as ContentCalto schedule the publishing of that content.
Here’s some examples to get you started…
- How do you create better blogs?
- Why should you write blogs?
- How do you get started with video marketing?
- Are list posts still good for marketing?
- Is Twitter on the way out?
- Should I be using IGTV?
- How much should I spend on Facebook adverts?
….. the list goes on!
Step three: Measure, repeat and improve
Find simple metrics you can use to prove if what you are doing is working or not. Does it create conversations, get you referrals, generate sign ups or make the phone ring? Your measures should be around what behaviour you want from your audience and driven by what helps you sell.
What you must not do is follow the metrics given to you by platforms, such as likes, comments, shares and so on. This is because you don’t as much control over these measures you might like to think you do, and also they are not your best indication of engagement, it just how Facebook, or Twitter or whoever… has decided to gratify you as a user (ooohh so dark!).
Once you have these measures, find a consistent way of keeping track of them. Repeat similar kinds of content types and shake things up that aren’t working. If this is your first attempt at designing and following a content strategy, don’t over think it or get buried in the numbers. Making something useful for your audience, then experimenting with different ways of getting it out there, will be much more beneficial than just following what the numbers tell you to do!
If you would like to learn more (FOR FREE!!) about content creation and meet other cool people who can help you along the way, come along to one of our great Content Club events. We look forward to seeing you there.