How I create a content strategy

I’ve just been replying to an email asking me to briefly describe my approach to content strategy, so I’ll place my response here, for future reference. It’s just an outline.

Q) What is content strategy?
A) “Getting the right content to the right user at the right time through strategic planning of content creation, delivery, and governance.”, says the Content Strategy Alliance.

Q) Why might your organisation want a content strategy?
A) Because you need customers, an increased number of leads, you wish to to transform your customer service… many reasons.

Top tip: It’s the Analysis stage, the bit at the start where I work out the situation that’s arguably the most important, and usually the most neglected in most organisations.
Without decent analysis and insight, the creation of lots of new, unsuitable content, for no good reason, is all too common.

I usually divide my content strategies into five stages; analysis, insight, objective, tactics and measurement:

Objective

  • It’s a good idea to clearly document the objective: what does the client want the content to do?

Situation analysis

  • Research into the sector.
  • Talking to the client to discover their objectives – and who they want to target.
  • Outline the people they wish to reach, and outline the paths to purchase the client’s target audience may use (talking to actual customers is also recommended!)
  • Analysis of the client’s existing content, website, social, seo etc (gives us a benchmark)
  • Benchmarking the client’s content against their competitors (usually three)
  • Analysis of what target customers are actually expressing and thinking, using social listening tools and search engine data (to discover intent).

Insight

  • I then take all of this information, sift it, look at it from different angles, and analyse it further until I discover gaps and insights.
  • This research will show me how customers articulate their desires for products and services, and whether the client is addressing the needs of their potential customers.

Tactics

  • I then can draw up a plan for the content to be created, for each persona, at each part of the sales funnel.
  • I can suggest themes for content that will work well, or offer headline ideas… or be as detailed as is needed.

Measurement

  • We also have to ensure that the content’s performance is measurable – so that we can refine the process, and gauge success.

See also

My strategy services

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