Planning a content strategy is a challenging venture. One cannot just put up any old content in any old order and expect it to save the day. As with any strategic initiative, you must plan effectively and thoroughly.
Here is a video to set a foundation:
In the previous post I talked about the goal of content strategy. The goal is the best starting point. From the goal, one can build a strategy by identifying the high-level elements that are required to make the strategy come to fruition. I touched on this briefly in the last post and we will explore in more detail here.
As you will recall the goal is:
Efficiently produce and organizing relevant / up-to-date content that engages by immersing the audience in a meaningful / helpful / enjoyable / interesting /and sharable experience in order to attract new and existing followers / customers / readers and motivates your audiences to practice the same behaviors as your best customers. In time you will develop a following of people that will return to you habitually in time of need.
The first step is to define the scope of the content. Within the goal, we can identify several requirements for the content. Those things are:
- Efficient production
- Well organized content
- Meaningful, engaging content
- Directed at both customers and non-customers
Accomplishing these content goals will require extensive research including the following:
- Other industries
- And… Review your own company data and knowledge (analytics, system usage, win/loss analysis, debriefing sales people, brainstorming with other departments, etc.)
Looking at all this data, collecting feedback, etc. will help define the scope of the content (That way you don’t end up creating a three-headed monster inaccurately nicknamed content strategy).
The next step is to define how and where to deliver the content. As noted in the previous post content can be delivered in a wide variety of forms including, but not limited to: whitepapers, news articles, video, infographics, etc. The organization of this information is just as important as the content itself. An expert in information architecture or user experience is a valuable asset here.
As you continue through the planning process, the next step is planning a means of measuring your return on investment. To do this, first you must understand the short-term and long-term goals. Out of the gate, traffic might be light and sales are not likely to skyrocket. So, be sure to set realistic expectations. Here is a list of key performance indicators to consider including in the plan:
- Sales lead ‘quality’ and quantity
- Website traffic – page views / returning visits / unique visits
- SEO ranking
- Time spend on website
- “Membership” acquisition
- Shares (shares to social media, for example)
- # of Comments
Next, plan what tools you will need to carry out the plan. For example, you will definitely need a way to keep track of the content schedule (like an editorial calendar). Also, to support KPI reporting, you will need Google Analytics, and perhaps some type of social media scanner to see where your content is referenced/shared.
The last part of the plan will relate to how you will spread the word once the content is live. This will likely include a search engine optimization strategy and advertising.
Please remember, this is just a quickie, high-level overview. It is certainly not enough to form a really thorough plan. If this has whet your appetite and you want to learn more check out: http://contentmarketinginstitute.com