How Strong is Your Content Strategy?
Almost every author will tell you that you can’t write a book worth reading without first plotting out the story and character outlines.
The same is true when it comes to your content - without a strategy, any success you find through it will be very haphazard and probably short-lived. Coming up with a strong strategy might seem intimidating, but in essence you are just distilling your story down to its fundamentals, in order to create a structure from which it can flourish.
How do you get down to the basics? By asking the right questions of course.
Why do you want to tell your story?
As Simon Sinek says, when you know your “Why”, half of the battle is won. First, why does your brand, company, blog or profile exist? Why do you want to do what you do? Why do you want to be online – and for that matter, why do you want to be on certain platforms?
Figure this out, write it down and you will be surprised how easily you should flow the rest of my questions.
What do you want to say with your content?
Every single piece of content you put out should be a piece of your puzzle. I’m serious, there is no room on our overcrowded internet for fuller these days, so put out content that is meaningful, has a message and is a continuation of your story, or just stay quiet that day.
Back in the day of organic reach, content was cheap and brands could afford to attempt to be that dotting boyfriend – sending a sweet message every day to stay in their consumers’ good books. Now though? Rather aim to be that interesting friend that delights with a special whatsapp message every now and then.
In other words, quality over quantity.
And when you focus on the quality of what you want to say, then your story flows smoothly and successfully.
Where do you want your story to play out?
The very simple answer to this question is: Where your target market hangs out.
You know what that answer means, right? Time to delve into your target market. My favourite trick is to imagine them as one fleshed out person. Figure out everything you can about them – what are their interests and hobbies? How do you think they spend their weekends? What life stage are they at? What are their needs and wants? How can you help?
Once you have a clearer picture of your target market, it will not only help you figure out what platforms they probably frequent, but it will also help you know how to speak to them. Really speak to them.
When should you be talking?
This is one is more on the technical side of content, but that doesn’t make it any less important. No one wants to speak to an empty room when half an hour earlier it was filled with your target market.
This one can be a bit of a trial and error one, and you should have it as part of your strategy to keep changing things up. If you are always posting on Instagram at 7am on a Sunday and only getting three likes every time, then my friend, you need to try another time and maybe a different day. Once you find your spot, you will know.
Another note on the subject of “when” to post is more nuanced. Always have it in the back of your mind when posting content to constantly read the room. If your community is rocked by a tragedy, or even just discussing a certain hot topic, stop and assess your content before posting. If it doesn’t add to the conversation, or could inadvertently land you in hot water, rather log off and stay silent that day.
How should you present your story?
This one is a two-parter.
Part One: Welcome to your Brand Identity.
How you present your brand and its story is through your brand personality, tone of voice, brand colour palette and preferred visuals. While before you made your target market into a person, now it’s your brand’s turn.
When speaking on your brand or company’s behalf, it’s easiest when you can picture a 3 dimensional character and step into their shoes.
Part Two: Time to keep up with the latest content developments.
Social media is constantly evolving, and that means that content needs to change in time with it – as long as it suits your brand. There was a time when simple text statuses received the most traction on Facebook, but now videos are the name of the game. And if you aren’t on Instagram Stories then where are you? Make sure you stay in the loop to do the best by your brand.
It can also be seriously fun to try out new content types and delight your audience when you do it first and do it well. Make sure to map out what content mediums work well for each platform in your content strategy and then revisit this part of your strategy regularly.
After all those questions, do you have any of your own about your content strategy? Just think of Samantics as your friendly neighbourhood Strategist and email firstname.lastname@example.org.