Setting A Content Strategy For Your Business
Plan to make a plan, to make a plan.
As the Digital + Social Strategist at Markon Brands, I’m always looking for ways to capture and visualize my ideas. Digital content creation requires strategy as much as it does wordsmithing or design. One has to guide the other and so having long and short-term plans are, in my mind, critical.
From the outset, a long-term content strategy is essential to:
meeting business goals, and:
while meeting those goals, designing and disseminating timely, useful content for your audience.
Content strategy is a balancing act between meeting business goals and retaining broad value to your audience. In our fast-paced information environment, too much content on one topic over a period of time can drive away prospective audience members by skewing their impression of the full scope of your message. Conversely, content on numerous topics can dilute your message and even damage the perception of your brand. See what I mean? They key is to find the synergy between the two.
On the inside, in the actual event of creating content, a content producer has to strategize in the same way that any good UX designer would when creating an app or website, because, after all, content is as much about the experience as it is about the message. (I’ll let Talisa Chang tell you more about the relationship between copywriting and user experience design.)
In both circumstances, understanding your goals and your audience are essential to developing useful content for both your business and your audience.
Goal. Meet theme.
I find it helpful to organize content into blocks, or themes. As a brand and design agency that serves primarily small-to-midsize businesses, I know that our audience has a fair amount of interest in resources, and positive words, that keep their entrepreneurial minds on fire - and on point. I also know they may not know how certain marketing tools can advance their goals and grow their business. They may not know the tool exists at all. Already I know I need to inspire and inform. Odds are, on a broad level, you have to do the same.
Go by theme. Then time.
I first think of content in terms of themes, then by time. Time is a big deal for me because I’m a visual person that needs to see things from a higher, or complete, perspective. My content calendar is a fairly big deal for me. It not only keeps our content flowing, but it also keeps me on point.
When it comes to content strategy, time and consistency go hand in hand. You might notice that every Monday we published a #MondayMotivation quote. Every Thursday we release another installment of our Design School series. What you might not see is that every month we have a guiding theme. This month's is strategy.
When you approach a new month (or quarter, or even year) with a content strategy in mind, you’d be amazed at how much easier it is to 1) present coherent, on brand, messages/experiences; and 2) begin to optimize your workflow.
Run at your own pace.
I know many fine content creators who get overwhelmed. In my humble opinion, it’s an exciting occupation, but I understand that constant information overload can feel like you’re running too slow on a treadmill set way too fast. It’s a mess.
Where consistency is important to branding, sustainability is critical to a good content strategy. If one blog post a week and one post on a social channel is where you’re at, start there.
Just be sure to start somewhere.