When I introduce myself and my business to people and mention that I am a content strategist, I either get blank looks or a change of topic in the conversation.
If visions of enormous whiteboards, projectors and war games on long boardroom tables come to your mind when you hear the term “content strategist”, you’re not alone!
Small business owners rarely think of the content they create for their business, let alone creating any kind of strategy behind the creation and delivery of their content. They just know they “have to do it” to spread the word about their business online.
And when the term “content strategy” starts getting thrown around, it all just sounds too corporate and complicated. It sounds like something that would suck the soul out of small enterprises, especially if you’re, what they now fashionably call, a solo-preneur.
Believe me, when I say, I get it.
I went from working with various types of content in corporate into my own little, one-woman-band venture. All of a sudden planning, creating, delivering my own content was all on me. And let me tell you, at the beginning, it just wasn’t pretty.
Content strategy doesn’t have to be daunting or complicated. In fact, creating a content strategy can:
- make content creation smooth and timely,
- make your promotions easy and more aligned to your business,
- help you achieve those reach, engagement and sales goals you want to hit.
So, what is a content strategy anyway?
First, let’s define what content is.
Content is information and communication all wrapped up in the one package. It contains the information as its substance and the delivery method, or media it’s made available on.
Now that we know what content is, we can finally define what content strategy is.
This is how I came to define it:
Content strategy is a birds-eye view of the reality of where your business is now and the vision of where you want it to be at a future state and creating deliverable content according to that vision.
Since the point of all journeys is to get from A to B, first you need to be very clear on where you are right now. You need to understand what is the core of your business and how is that message communicated to your audience.
To begin defining your content strategy, ask yourself these questions:
- Does my content reflect who I am and what the business’s core values are?
- Am I reaching my desired audience with the content I am delivering?
- Is there a better, faster, easier way to deliver my content to my desired audience?
- Does my content represent my brand the way I want I want it represented?
Once you have done that, you can delve further into whether or not your current content strategy is effective by looking at how your audience consumes the content you are creating.
Audience and customer habits change over time and there is always something new on the tech scene.
What to look for in your audience behaviour to influence the delivery of your content strategy:
- Is the media I am creating content on still relevant to my audience?
- Am I catering to new content consumer trends in my industry?
- Does my current content portfolio get engagement and what type?
Having a process for creating and reviewing your content, no matter how small your business, means you have one more tool up your sleeve to work towards your business objective.
After you look at your current published content, your methods of delivery, and your audience behaviour, we move on to reviewing your promotion.
Promotion is an integral part of your content strategy
When you look at online content that is very much same-same, seen-it-before, yawn-fest, you need to find a way to make your content stand out to your audience from the rest of the generic, boring and grey content being shared. But how?!
Everyone has an angle and a niche (such a buzzword at the moment) Let’s explore how to get your niche’s attention.
In the online space you will be head-to-head with other industry players whom you are not only competing against with your service offerings, but also competing for customer attention with the content you are creating and delivering.
What you need to look for and compare are things like:
- Are your customers choosing to engage with content from your or your competitors?
- What is it about your competitor’s content that is engaging?
- Are you able to create and deliver the content your customers are craving, and not getting, in a way that aligns with your core business?
- Is this content, while catering to your audience and customers, going to help you achieve your business objectives?
Before you sit down to write your next blog, create your next video or record a podcast, make sure you are sitting down to create a piece of content that ticks all the boxes for engaging and strategic content.
I encourage you to think long-term, not just for quick wins.
It’s not just a great flow of customers that will propel your business into the future, it’s your vision and leadership. When your vision is imbued in your content, your business will reap the rewards. This is the very reason you want to employ a strategy behind your content planning.
In summary, your content strategy needs to include:
- Types of content you create and it’s purpose
- Your audience and their content use behaviour
- The promotion and distribution of your content for maximum impact
If all this sounds a bit much and you still feel unsure about how to even create a content strategy for your business, book a quick chat with me right here and I can help you get started.