All businesses must bet on original and quality content if they want to position themselves as experts in their sector, connect with their customers and differentiate themselves from their competitors. These contents must be planned and form part of a strategy. Content strategy is the most valuable aspect of all types of campaigns.
Why? Because this is how we will go from publishing improvised content to disseminating strategic content.
Content is strategic when it has been previously thought to help us achieve a goal.
Step 1. Define some SMART goals
The first step that we must take when preparing our content strategy is to define the SMART objectives to which it will contribute. This step should be relatively easy if you already have a Marketing Plan (and you should).
Let’s remember what SMART goals consist of:
S (Specific): A goal must be concrete.
M (Measurable): You must be able to quantify the result.
An ( Achievable ): Set yourself professional challenges to keep growing, but be realistic.
A (Relevant): all objectives have to play an important role in the development of our business.
T (Limited in Time): with an expiration date, so that we know when we must have it met.
An example of a SMART goal would be: “I want to increase subscribers to my newsletter by 15% by the end of this year.” It is specific (increase subscribers), measurable (by 15%), achievable (it is a relatively low figure), relevant (we assume) and limited in time (by the end of this year).
Step 2. Know your audience
I will never tire of saying it: the key to connecting with our target audience is to know them in-depth. In the same way that, when you like a person, you are interested in their tastes and hobbies. If you want to make your audience fall in love, you will worry about knowing their interests, experiences, concerns and consumption habits.
How to know our target audience? I will tell you some tricks that you can follow:
Research social and marketing studies.
Find people within your target audience and connect with them on social networks.
Take care to know what they usually publish, in what tone, what images they use.
Analyze what language they use and incorporate it into your publications.
See how your ideal customer interacts in niche Facebook groups.
Within the Content Strategy, knowing your audience will serve you to offer them content adapted to their characteristics and needs, to create solutions to their problems and to empathize with their fears and concerns.
Step 3. Analyze your competition
If you want to differentiate yourself from your competitors, start by knowing what they are doing on their website and social networks, what type of content they offer their clients, what publications visibly work best for them, etc.
Create a list with your main competitors (includes at least five of them). Visit their website and then their blog, go to their social networks, see if they offer some type of lead magnet to attract subscribers. If so, download it for further analysis.
I want you to keep at least the following information:
Type of content they publish: photographs, videos, tutorials, infographics, famous phrases, educational articles, etc.
Frequency of publication of each channel (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, blog …).
Date and time of publication: if they always publish at the same time or if they change.
Best results obtained: which publication has the most interactions (social networks) or comments (blog).
Write down everything that catches your attention, including what inspires you and what causes you rejection. What are we going to do with these two columns?
What inspires us will serve as a basis for creating different and improved content.
The elements that cause us rejection, that shock us or that we don’t like, we will avoid. That easy.
Step 4. Differentiate yourself: an original content strategy
We come to the most creative and important part of our content strategy. It is time to get down to work and decide what content we are going to publish to achieve our objectives and in which channels.
First of all, it clearly shows the objective you want to achieve so that it is always taken into account. Remember, they must be SMART: «Increase subscribers to my newsletter by 15% before the end of the year», «Triple the number of customers who buy a specific product in my online store until June» or «Increase by 20% the Conversion percentage of my sales pages in 2018 ».
Next, establish the tactics you will use to achieve that goal. We will continue with the example to triple the number of customers of a product. Let’s say you have a cosmetic brand and want to sell more facial creams:
You can offer a facial care manual to those who buy one of these products.
Plan a series of articles on your blog to position yourself as an expert store in facial creams.
Post simple tips on social networks with images consistent with your Visual Storytelling. Having a visual image will help you make yourself known on social networks, especially those where the image is as important as Instagram.
Differentiate yourself by offering your customers a better experience than your competitors are offering. When planning the contents, keep in mind the information you have about your target audience. Use your interests, hobbies, fears, and concerns to connect with him. i.e.
- Are you worried about wrinkles? Talk about how to avoid/eliminate them.
- Are you interested in improving your appearance? Tell it how facial creams are essential to achieve it.
- Do you like to wear makeup? Create a tutorial with routines to remove makeup and clean your face.