The classic advice “content is king” motivates plenty of organizations to sink significant time and resources into producing blog posts, papers, videos and more. But devoting energy to content production without a clear strategy can incur heavy costs with underwhelming benefits.
Establishing an effective content strategy doesn’t have to be hard. Any content strategy can be boiled down to four essential components: identifying the content’s purpose, format, audience and potential for engagement.
Asking these four questions can help guide your organization’s future content production.
Why am I creating this content in the first place?
Because content production is one of the most creative business processes, it’s easy to get carried away with brainstorming. Many ideas might seem exciting, but the reality is not all will align with your organization’s overall goals.
Ideally, your content will fulfill two purposes: Serving your audience’s needs and fulfilling your SEO strategy, in that order.
High-quality content is genuinely useful to readers. Educational resources, up-to-date information, and data that can help readers become better informed and find solutions to tough problems. Using SEO best practices will take your content to the next level, helping it climb through search engine results so readers can actually find it.
If your content doesn’t meet this basic criteria, your organization’s website will quickly become disordered and difficult to navigate. As your goals evolve, periodically audit your content and remove any underperforming pieces that don’t align with a clear business purpose.
What format would be best for this content?
Content can take a wide variety of multimedia forms. The format you choose will depend on the information you want to convey.
Top digital marketing formats for content include:
While written content is best for conveying complex information and boosting SEO, other forms may also be strong options. For example, your brand may shine on video, while a podcast with expert interviews may help your organization build cross-promotion opportunities.
Who do I expect to read, view, or listen to this content?
While crafting your content strategy, it’s crucial to envision who your reader, viewer or listener will be. Your content should pique their interest, answer their questions, earn their trust and support their contributions to your industry.
Your total audience will include numerous segments that share demographic, geographic and professional commonalities. By targeting each of these groups with precision, you can drive meaningful engagement over time.
Why would they want to engage with this content?
Make sure to assess the quality of your content by determining its potential for engagement.
Content can be entertaining, inspiring or educating for your audience. Before publishing, look at your content with fresh eyes. Would the average person find your content valuable? If the answer is yes, you can publish with confidence.
If you’re ready to increase your membership organization’s revenue, connect with an entire community of purpose-driven leaders and grow yourself, we’re ready to help you do it.Learn More
Heather Nolan is a marketing specialist at Sidecar. A former journalist and social media manager, Heather lives in New Orleans with her husband, son, and grumpy rescue dog.