The fundamentals of Content Strategy
- 6 min read
- Bojan Zidarević
Content Strategy means delivering the right content to the right person, at the right place and time, within the right context. One of the main points is understanding the audience and its needs. It also includes planning, development and managing of content.
But first, what is content?
Basically, it’s any meaningful information used while communicating.Every message has its audience and content strategy needs to get the message to its right audience.
For that to be done, while creating a content strategy you need to:
- understand the person writing the message
- know the audience
- use the right channels
- plan how you will manage your content.
Don’t forget that even the main goal of a content strategy is reaching business goals.
Know your audience so that you can accomplish your goals
Creating content strategies for projects
If you are new at the company or if you are there just for creating or improving their content strategy, your main goal should be getting all the information you can.
- the company business goals and if they are measurable
- used tactics
- objectives and requirements of the project
- who is involved in it?
- what their main massage is?
Although you will not get the same information from everybody, depending on their job position, it will be very helpful in creating an overall content strategy.
Defining an Audience
Who is reading your content?
Find out next things:
- who is reading the content?
- who is the competitors audience?
- how are they being influenced?
- where can you find these influencers?
A profound influence in getting the message to the right audience is also context. It helps your message to be fully understood. The context in which the writer was, can be different from the context the reader is in.
You should remember that your readers don’t live in a perfect world in which they have time to read everything they want to. Try to create easy accessible content, that can be read in different situations.Personas can help you with that. They reflect your audience in different context. The best way to create personas is through surveys. Create surveys with questions that can help your project.
After that, try to define 3-4 personas with their characteristics and flaws. Keep the personas in mind while creating the whole content strategy. Don’t hesitate to include as many people as possible in creating the personas. It can be a real team effort!
When creating a persona try to answer the questions on what that person would:
- struggle with
- and wish for.
Don’t forget that the answers should relate to your project.
Your first step should be an analysis of existing content.
What is published, where, who created it and why?
The next step is analyzing the content quality. Find out if its goal oriented, useful for your audience, clear and understandable and does it have the option for interaction (audience questions or comments).After that, think of your channels and if the content is adaptable for everyone or if it should be shortened or rephrased.
Different websites need different kind of content. The best thing to do while organizing everything is making models with prioritizing which are the most important. Content models can be: forms, articles, product descriptions, email content…
Set different scenarios in which your audience can read your content. Try to put relevant content depending on the step a user is on in his scenario.
Content creation is a team effort. That’s why a workflow, which allows everybody to participate is needed. Since different people, with specific personalities are creating the content, its important to know the company voice and tone.
Every business has its own and every content creator should keep that in mind while working on project. It makes the company recognizable to loyal customers.
While creating a voice and tone think of the company:
- level of professionalism
- sense of humor.
The style of the content is also representing the company, just like the tone and voice. It includes design, style of writing, images, fonts. The goal is to create content that looks like as if it was created by one person.
Understanding the strategy
For creating quality content as a team, it is crucial that everybody understands the content strategy. This means that everybody knows what he/she is responsible for, and what other content is being created by others.
For their own content one needs to know:
- who is editing and approving it
- who is publishing and managing it afterwards.
Creating a content strategy needs time and information. This article can be used as a check list.
Don’t forget the two key points:
- your audience consists of real people, with not enough time
- include the whole team in the process.
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