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What is content strategy and why do you need it

May 6, 2020 - fifteen

A content strategy takes away those head-scratching moments when wondering what to write about. By brainstorming ideas, collating data, and deciding on the best time to publish your piece, you can create a controlled content calendar that has direction and purpose.

Good content strategies can be used to manage any form of media, be it written, audio, visual or downloadable. These essential management documents make life easier for you and your team, ensuring everyone knows what they’re working on without duplication or misinformation.

However, the most important job a content strategy has is in delivering clear and informative content to your audience. Here are some of the ways a content strategy can help you reach your audience and convert.

Who is your content for?

This is the first hurdle in creating winning content. Without understanding your readers, or their needs, you may miss the mark on tone or style. Most businesses have several different target markets too with unique expectations and desires. A content strategy helps you focus on each blog, article, video, etc. and aim it towards a particular target market.

For example; a company offering an online education platform has three distinct groups. Teachers, parents, and students. Each group requires a different focus. Teachers are looking for resources that can save them time and help with lesson planning. Parents want a reputable brand that promises to help their child develop. Students want fun and interesting worksheets to learn from. With a good content strategy, you can ensure that each market receives content designed for them.

What does your reader need?

Once you know who to write for, it’s just a matter of finding out what they are looking for. SEO conferences up and down the country wax lyrical about ‘content is king’ and ‘write for your readers’. It seems obvious but this thought process can often go out the window when you’re focused on keywords or deadlines.

A content strategy allows you to focus your piece. Research key terms, subheadings, and some popular questions around a subject. This allows you to understand what your audience needs and create work that informs.

By planning you can also split your focus and write for different groups. Returning customers may be more knowledgable and want information that is ‘off the beaten track’. You can address new clients and returning clients alike with strategy and planning.

USPs

Unique selling points. These little gems are found everywhere online. Brands will often advertise their uniqueness in header images, cute little icons, or in the About Us section of their site. A good USP can make your product stand out from the rest.

Use your content strategy to talk about your USPs. Plan and you can harmonise your site content with your strategy content to create more reverberations.

What form will content take?

Everyone tires of something that doesn’t change. Try listening to just one song on repeat a few times. The repetition and sameness will drive you crazy. Content is the same. It requires change and dynamism. Try something different! Whether it’s a guide with a unique layout, a fun list filled with memes, or a video diary, changing up your content’s form is key.

Use your content strategy to determine how much time and budget you have for pieces. This will help you decide which pieces deserve a little more time and attention and which you can race through.

Where will your content go?

To maximise the reach of your content you need to understand your audience’s expectations and the platform’s limitations. Video and imagery may do better on sites like Facebook and Instagram while whitepapers are better focused on LinkedIn. Planning where to share content is integral to maximising your resonance.

Publication and scheduling

Last but not least is the when. Content strategies allow you to plan when to create pieces. This means you can schedule and plan for special occasions like Christmas and Easter. What’s more, if you’ve written ahead of schedule you’ll be in a better place to switch out a regular piece for something more topical and viral.

Scheduling also allows you to create a regular publication rhythm. Publishing at regular intervals looks professional, like a newspaper or magazine publication, and improves your site’s SEO scores. Use a content strategy to plan and conquer the digital landscape.

Do you need a hand with your content strategy? At Fifteen Design we have cultivated years of experiences planning, creating and sharing content. Contact us today to find out how we can work with you on improving your visibility and conversion. We’ll help you develop a campaign that your users will be talking about for years to come.

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