It`s a good idea to plan your content strategy ahead of time, a week ahead, month ahead, quarterly, or if you can, the entire year. Knowing what you will be publishing online, whether it is on your blog or social media accounts, having a plan complete with themes or topics you want to cover each month will give you a sense of organization not only for your online publishing, but also as a business owner. You will feel more focused, and prepared, and better able to perform all the other tasks and surprises that arise.
But before you start your content strategy, before you start making any kind of editorial calendar for 2014, take some time to rethink your who your content is for, how customers feel about your products or services, and how prospects find you. You need to know what makes your company different from the competition. To do that, you need to ask yourself, and your business partners, some hard questions. You need to really dig deep, and answer the questions out loud (you could do this alone, but perhaps having someone to prompt you and ask you the questions might be more effective…and less lonely!)
Here are some questions that may help you dig deep into who you are as a company, why you are different, and then, and only then, should you start working on your content strategy:
- What services do your customers or prospective customers most want and need?
- What are the strengths of your organization?
- How do people feel after they use your services?
- What problem does your products/services solve?
- Describe your typical customer. What are their needs, desires, preferences, fears, pain, etc. See the world through their eyes.
- Who is your competition? Name anywhere between 3 and 5 of them, along with what they are known for, and what you think they do well.
- What sets your company apart from others?
- Do you have an existing tagline, slogan or brand statement? Do you truly believe in it, and practice it always?
- How do people, potential customers find you?
- What are the words that prospects might use to find you online? These are your keywords. Think of what they might type in Google to find a product or service such as yours.
From this conversation, your aim is to see where there may be holes, or areas that need improvement. More importantly, it should determine the most important things you are trying to communicate to people. Once you have this nailed down, your next stage of planning your content strategy should contain topics and ideas that truly support who you are and what you offer.
Take the time, and think this through. You may be surprised what you uncover!