Updated: Jun 12
In the current fast-paced digital world, it is vital to have a content strategy; you need to have a structure by which your business determines which content to execute and what best serves your business needs. A lack of planning can lead to missed opportunities, where the right content isn’t posted with enough time for viewers to take notice and action, therefore taking money away from your business. Planning the year makes for less stress, missed opportunities and a consistent presence that can only be positive for your brand.
Maybe you’re a designer and have new collections coming out during the year or a retailer that wants to make the most of holidays and special celebrations. Pre-planning and a solid strategy can ensure you get the right message out at the right time assisting in big moves forward and greater customer trust. According to Hubspot, video was the primary form of content used by marketers in their content strategy in 2021, with white papers landing in the final position. They state that 82% of marketers actively use content marketing and that most marketers used 31-50% of their budget in this area in 2021, with this to increase in 2022.
Above Hubspot reviews the primary forms of media used within content strategy during 2021, with video content taking the lead.
Above, Statista breaks down the mindset on content budgets showing that 42% of marketers aim to increase budgets in the year ahead.
What is a content strategy?
A content strategy is a plan in which you use video, audio, images, and text to plan your messaging for your business goals. A successful content strategy will attract the right customer at the right time in their customer journey and keep them engaged, even after they purchase.
How do you create a content strategy?
Define your goals
Know your audience
Audit your content
Create a schedule
Brainstorm content ideas
Choose a content management system
Publish and manage your content
Monitor and measure
1. Define your goals
Don’t post content, for content’s sake! Be sure to create content around your business objectives. Your goal may be to increase awareness; if so, be sure to incorporate awareness pieces throughout the year. May they be awareness pieces sculpted around your brand or collections, and use a mix of video, stills, interactive content and live content to help get your message across. For example, say you have a few collections scheduled to drop throughout the year, create content that incorporates these dates. Create content that leads up to the dates, during the drop and after to help support sales and awareness. This content may be video’s showcasing the attributes of pieces in the collection, editorial shots showing a model in situ or a story around your size and fit and brand ethos. No matter the aim, be sure it’s authentic!
2. Know your audience
Before creating your content, be sure to take the time to know your audience. What do they like, how much time do they have, what platforms do they consume, and what problems do they have that you can solve? To truly connect with your viewers and turn them into customers, you need to understand them and speak to them with understanding and intimacy.
3. Audit your content
What content do you have that you can use in your social posts? Before jumping into the social media world, do an audit of your content to know what you have to play with; when you work with your social media team, they will understand what gaps need to be filled and what they have to work with.
4. Create a schedule
Part of your planning should include a schedule. Here you can plot out your key dates, the channels you want to focus on and when you need to post throughout the month to achieve your business goals. Excel is perfect for this and is an accessible program that can be stored on a shared platform for the whole team to access and add to. Need assistance in creating a schedule? Contact us today to get started by clicking here.
5. Brainstorm content ideas
Creating content can be time-consuming, and at times the prospect of creating enough content to create interest can be daunting. By this step in the process you're prepared, you have your business objects at the forefront, know your audience, have conducted an audit, and you have a strategy, it’s time to get started on content ideas. Brainstorm with your schedule in mind, look at the content you have in place and think creatively and with brand alignment how these gaps can be filled. You may have a team to assist internally or be looking externally to develop this content but a great way to get ideas and insights at this stage is to see what the industry is doing. Here you can see what you might replicate and how you can differentiate yourself in a crowd.
6. Choose a content management system
A content management system is a platform that posts your content for you; they allow you to plan and free up time to focus on other aspects of your business. There are many content management systems on offer these days, and it can be hard to know which one will best fit your needs. Content management systems ensure you can get your content out at the ideal time, assist you in gathering data and allows you to load content in advance, freeing up time. Below are a selection of available platforms to guide you in the process.
7. Publish and manage your content
The exciting time when things come together and you see your curated content posted. At this stage, be sure to utilise strategic and researched hashtags; the often-stated rule is to use a mix of product or service-specific tags and trending tags though the latter can often disappear in the crowd. Reply to comments, interact with your audience, and tailor your content for particular platforms.
8. Monitor and measure
You’ve planned, created the content, posted, and interacted; now, you need to monitor and measure. Conduct social listening and see what viewers are saying about you. Look at the backend of your social platforms or management system and review which type of post is receiving the best results and at what time to guide you in future content. It is vital that you consistently monitor your content, adjust, and repeat to help you make the most of your efforts; this will assist you in achieving your business goals. According to Hubspot, over 60% of marketers measure the success of their content marketing strategy through sales and brand awareness.
Leading You Through The Digital World
Jane Hayes Consulting is an independent digital marketing agency founded to help businesses create consistent, creatively aligned, and strategic content. We can help you put your best foot forward with our expertly crafted team covering website design and building, marketing strategy, content creation, brand creation, and project management. We work within budget restraints and look toward the future. Need assistance in developing your digital strategy and creating a business advantage? Contact Jane Hayes Consulting today and sign up for our newsletter.