Know What You Need: Planning Your Content Strategy
So you have a business. You probably have a website, a blog, and a social media presence, as well. But now that you have a “face” on the internet, you need to make sure you have plenty of information out there for people to see. They’ll need to know about you, what you offer, and why they should choose you over your competition. You can tell them why, but how you tell them is also going to matter.
If you just say how great you are and list your business hours and prices, you aren’t getting very far. Other companies are already established in your niche and industry, and they’re doing a lot more than just giving the basics. You need to be much more open and engaged with your potential customers. For obvious reasons, it’s highly important that you get good content. If you don’t have quality info most people aren’t coming back. But it’s also about the kind of content you’re putting online, the days and times you’re offering it, and a number of other important issues.
In short, you need a content strategy. And you need one that’s going to be easy to follow, that’s going to work, and that’s going to get customers interested. It’s not that complicated, but it is extremely important. Too many companies overlook it. Here’s how to plan your strategy, so your content reaches the customers you’re looking for with information they want to hear.
Get Your Online Presence Locked Down and Set Up
By planning your content strategy, you won’t just be focusing on the content itself. You first need to get your site and other areas where you’ll be posting the content ready to go. You’ll need a domain, a blog, and social media pages. If there are other places where you’re posting, you’ll need them, too. Populate those things with all the basics – business hours, phone number, email address, etc. That way you don’t have to worry about any of those things unless they change. Once you’ve gotten your presence ready to go, it’s time to add to it with the kind of content your customers need and want.
But what kind is that? If you aren’t sure, you’ll need to do some market research to figure out your actual target market. Developing a brand persona and buyer or customer personas can also help. You might wonder what all that has to do with content, but the short answer is “everything.” Without knowing who you’re targeting and why, your content could consistently miss the mark. If that happens you’re not only wasting your time, but you’re not bringing in the kinds of people you really want to attract when it comes to customers for your business.
Know When Your Content Will Have the Biggest Impact
The development of strategy requires more than just having content you can trust and rely on. It also means you need a plan for when you’re putting that content online. If most of your customers aren’t in your time zone or don’t work standard business hours, posting content at 8 am might not be the best choice. Instead, you may need to post later in the day, or even set your schedule up to have content posted in the evening.
Your social media accounts and your blog can both be pre-scheduled, so your content will get posted when you want it to be. If you really know your target market, you know that they have certain times they’re most likely to be on the internet. By posting at those times, you have a higher chance of being seen – and that can translate into more sales.
Editorial Calendars Are the Way to Go
Don’t know what you’re going to say? That’s a problem. Rather than let that be a worry each time you need to post something, create an editorial calendar for your blog. You can do it for social media, too. First, add in all the things you know you should post about, like holidays. Remember that your customers may be all over the world. You can include some of their holidays, too.
Then add events for your business and other areas where a blog post or a social media acknowledgement is pretty much required. After you’ve done that, stop and take a look at what else you want to see. Are there local events that aren’t related to your business but that you support? Add them in. You should have a pretty full calendar by now, and you can fill in the gaps with how-to’s, lists, good information, industry knowledge, and more, depending on the type of business you have.
Now you have a good internet presence where you can place your content, you know when it should be posted, and you have a calendar for what you’re going to say. You’re ready to create your content or choose a great writer to create it for you, and help your business grow.
Michelle S writes web content, articles, blog posts, product descriptions, and more, and has created thousands of pieces of content for companies all over the world. She holds an associate’s degree in business management and a bachelor’s degree in legal administration.