Social media has changed the way we communicate with each other in the last two decades.
This makes developing a content strategy that not only helps you achieve your goals, but also inspires those around you. A quality strategy will help people connect with your brand, your message, and most importantly, your story.
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Tell Your Story
Each year, there are new trends and “rules” when it comes to the development of an effective content strategy, but one thing is certain — captivating storytelling and authenticity never go out of style. And neither does good writing and storytelling.
Remember, real stories connect people, allowing them to develop authentic relationships. In this case, a trusting relationship with your brand, and what your brand offers.
In order to connect with your readers, you must think like your readers. Although your story will be about you and your brand, it must be presented in a manner that respects and appreciates your readers’ point-of-view. Think: How can our readers become part of our story?
This is where your content strategy comes into play. Establish your story and narrative through a strategic, structured plan — then, create your content, market it, learn from it, and then adapt accordingly.
A People-First Approach Is a Winning Strategy
When you create a people-first content strategy, your core focus will be on developing content that is useful for those reading it. That means, instead of putting your brand first, you need to develop content that focuses on your readers’ needs and interests, making your audience your number one priority.
The importance of a consumer-centric strategy can help you achieve both your short- and long-term goals, which makes the audience experience more important than ever.
Though it may be clear that a people-first content strategy is a winning approach — where do you begin?
Step 1: Gather user research
Before you can create a content strategy based on your audience, you must understand who they are. In order to gain valuable information, you’ll need to do your research.
Here are some examples of questions to ask yourself:
- What social media platforms does your audience share content on — and what type of content are they sharing? Focus on the type of content your audience tends to engage with. How can you add value to their lives?
- What types of sites is your audience visiting and what are they interested in on social media? In this case, you’ll want to enable Google Demographics and Interests.
- When your audience visits your website, what’s catching their attention? Look at factors such as average time on page and bounce rate. That way, you can understand what your audience wants to read instead of what interests you.
Step 2: Develop a user persona
As you begin to collect more research, you can then create a persona. This will include demographics such as age, gender, salary, location, education, and other relevant pieces of information.
From there, make a list of possible pain points and how to help the audience solve them. For example, what variables cause stress for your audience? Think about both internal and external factors. Perhaps they are stressed about work and the amount of time they’re away from loved ones; or maybe they are raising concerns about the environment.
Pay close attention and ask yourself, if your organizations persona could wake up one morning and magically have one problem solved, what would it be?
Step 3: Provide solutions using your brand’s story
Any brand or organization can distinguish a problem and then create a solution. However, when it comes to the best content strategies, a bland approach is boring and uninviting.
That is why you’ll need to provide solutions in a way that is meaningful, authentic, and entertaining. Better yet, when crafting your story, add empathy to each stage of your reader’s journey — and when there’s a lot to report, harness the power of data visualization.
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