There’s no point in generating content for the sake of generating content. You must have a clear Content Strategy.
Why are you creating content?
Far too often, we continue to see people who just generate content. They outsource it because they’re told, “I just need to create content.” Well that’s baloney! This is all about creating great content that your target audience is going to engage with because it adds real value to people’s lives.
It All Starts by Building the Right Strategy
Without the right strategy, you’re just going to create average or poor content that doesn’t help anybody.
Without the Right Strategy you're Destined to Failure
Not having the right strategy won’t add value to your business, won’t grow your business, and won’t add value to your target audience. So once again, it’s so important to have the right strategy, and content is no different, right?
A Great Content Strategy is Based on a Great Digital Marketing Strategy
We need to build great a content strategy for your business, and a great content strategy starts with having a great digital marketing strategy. Until your digital marketing strategy is right, there is no point looking at your content strategy.
And guess what?
Digital Marketing Strategy is Based on Having a Great Marketing Strategy
You can’t build a great digital marketing strategy without having a great marketing strategy in place. So ultimately, your Marketing Strategy comes first, your Digital Marketing Strategy comes second, and your Content Strategy comes third. We’ve highlighted how to build a Marketing and Digital Marketing Strategy in our other eBooks, so see those for more information.
We’re going to repeat this point – it's not just about creating content, it's about creating great content!
2. Marketing Strategy Recap
Who - Crystal Clear Clarity of the Emotional Needs and Wants of Your Target Audience
Just a quick recap on that, you need to be crystal clear on who you’re talking to, who your target audience is, what their emotional needs and wants are. What do they dream of?
You need to be crystal clear on the emotional connection that you want to create.
Value - What value are you adding to your target audience?
What value are you really adding to your target audience? This is your value proposition, how well defined is it and how well are you guys sharing it?
What Change are you making in their lives?
This is all about what change you are looking to make in people’s lives?
How are you making their lives easier, better, simpler?
How are you looking to make their lives easier, simpler, better, cheaper, faster, quicker, (whatever it might be)?
Answering all these core questions is fundamental in developing a great content strategy.
3. Content Strategy Defined
A Content Strategy is Defined and Underpinned by the Value You are Going to Add
The content strategy is really all about how you are adding value to your target audience.
It Starts to Define what Content is Needed to Generate What Value
What is the little nugget of gold that we’re going to produce today, this week, this month, and this year? Ensuring each piece continually adds to your value proposition that you created for your target audience. The content strategy defines why you’re generating what content.
Think of it as an Aeroplane
What You do is really complex, there’s lots of moving parts
Your value proposition, like an aeroplane, is a really complex piece of machinery. No different to your business, there’s a lot of moving parts.
And what we want to do with your content is share a little nugget of gold around each of those parts. It’s not creating a massive book that describes the whole aeroplane, it’s about breaking it down.
For example, what does this little bolt do that’s in the cupboard that connects to the wall that holds something?
How do we share nuggets of gold that add value to my understanding of how an aeroplane works?
Over time, we’re going to have more nuggets, and more nuggets, and more moving parts, and more moving parts. Ultimately, over the next 12 months, two years, five years, 10 years, we’re going to describe the whole aeroplane, but we’re starting with one little part. That’s really what the content strategy is defining. How are we going to communicate little nuggets of gold throughout?
4. Content Pillars
The Building Blocks and Foundations to Great Content
Content Pillars are our first port of call once we are happy with our digital marketing strategy.
Once you’ve defined who you’re talking to, what value you’re going to add, then it’s time to create a few pillars or foundations that really give you guidance and direction as to the type of content you’re going to create and why you’re going to create it.
There are different versions of the content pillars, but they fall into the below four core categories that you can tweak and twist until your heart’s content.
1. Product - Technical Information
Technical information about how the product can be applied or how the product/ service is delivered that’s going to add value to your audience.
What are the things to consider that people need to think about? What’s the postsales information that people need to know to maintain this product or service? What are the things that are really going to add value to the experience in using this product or service?
2. Authority and Expert - Add to the Body of Knowledge
How are you becoming the expert that you are, ensuring you’re adding to the body of knowledge in your industry? You need to continually demonstrate how good you are at what you do, that you’re doing this for a greater good, that you’re actually contributing to building a better industry, or better product or service.
3. Help Me
What other bits of information related to your product and service and related to your target audience can you help with? What are the trends coming out of Europe, which are really important and are going to affect you? What’s the latest bit of technology that’s going to bring real value to the end user?
The last pillar is to go viral. So how do you get some creative juices flowing? How do you inspire your target audience? Whilst relating to your product or service. What’s the latest gadget coming out? It’s really how do you bring some life to what you do and bring some excitement to your target audience.
5. They Ask, You Answer
There's a great book by Marcus Sheridan called 'They Ask, You Answer'.
This is what you want to build for your business. Every single question that you get asked by a lead or a customer, write it down, and you’re going to answer it in your content. Because if one person’s asking it, chances are 10 or 100 people are asking it. So, write them down and start writing a blog article about them, do a webinar about it, create a video about it. Whatever it is, every single question people ask, produce content that answers it because that’s what they will be searching for.
6. Target Audience
Your Target Audience Is Searching for It
What content, what bits of information, what titbits and what questions are your target audience searching for? You need to provide information that they are searching for.
There are some great tools that allow you to do this. Google has some great keyword tools, there are also third-party applications, and there are great websites.
Our tip: create a list on the 42 big questions that your target audiences are asking, then produce content around them. Let’s go!