Hopefully you don’t go into business without a plan of some sort—an idea of how you’re going to provide your services and how much you need to charge.
On the same token, you shouldn’t go into content creation without a plan, a strategy that tells you what needs to be done—as well as when and where.
If you don’t have a content strategy in place yet, it’s time to start thinking about it. And if you’re just diving into creating a true strategy for your business, you need to know a few things first.
Most importantly, your content strategy isn’t a one-and-done activity. It’s an ongoing process that you need to nurture and tweak for as long as you have something to say to your audience (which should be for the entire life of your business).
[bctt tweet=”Content strategy isn’t one-and-done. It’s an ongoing process you continue to nurture.” username=””]
And then you need to ask yourself some questions, so you’re ultra-clear on what content you’re providing—to whom, why and where.
- What are my big business goals?
Before you even start thinking about your content, you need to know what the overarching goal of your business is. That helps you to be able to create content that will help you to reach those goals.
- What’s the goal of my content?
This question is two-fold. Think of it as a broad question, relating to your content as a whole, and a more narrow question. When you narrow it down a bit, think about your goal for a specific time period or launch and within a specific platform.
- What help do I need to create quality content for my audience?
You can’t always do it all yourself. If you’re creating video content, do you have the tools you need (a camera, editing programs, etc.) to create your content? If you’re creating visuals, do you have access to PhotoShop or Canva? For me, I have someone create graphics for me and load some of my written content to my website for me because I don’t want to take the time to do that.
- What is coming up in my business that I need to build awareness around?
Now it’s time to really look at what you need to create. Think about any launches, special events, new services, etc. that you need to build awareness around. Think months in advance—don’t expect to effectively promote a launch next week if you’re just now thinking about strategy.
- Who is my audience and where are they hanging out?
You have to know who your target audience is and where they consume your content if you want to reach the right people. This may change from time to time as your business grows and as you create new products and services for different audiences. That’s totally okay and a natural progression of business growth.
- What does my audience want and need to know to be successful?
Hopefully you’re creating services and programs around who your audience is and what they need already. Be sure your marketing content reflects free value surrounding this. And if you’re not sure, ask them! Create a short survey and ask what they’d love to hear from you—then give it to them.
- Why am I creating this specific piece of content?
Know why you’re creating a specific blog post or nurturing email or video—and how it both gives back to your audience and provides them the information they need to move their businesses forward.
- What do I want my audience to do after consuming my content?
There are so many directions you can take with this. Do you want readers to watch a video? Download a content upgrade? Contact you? Do you want YouTube or Facebook Live viewers to click a link or go to a blog post? If you want them to do something, you need to tell them. And make it easy to do what you want.
- Is there a way to build my following with my content?
Your email list is your best bet to accessing your followers right where they are—in their inbox. Whenever possible, offer a way for readers and viewers to join your email list, through an opt-in, landing page, free challenge or some other method.
- How will I share my content when it’s done?
There’s no point in creating content if you’re not going to share it, and in multiple locations. Multiple times. Know where you’ll share your content as you’re creating it, since some content works better in different platforms. But don’t be afraid to share across platforms to get the biggest bang for your investment.
Only when you can answer these questions is it time to sit down and really start creating that content. Because now you know why you’re creating it, who it’s for and how you can use that content to help and build your audience.
You can download these 10 questions here, so you have them handy when you’re in content creation mode.