Your content brand strategy includes everything from your initial brand concept to your content ideas list. What you should start doing at this stage is document the essential parts of your strategy, so that you can share it with employees and content creators. This isn’t a highly detailed, lengthy document that no one will read. It should be easy to take in quickly and skim through, so people understand the essence of what you want to achieve with your content brand.
Anyone who creates your content needs to know your audience. They don’t need as detailed a profile as you might make for yourself, but they need a good, solid idea of your audience’s likes, dislikes, tastes, and problems so that they can create content that’s in line with those things. They also need to know your audience’s preferred channels for content, which you looked at in your previous research.
Summarize all these points in a target audience profile that helps your content creators visualize a specific person they’re creating for and talking to.
Topic Ideas and Guidelines
Along with this basic information about your audience, your content strategy needs to include a separate list of topic ideas and guidelines. It also helps to provide links to previous content or the types of content you’re aiming for.
Your guidelines are the rules for creating content for your brand. They include the nuts and bolts information, such as article length and composition, as well as editorial guidelines such as the tone of the writing and what words to avoid using.
Your Content Creation Process
Your content strategy should include a content creation process that goes all the way from the idea brainstorming phase to the publishing of content. It should include a posting schedule and where you’ll post content. Be as detailed as possible.
If you’re creating content yourself, decide when you’ll do it. You can either set aside a time on a regular basis, such as one afternoon a week, or include it in your daily routine. If outsourcing, work with the content creator so that their creating schedule fits your posting schedule. Get into a flow so that there are no gaps.
Once content is published, there will be some monitoring involved. For example, you’ll want to check your blog for comments and reply to them in a timely manner. You should also check analytics and seek feedback from your audience on how they’re enjoying your content or what they’d like to see more of. Work this monitoring time into your schedule.
Remember that your content strategy should be set but flexible. Over the course of creating and publishing content, you may need to make changes in order to better meet your audience’s needs.
You’re almost ready to get started creating content, but first there are a few more considerations. These won’t go into your Content Brand Strategy, but they’re important to keep in mind before you move into the next modules in the course.
Search Engine Optimization
For each piece of content you create, plan how it will be optimized for search engines. Not all content has to be used for SEO purposes. For example, you may share something on social media that’s purely for the fans you already have. But if all of your content is optimized for search engines, this will attract more people and gain you more exposure.
With content, the main SEO consideration is keywords and their placement. Keywords are not as important today as they were in the past. The days of stuffing content with keywords is long gone. Instead, you should find a handful of keywords and use them naturally in your content.
The ideal keywords are those that have a high search volume but low competition. Long tail keywords, which are long phrases or sentences, fit the bill quite well. So do keywords that include geographic locations (if appropriate to your brand strategy). There are many complex tools and involved keyword strategies available, but they’re not necessary in order to attract search engines. Choose a few and use them naturally.
It’s good to decide before you get started how long your pieces of text content are going to be. A general guideline that most content creators follow is 400 to 600 words for each article or post. Of course, this is just a guideline and you can decide what works for you.
The advantage of shorter posts is you can blast them out. If you’re writing articles of 300 words or less, you can post more often, which has advantages for audience engagement and SEO.
On the other hand, longer posts allow you to get into a topic in more depth. It’s also generally true that longer articles get more attention from search engines, but this is on a case-by-case basis.
Plan for Promoting Your Content
You also need a plan for promoting your content. Make sure all of it is easily sharable on social media by including an image and visible ‘share’ buttons. Ideally, your audience will be sharing your content with friends. You can also announce to your email list and/or social media followers whenever you’ve published a new piece of content.
Content Creation Tools
Finally, if creating your content yourself, consider investing in some tools to make it easier. There is a wide variety of content creation tools available, such as video production software and voice recognition programs that write content for you as you speak. As you go over the six types of content and decide which you’ll produce (ideally all of them), consider for each what tools would help.
There are some tools that help you organize your content, no matter what kind of content you’re producing. Editorial calendar programs such as the editorial calendar WordPress plugin, idea organization tools like Evernote, or project management platforms like Asana will help you stay on track. Social media dashboard programs like Hootsuite let you manage all of your social media platforms at once. These are useful tools that everyone can use.
1.Create a content brand strategy document that includes all of the essential information discussed in the module, including summaries of:
a.Your brand vision (summarized from earlier)
b.Your top content marketing goals (from earlier)
c.Your target market
d.Your high-level content creation process
e.Your monitoring schedule
Make it as short and to-the-point as possible while still including everything essential. Create a separate document if you need more space.
Attach a copy of your content styles and language guidelines also, if you have one. Otherwise, this is a great time to start creating one that includes links to examples of your best content.
Based on the research you’ve done so far, identify 7 to 10 content topics to get started with. Use the worksheet provided to record your ideas.
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