Content strategy – what is it and is it necessary to have one?
– It’s no longer enough to just be present on social media to get where you want to be. You have to work more consciously, you can’t afford anything else, says Karolina Winqvist, Head of social media at Be Better Online.
A content strategy should address everything from the publishing purposes to how often you’re going to publish and on which platforms. Karolina Winqvist lists the benefits of taking time to create a content strategy:
- It saves you time in the long run since it gives you a clear idea of what must be done.
- It gives you a structure for what needs to be produced and how.
- It lowers the threshold to start producing, as you don’t have to wait for creativity to strike you.
- It makes it easier to measure and evaluate the outcome of your content.
How to create a content strategy – step by step:
1. Specify your goals.
To create the right content, you have to clarify the purpose early in the process. There’s no intrinsic value in just producing and publishing content, says Karolina Winqvist.
What do you want to achieve? Do you want to increase brand awareness? Increase sales? Do you want to get attention, lots of comments? These questions must first be addressed in order to create content that gives you the desired effect.
In order to evaluate how your content is performing, make sure your goals are explicit and measurable.
2. Identify your target groups.
To know who you are trying to reach is a prerequisite to be able to produce effective content that the receiver will want to consume. Hopefully, most companies already have a pretty good idea of who their target groups are – but when you’re going to create content for them you might want to take a closer look.
If your target group, for instance, happens to be urban people who are interested in yoga, creating content might be easier by first creating personas. Give them names, describe their behaviors and preferences. Example: “Anna, 30, career-focused, practices yoga on her lunch break” and “Filippa, 35, stressed mom who practices yoga at home after the kids have gone to bed”.
This makes it much easier to decide which type of content you should produce.
3. What type of content are you going to produce?
The options are many. Should you opt for video, long or short texts or images? When deciding, it’s important to have your goals in the front seat – what type of content will get the job done?
A common mistake when creating content is to demand too much from the receiver, says Karolina Winqvist. Instead of having a single video showing off your new yoga mat, explaining all the benefits from it and asking the receiver to buy the product – it’s way more effective to break it down into several pieces.
– Start by telling the receivers why they should do yoga. In another piece of content, you tell them about your product and in the following one you make them an offer, says Karolina Winqvist.
Make a clear content plan stating what type of content you’re going to produce, in which formats, who does what, on which platforms it is to be published and, don’t forget, deadlines for each task.
– Don’t be afraid to experiment early on. Publish and see what works for you, says Karolina Winqvist.
She also recommends considering “what is in it for them?” Why would the receiver want to consume your content? We often start off with what we believe is the most interesting aspect of our product, but that does not necessarily mean that your target group is equally interested. Therefore, it’s better to have your target group in mind when you decide on what content to create. What is your target group actually interested in?
4. The work process – who does what?
Who is going to produce the content? Do you have the required competence inhouse or do you have to bring in external resources? Do you have the software needed to create what you want? Who is responsible for what and who gives the final approval to publish?
Establishing the work process makes it clear for everybody involved where their responsibilities begin and where they end.
5. Which platforms should you be on?
To answer this question, you have to go back to your target groups – where are they? If it’s a younger target group, Instagram is probably a good platform for you. If your goal is to attract the best talents in your business – then LinkedIn is probably a sensible platform to publish on.
A tip if your new at publishing content is to start small. Choose a couple of platforms that are relevant to you and build from there. Also avoid posting the exact same content on different platforms.
– The same person might see your content on multiple channels, which can be perceived as repetitious, says Karolina Winqvist.
6. How often should you publish?
This depends on the platforms. For example, it is more important to publish often if you are using Instagram Stories than if Linkedin is your primary platform.
7. Keep the document dynamic.
When you have finished creating your content strategy, remember that it will need to be updated regularly. Insights about what works – and doesn’t work – for you will present relevant updates. You will also need to add new topics that you want to create content about and perhaps add new target groups that you’ve identified.
Karolina Winqvist recommends that you keep your content strategy clearly visible for everyone involved.
– It makes everything easier if everyone is on board with what you’re doing and knows that it exists.
What are the most common mistakes you make when creating a content strategy?
– Probably that you don’t have a marketing strategy for the company to begin with. You haven’t identified your target group or your goals , says Karolina Winqvist.
Another common mistake is to focus all your effort into finding new customers.
– Don’t forget to create content for your existing customers. They are ambassadors for your brand, says Karolina Winqvist.