Author: Gabriela Hein
Before you begin planning your actual content strategy, you should have a clear picture about where your strengths and weaknesses lie and what kind of effect your message should convey. Do you want to come across as a competence leader, an innovator, an upholder of responsibility, or a growth champion? The decision is entirely up to you, but you should make a decision.
Identify the need for information among your potential customers and use this as the basis to build your content strategy. Also be aware of opportunities to communicate that you can employ for your content assets. This could be the creation of an annual report for the balance sheet, visual preparation of the results of an employee survey, or trade shows and events where you wish to present your products.
Relevant topics can be identified through primary data sources (proprietary market research, persona workshops, user/customer surveys, sales) and secondary data sources research based on tools, Google Keyword Planner, blogs, partners, and competitors, among others).
When you know who your target group is and which relevant topics you wish to occupy, you have to decide upon a format:
These are just some of the innumerable content formats. You can individually determine which ones are the most suitable for your company and your target group.
In this step the relevant facts need to be filtered and transformed into an exciting story. In doing so, it is important to have the target group and the communication goal in the back of your mind. Moreover, be cognizant about whether existing content can be recycled and whether the topic has already been covered by a competitor. If so, think about how you can make it better.
When you have gathered a sufficient number of sources and data, formulating the text comes next. Editors should be mindful of the criteria of data quality – among others, this includes completeness, clarity, accuracy, relevance, and comprehensibility.
Content design does not have to be a pure publicity event. When designing your content, allow your in-house designers and/or agency partners the freedom to flex their creative muscles. To avoid multiple correction rounds, a good briefing for the graphics team is absolutely essential: is the product intended for print or online? Should it be static, animated, or interactive? In what style should the content be designed?
Only when these items of information are clarified ahead of time can the graphics team begin to work efficiently.
Organically speaking, it is good to aim for a high level of coverage, but you should not depend on that. Also test out successful publishers, event managers, and influencers and use a system for lead generation. Have a clear understand about which channels you want to use for distribution: Websites? Blogs? Newsletters? Webinars? Make sure that you also prepare content for your advertising content.
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