At the end of this article (or the podcast episode if you prefer the audio version), you will know concretely what a content strategy is and the steps it contains.
What a content strategy is not
Before I tell you the definition and the steps, I would like us to break some beliefs what you may have about this concept.
1 – There is no 1 miracle recipe
Sorry to disappoint you, if you are looking for a secret method to make €10,000 in turnover with your content creation in 2 days, you are not going to find it. Because it doesn’t exist.
A good content strategy adapts to each entrepreneur and each business.
The steps to build it that I will present to you at the end of this article correspond to my methodology. It is not the absolute truth. Other entrepreneurs specializing in communication strategy will no doubt have another way of approaching and building it. There is no better method than another. The important thing is the end result: that your content serves your business by helping you achieve your goals.
2 – It is not complicated to build
I often hear entrepreneurs tell me that they publish without having thought about their content strategy because it seems like a mountain to them. Indeed, it is a work that requires a little time. And who will evolve with you and your activity.
Nevertheless, when you know where to start and what steps to follow, it’s not that hard. Promis !
We often see the strategy (content and business in general) like a boring thing. However, it is thanks to the strategy that you make your life easier and you increase your results. It helps you see things more clearly. Isn’t it more pleasant to advance in full sun rather than in the fog?
3 – It is not optional
Especially if your goal is to attract your ideal customers and sell!
Content creation is often shown as the miracle solution to finding customers easily. This is something that annoys me a lot. Because it’s not true.
Yes, you can find customers and sell without forcing thanks to your content.
I do it every day. My clients do it every day.
Nevertheless it’s neither miraculous nor easy.
With this belief in mind, what happens?
You start by creating an account on social networks (because it’s fast and simple) and you start publishing.
Without thinking about what you’re going to say, who you’re talking to and how you’re doing it. Without a content strategy, therefore.
You post, you post.
And you don’t get the results you hope for.
You get demoralized (and that’s okay).
You think content creation isn’t for you.
While your content can bring you customers with a strategy adapted to you and your business!
What is a content strategy, really?
Now that we’ve broken some beliefs, it’s time to answer the question you’re asking yourself. In concrete terms, what is a content strategy and what is it for?
1 – Have a plan to communicate better
When an architect builds a house, what does he start with? Will he first install windows or plan the house?
We agree, it starts with the plan.
It’s the same with your content.
Your publications are the windows.
Your strategy is your plan.
No more no less.
A content strategy gives you the direction to follow to communicate. It helps you know who you’re talking to. What are you going to tell him? On which communication channels you will do it. How are you going to share your message with him. And at what time so that your ideal client receives it correctly.
A content strategy, it prevents you from speaking in a vacuum.
You know where you are going. And you see the results.
2 – Know how to prioritize your actions
For me, your communication is intrinsically linked to your activity.
You can’t communicate properly about your business if you’re not clear on it.
Your business can’t grow if you don’t communicate about it (and here, I’m not just talking about creating content on the Internet).
When you think about your marketing strategy, you think about your business. You have a more global picture, which will happen in the coming weeks. It helps you to prioritize actions that are important to you.
For example, to launch a new product, you need to organize your communication (if you want to sell it). It requires thinking about the actions to be taken, planning your content. In short, it will give you a vision. You will know what to do and when to maximize your results.
The stages of a relevant strategy
Now that you know this concept better, let’s see what you need to build a relevant and effective content strategy.
1 – Solid business foundations
I told you: your communication and your business are linked.
To make sure you get the right message to the right people, you need:
- With a clear vision
- From a unique and differentiating positioning
- Offers that make sense to you and your ideal client
- Of a well-identified ideal client
I won’t go into the details right away.
I will do another dedicated article for you in a few weeks.
2 – The right communication channels
Those that make sense to you and to your ideal client.
To choose them, ask yourself these questions:
- When I have to convey information, how do I communicate naturally? In writing, orally, on video, by drawing?
- What platforms is my ideal customer consuming content on?
Seeing the similarities between how you like to communicate and what your ideal customer consumes, you will be able to define the channels to invest in to make content. There’s no point in forcing you to be on a social network if you don’t like it. Or if your ideal client is not there.
3 – Precise and consistent content themes
To make choices is to give up.
It’s the same for your content.
You can’t talk about everything.
To make it easier for you and know what to say, you will rely on 3 to 5 major content themes.
I have a rather particular vision of this subject. For me, a theme is more than just a catch-all word like “Graphics – Well-being – Entrepreneurship”.
In my way of building a content strategy, a theme is an angle from which you will treat an idea. It allows you to really know in detail what to say in your content.
4 – An editorial line for each communication channel
Every channel is different. Both in the codes and in the objective you have.
You don’t speak the same way to people who read your blog (hello to you) and to your audience in your newsletter. Because these people do not necessarily have the same knowledge of you and your company. On a blog, we read you for the first time when we come to look for information. On a newsletter, we enter more into intimacy.
An editorial line allows you to know what to tell and how to do it according to the channel used.
5 – Content with high added value
That’s to say : do not withhold information from your content. Give concrete and applicable advice to your audience. Brings reflections or insights. Don’t just give definitions. For that, there is Wikipedia.
Bringing value will not prevent you from selling. Because the difference between your free content and your offers is you.
This article is a summary of all the steps we go through together in Morphose, my group coaching.
I don’t mind giving them to you for free here.
Because there, you are alone behind your screen reading me. In Morphose, I’m by your side every day. I answer your questions, I push you in your thoughts, I correct your strategy and your content.
6 – Follow the customer journey of your audience
Your customer is not going to buy from you after reading a post. Your audience will go through different stages: unknown then subscribers then customer.
Your role with your content is to move your audience from one stage to another.
I invite you to read the article on these 3 steps for more information.
7 – Engage in conversations to trigger opportunities
Content creation doesn’t stop when you click publish. It is not a passive action.
If you just post and wait, not much is going to happen.
Your content is a gateway.
A way for you to engage in conversation with your audience.
The more you get to know the people who read you, the more you will be able to offer them the right solution at the right time.
And so, of sell more naturally without the need for forcer.
8 – Publish regularly without getting exhausted
Regularity is very important if you want to see results with your content creation.
If you disappear every 3 weeks, it will be difficult to create a bond of trust with your audience.
To help you keep your pace without getting exhausted, you need to find the organization that suits you and a routine to follow. The more your content will be in your habits, the easier it will be to make it.
You can rely on an editorial calendar to plan your content in advance. And have a global and coherent vision of what you are going to share. I created a tutorial to show you how to build an editorial calendar.
9 – Analyze your statistics
After posting, it’s good to look at what happened and track your numbers.
The numbers don’t lie. While they don’t impact your value or expertise, they will help you see if your content is performing the way you want it to. It gives you an objective look at your actions to be able to improve or maximize what needs to be improved.
10 – Adjust your strategy according to your results
Raising your stats is good. Then, it should be learn.
Your content strategy evolves all the time. By following your numbers, you have an overview of your actions and you can adjust them to optimize your results.
Don’t be afraid to make changes in your strategy if you think it’s necessary.
Okay, a content strategy has many components. And that might scare you a little.
I understand that perfectly. So be reassured: don’t do everything at once. One step after another. One step then the next. This is how you will be able to build your content strategy, attract your ideal customers and sell without forcing.
You just have to analyze your content, find out if you have all the steps or if some need to be reworked.
And if you want an outside look at your publications and ways to improve, I offer you an audit of your content!