7 Things to Consider Before Starting Your Content Strategy | See Girl Work

7 Things to Consider Before Starting Your Content Strategy

7 Tips for Content Strategy

An effective content marketing strategy can attract, engage and converts clients. Learn the 7 things to consider before starting your content strategy.

One of the main reasons that clients find me because they realize that they need to be on social media. The realize that they are missing out on the potential to grow their business, their brand and their clients list if they are not doing some form of content marketing.

Another reason people find me is because they are already on social media. They are posting photos, writing captions and using hashtags. But with no idea what they’re actually doing and absolutely no results.

An effective content marketing strategy can attract, engage and converts clients. Learn the 7 things to consider before starting your content strategy.

1. Determine Your Business Goals

As a business owner, you should create a content strategy that supports whatever it is you are trying to do in your business. There’s no point in posting, planning and scheduling if it’s not going to do anything for your business goals.

Let’s say your business goal is to participate in X number of speaking engagements before the end of the year. Your content strategy might include:

Blog Posts: Publish content specific to your area of expertise.

LinkedIn: Publish a mix of original and curated content. Take advantage of the LinkedIn Publisher feature and create SlideShare decks with useful content to demonstrate your knowledge.

Twitter: Participate in Twitter chats to connect with other like-minded influencers in your industry.

2. Determine What Kind of Clients You Want

Figure out the who, what, where, why and how behind the buying decisions of your products or services.

Consider conducting a survey, an email questionnaire, a focus group, or interviews with previous or existing customers to get to know what makes them tick.

The information you receive can help inform everything from more effective copy, to high impact photography and graphics, from social media channel strategy to blog post topic ideation.

3. Develop Content Buckets

Content buckets is a term I first heard in a Social Media course. Content buckets simply means the different areas, categories or genres that you’re going to focus on with your content in order to achieve your business goals.

If you are fitness coach you’d concentrate on workout routines, healthy eating tips, recipes and active lifestyle activities.

Once you know your goals and have better insight into your customers and their needs – you should begin to formulate ideas on which topics you want your content marketing to cover, and how these topics will meet their needs.

Think about your content and bucket them as follows:

Original: Evergreen content that you will become known for. It will comprise the most of your content mix

Curated: Articles and other blog posts that you can share  in order to compliment and support your expertise. This kind of content is useful for social sharing such as Twitter and LinkedIn and even newsletters.

Collaborations: This can include blog post content, guest posts, or a webinar that you do with another industry influencer. Guest blogging and partnering on webinars is a great way to enhance your original content and engage with others in your niche.

4. Decide On Content Formats

When settling on what kind of content formats you want to create, consider your customers or clients and their needs.

You don’t want to spend a lot of resources into producing a weekly video series if a majority of your customers prefer direct mail or listening to podcasts on their evening commute. This is why knowing your audience is so important.

Consider the content formats below and how they might support your business goals as well as fit within your content buckets:

Blogs: A good blog post should identify a problem, discuss how your experience and services solve this problem, then end with a call-to-action in order to convert your reader into a prospective client.

Webinars: By hosting a free webinar, you can have access to an audience that is ready to hear about the information and resources that you can provide.

E-books: Information is one of the most valuable things that you can sell, so if you consider yourself a “thought leader” or have an original idea, creating an e-book as part of your content marketing strategy is a great way to attract freelance clients.

Video: Engaging and rich as a content format that can be re-purposed, video is effective tactic for attracting more clients to your business. You can even re-purpose evergreen blog posts into videos in order to share it with a wider audience.

5. Keep SEO in Mind

If you create internet content without thinking through search engine optimization (SEO) and keywords, you run the risk of short changing your content marketing strategy.

Choosing the right keywords and using them in an optimized way can help you appear in search engine results.

6. Decide on Social Media Channels

Social media usually is a core way to market your content marketing, but you need a plan that supports a custom approach to each channel.

Let your goals dictate the decisions you make in regard to social media content. Keep in mind that if your customers or clients are not on Pinterest, you don’t have to be. If they are not on Snapchat, then your business does not have to be either.

Consider the following recommendations on what to post on each social media channel:

Facebook: Posts on business pages don’t have a strong organic reach on their own, so posting must be consistent and frequent, such as 1-2 posts a day. Videos represent the highest organic reach at 8.7% and growing. Add video posts to your social media content calendar and incorporate them with blog posts, behind-the-scene posts, and how-to’s.

Twitter: You have 160 characters to inform and excite new customers on Twitter. Do so by including basic information, but in a catchy way that represents the brand.

Instagram: Share updates and drive engagement with a community of over 400 million users. Engage with the profiles you’d like to make connections with. Build relationships with other Instagram users and businesses that are in a similar field and have users that can benefit from what you have to post.

Pinterest: Design boards to represent your business. Curate boards that share information of interest to your target audience and boards that are about your business. Pay attention to the size of your images. Make sure your boards and pins look as inviting as they can. Pinterest is a visual search engine so tell your brand’s story through images. Long, skinny pins are the most clicked-on image sizes.

LinkedIn: Post blog posts, business updates, upcoming speaking engagements, industry news and other information LinkedIn users would find useful.

7. Decide What Success Looks Like

KPIs (key performance indicators) are the high-level metrics you can use to determine if your content marketing is working.

Indicators such as the number of email subscribers earned, phone numbers submitted, registration forms completed, or clients secured. If you’re a blogger, this can also mean the number of pageviews on your site.

Measurement can be as simple or as complicated as you make it. Don’t measure simply for the sake of having some numbers.

If you aren’t certain what you should be measuring, ask yourself these two questions: Do these metrics support my key goals? Can I take action on these metrics?

Bottom Line

By creating content specifically designed to appeal to your audience, an effect content strategy can attract qualified prospects to your business.

If you find yourself posting randomly or maybe posting family photos on your Instagram Business page, you may need to re-think your current strategy or seek the assistance of a content marketing strategist to get one created.

Need more resources? In my FREE e-book, I share my top 6 tips for using your blog effectively in order to generate interest, find prospects and grow your freelance business. Download your copy below.

 

Image via Jazmin Quaynor

 

Alethea Robinson

Founder & Blogger-in-Chief, See Girl Work

Alethea Robinson is the founder of See Girl Work. With over 10 years of marketing experience, she specializes in campaign execution, project management, team management and trade show planning and events. Alethea is also skilled at developing digital marketing content including blog posts, interviews, editorials and social media.

  • This is such an awesome roundup! I feel like so many people/businesses don’t figure out how they determine success before they begin, which is such a huge mistake!

    Sues

  • LC @ A Life of Authenticity

    Great post. There was so much information here, I had to bookmark this page. Thank you for such a thoughful and thorough outline of what is needed for developing a content strategy. Thanks.

    • @lcalifeofauthenticity:disqus glad it was useful! Thank you for leaving a comment.

  • Niki McNeill

    Wow!!! If this post is any indication of how valuable your e-book is, I can’t wait to read!!

  • T Gryff

    Wow thanks so much for the tips. I surely bookmarked this as well for future reference.

  • This is so handy! It’s so important to be prepared when starting a new venture and have a clear goal in mind. This is a great checklist!

    Christie’s Take on Life. xx

  • T-Nicole Johnson

    These are great tips! It’s very important to always know and determined your business goals

  • wow I have so much to take from this post. Do you have any tips for Linkedin? I don’t know how to use it for blogging.
    http://www.thevagabondwayfarer.com

    • @thevagabondwayfarer:disqus I don’t have any tips specific to marketing your blog on LinkedIn. I really just share my blog post through my personal LinkedIn Profile and our Company page. But perhaps this is a great topic for a blog post.

      https://www.linkedin.com/company-beta/10079811/

      Thanks for stopping by!

      -Alethea

  • This is so incredibly helpful. Thank you so much. I need to keep all this in mind. I do have tons of social media channels!

    • @AiringMyLaundry:disqus I know. Me too. Constantly trying to keep everything organized!

  • Alicia P

    Great tips and some reminders as well! Thanks for sharing!
    Alicia P

  • magz_dc

    This is so helpful, I need to keep this link and go back anytime I need to prepare and build a content.

    Agnes
    bitsenpieces.com

    • @magz_dc:disqus yay! glad you found it useful. Hope it helps!

  • This is some great information. Love the concept of content buckets and will be saving this post so I can refer back to it.

    • @abusybeeslife:disqus glad it was helpful! Thanks for leaving a comment.

  • My current content strategy truly sucks and mostly only focus on blogs for all the categories covered and rarely think of curating something for other social networks like linkedin

    • @myrabev:disqus it takes consistency to get into a good habit. Especially when it goes to being strategic on social media. Trust me, it took me a very long time to get somewhat good at it and I’m still learning.

  • Claire Santiago

    These are valuable information I have to take note of as I am writing on my own blog site and a content writer of another blog

    • @clairesantiago:disqus glad you found it useful. Thanks for reading through the post and leaving a comment.

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