A content strategy is more than just a collection of content. It’s a plan that outlines the direction of your content creation and curation efforts. It should answer these questions:
- What content should we produce?
- How should we distribute this content?
- What metrics should we use to measure our success?
- Who is our target audience and how do we reach them?
- What content platforms should we use to get our message into the hands of our customers?
Answers to these questions will vary based on your brand, your industry, and your objective, but they should all be considered when developing a content strategy.
To help you develop and refine your strategy, we’ve put together a step-by-step guide that will walk you through the process of creating a content plan.
Step one: Identify the problems you’re trying to solve with content
The first step in the process of creating a content strategy is to identify the problems you’re trying to solve with content. This will require some research and consideration of the questions outlined above.
For example, if you’re publishing in-demand content to attract and retain customers in an increasingly digital world, the content you produce should support this objective. You might focus on solving the problem of information overload or finding the right balance between advertising and editorial content.
Your strategy should reflect your brand’s voice and style, while also solving the problems you’re facing. If you can’t confidently say what these problems are, you might want to consider developing a content strategy for an audience member who can provide the answers. (e.g. a CMO, community manager, or a content strategist)
Step two: Create a clear content plan
Once you’ve got a clear idea of the problems you’re trying to solve, you can move on to the next step — creating a clear content plan. This step will involve considering how, when, and where you plan to produce content — along with the target audience you’ve defined for each piece.
Your content plan should include all the information you need to produce content that will drive traffic to your website or social media platforms and retain your audience. It should include the type of content, the target audience, the frequency of the content, and the resources (financial and human) needed to execute on this strategy.
Step three: Match editorial and advertising content
The third step in the process of creating a content strategy is to match editorial and advertising content. You might find that your editorial content falls into specific categories (e.g. Technology, Lifestyle, etc.) while your advertisements span a range of topics (e.g. Travel, Food, and Drinks).
This matching of content types is important for three reasons:
- To create consistency within your content.
- To establish your editorial voice within your advertising.
- To simplify your work when developing creative content for your ads (e.g. slogans, headings, and body copy).
This consistency will help establish your credibility as a thought leader in your space and give your audience members confidence that what they’re reading is aligned with your brand voice and values.
Step four: Determining the content’s structure and theme
The fourth step in the process of creating a content strategy is to determine the content’s structure and theme. For example, if you follow the technology news cycle, you’ll likely see a lot of new releases and major developments that fall within this theme. But what happens when the focus shifts to a different industry or topic?
To keep your content relevant, you’ll need to determine how you’ll evolve the content’s structure and theme over time.
You can use the questions posed in step one to guide your decision-making here. Are you seeing a shift in your industry that has caused you to review the content you already have? Has the focus of your content changed to reflect the times we’re living in? These are all important questions to ask yourself when determining the structure and theme of your content.
Step five: Create content schedules and publish them regularly
The final step in the process of creating a content strategy is to create content schedules and publish them regularly. Regular publication of content schedules will help you maintain a consistent brand voice and ensure your audience sees your content at the right time.
Your content schedules should include the type of content you’ll produce, when you’ll produce it, and where it will be published.
To help you make the most of your content strategy, we’ve put together a library of useful templates that will accelerate your team’s productivity. You can download these templates for free at Content Strategy.
What is editorial content?
Editorial content refers to content that is created by a publication or media outlet, such as a newspaper, magazine, or website, with the purpose of informing or entertaining its audience. Editorial content is typically written by professional journalists, writers, or contributors, and is subject to editorial review and oversight.
Editorial content can take many forms, including news articles, features, opinion pieces, reviews, and interviews. The focus of editorial content is to provide accurate and unbiased information or perspectives on current events, trends, or issues of interest to the publication's audience.
Editorial content is distinguished from advertising or sponsored content, which is created by brands or advertisers and is designed to promote a product, service, or brand. While editorial content may reference or include sponsored or promotional content, it is typically clearly labeled as such to maintain transparency and avoid confusion for readers.
What are the types of content?
There are numerous types of content, and the appropriate type of content can vary depending on the goals or audience. Some of the most common types of content include blogs, social media, videos, infographics, e-books, white papers, case studies, podcasts, webinars, and user-generated content. Each type of content has its unique advantages and can be used to achieve different goals, such as increasing brand awareness, attracting new customers, increasing sales, etc.
However, regardless of the type of content, it is important to create high-quality, original, and valuable content that will attract and retain the attention of the target audience. Content should be informative, useful, and interesting to attract and retain users' attention and thus help achieve desired results.