Content Strategy: How to get started

If you are following developments in the digital marketing space, you probably have realized that you got to do some content marketing.

Drawing up a content strategy is the first step in that direction.

A lot of companies are stuck here. Getting started on a content strategy is perhaps like shaking things up. Stopping the way you did things and starting afresh. At this point of time, inertia kicks in. Procrastination becomes the norm.

Here are some steps that could help you as a marketer get started on content:

Hire a writer or editor: We all know English. ‘So anyone who speaks good English can write’. This is an immediate quick fix in most companies. Read the following carefully: There are subject matter experts. There are writers and editors. Both thrive in mutually exclusive worlds. You cannot extend subject matter expertise with writing that would be understood by customers. Similarly, you cannot expect a writer with strong language skills to start connecting with your customers instantly. You as a marketer and the writer or editor have to be a team.

Content plan: This is up your alley. You are already good at planning. Now with the writer or editor in tow, figure out your content calendar. You already know keywords that matter to your business. Now, take a look at the year and plot your content strategy. Identify the stuff your existing or potential customer would look through the year. For example, right now, you can be relevant to your customers by identifying 5 interesting gifting ideas this year or 5 gifting ideas that do not pinch pockets. If your audience is discerning, you work on something like ‘5 gifts that would enhance your influence on people’.

Customer first: You are creating content for existing or potential customers to use. It is for their benefit and best interest. Do not digress from this objective. You want your customers to share the video, podcast or text that you have created as much as possible. That will happen only when your content does not cry out ‘buy my product or service’. Leave ‘crying out loud’. You should not even give a hint of your proposition. I must say that this is easier said than done. The impact would be known only when you get started. 

What to begin with: If you are just starting out, you begin with a blog. Indulge in small talk with your audience through the content. Share something that in your view makes a difference to the life of your target audience. Your company’s digital identity has to establish credentials. This is just like striking a conversation as an individual. Use your social media channels to push it out. For an established brand, you may want to let your audience know that here on, this is a space for ‘information you can use’. Get into a weekly, fortnightly or a monthly cycle for the conversation.

How much content: The answer to this depends on how much you know about your target audience. It also depends on your capabilities to produce content. As always, it is a good idea to start small and then grow big. If you already have established social media channels and a blog, you may want to set a regular pattern of posting. This is just like publishing a periodical or a newspaper. Overdoing one type of content because it works or pushing out too much content across platforms in a day could harm your relationship with your audience. Test waters with a daily activity across content. So release a small relevant post one day, a video another day. Podcast one day and a blog article another day. You can release the same post on diverse social media platforms through the day. Ensure that it is not repeated on one channel too much.

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