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Components of a Great Content Strategy

October 18, 2016

 

We recently covered why you need a content strategy for your business. Today we are going to address a few essential elements that should be included in your strategy. By covering these four topics, you will ensure that you are producing a meaningful and complete content strategy for your business.

 

Remember, a content strategy or plan doesn’t need to be a huge document that you never refer to. It is better to make it short and succinct so you are more likely to refer to it.

 

Content Vision

 

What is the overall reason for producing and distributing your content? Creating a vision will articulate this and provide the vital footprint for your content strategy. I like to play this fill-in-the-gaps game to fine tune a business's content strategy vision:

 

The content we produce helps our business accomplish

 

_____________    and    ______________    by providing    _____________

{GOAL}                          {GOAL}                                           {ADJECTIVE}

 

and  ______________  content that makes   __________________________

         {ADJECTIVE}                                           {AUDIENCE DESCRIPTION}

 

feel   _______________   or   _______________

         {EMOTION}                   {EMOTION}

 

so that they can   _______________   or   _______________

                              {TASK}                          {TASK}

 

An example of a content vision statement for a landscaper could be:

 

The content we produce helps our business increase sales and exposure by providing visually appealing and informative content that makes home owners feel joyful and inspired so that they can uncap the potential of their homes and live in beautiful surroundings.

 

If you check all content you produce against this vision, then you will ensure that you are producing a uniform and cohesive brand image across all platforms.

 

Inventory or audit

 

This is probably the most time consuming portion of a great content strategy. It is important to complete as it will readily identify areas for improvement or replication as well as any opportunities. An inventory will list out all of the parts of your website (like a sitemap) as well as details of all social media accounts.

 

You can also include non-digital components of your content strategy such as pamphlets, brochures, manuals or business cards.

 

Personas and Brand Voice

 

A persona is a description of a typical client. It usually includes information such as gender, occupation, likes, hobbies and other unique identifying information. Developing personas help to focus your content strategy by ensuring that the content created is targeted at the right audience.

 

You should also specify your brand’s voice, as this is how you will communicate with these personas. I like to define voice by simply listing a number of adjectives that describe your brand. For example, personable, funny, a character or professional, genuine and serious. This will guide the way that you present content in terms of the text and images.

 

Governance

 

Probably the least sexy part of the content strategy is governance. It is an important aspect though as it defines the procedures around content production, approval and workflow. It also covers off aspects of privacy and even what to do in a negative public relations situation. You will want to be able to act quickly so by pre-planning and writing actions in to your content strategy you will know exactly what needs to be done.

 

Governance will also help you to identify risks and mitigate them with appropriate solutions. This part of a content strategy is particularly important if two or more people manage the business, or if you have one or more employees.

 

Including these elements in your content strategy will ensure that you are well on the way to creating content which engages your audience. It will also create loyal brand advocates that amplify your business within their networks.

 

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