Content Creation Strategies
Do you need a content strategy?
To create the best content you can, a strategy is an essential first step. Think of it like a vacation. Would you rather walk up to the airport counter on the say you would like to leave and ask for a ticket or have your tickets, accomodation, and activities ready to go before you start your journey? Content strategy works the same way. A solid content strategy plan will eliminate unnecessary stress, let you know you're headed in the right direction, and allow you to achieve your desired end result with the most effective content.
How to develop your content creation strategy
Define what you're working towards
Every great project ends with a goal being achieved. Having clear goals and direction can help you stay on track, measure success as you go, and give you a boost of motivation.
Before you start brainstorming what you want your outcome to be, make sure you're setting an effective end goal. This will make sure you're able to stay on track! SMART goals are a great framework and first step to defining your desired outcome. SMART goals are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based. A SMART goal will help you emphasize the most important aspects of your project and track your progress along the way.
Refine your personas
When you're planning out content strategy, considering your audience should be a part of every step. Ask yourself a few key questions to start thinking about your audience. Who is the most likely to consume your content? What are their needs and goals? How can you help them?
Before you have an established audience, creating personas can help you start to shape the consumers of your content. A persona is a fictional character that is meant to represent a type of user who will interact with your content. When you're creating and refining personas, make sure you're going beyond simple information such as the name, age, and location. The most effective personas discuss a type of user's goals and frustrations. These personas will allow you to shape your content to meet the need of users on the other side of the screen.
Choose your platform and create new goals for those
With the number of social media platforms growing by the day, it's important to choose the channel that is best suited for your content. There are benefits and drawbacks to each major platform, so be sure to do your research!
Determine which type of content would work best for each platform
Matching your content to your platform of choice will help you make sure you get the biggest return on your investment. Different social media platforms support different types of content and have unique algorithms and features. Shaping your content to suit your platform or platforms of choice is key to good performance.
Some platforms are visually based, while others emphasize written word. Other platforms are a mix of the two. For example, planning content for Instagram will require both high-quality, visually appealing photos and an interesting caption that will attract users to engage with your content.
Strong communication skills are the most important tool in content creation. Whether your platform of choice requires long-form writing, photos, or video, giving voice to your audience's interests and desires will allow to door to great engagement to open.
Build content ideas based on your research and personas
Research is a key element to any content strategy plan. The best way to research is to get out there on social media. Take a look at the content of others who are working in the same space as you. What are they doing well? How does their audience respond to them? What could possibly be improved on?
You can also utilize the personas you've created at this step. How do you see your personas reflected in real users online? How would your personas respond to content that is already available online? Keep your observations on hand as you work on your content. If you get stuck, check in on your research and personas. You'll be able to reflect on the most effective points to incorporate into your content and avoid unnecessary filler.
Publish your content
Now that you've optimized your content, it's time to hit the post button and get your content out there to the world! When it comes to publishing content, make sure you're keeping user needs in mind. People tend to follow content creators who post high-quality content on a consistent basis. Working on your personas and choosing the right platform for your needs will help with the high-quality piece. To make sure you're delivering great content consistently, try utilizing a content planner or calendar. This will keep you on track and give your users new content to look forward to as you build a core audience.
Measure your success
Now that your content is out there, you can return to the SMART goals you set at the beginning of your project. At this stage, you'll be able to reflect on the "measurable" aspect of your goal. How do you know that you're on track. Think about your ultimate outcome. Were you aiming for conversions? A certain amount of followers?
Different platforms have different ways to measure success. Reflect on some of your KPIs, or key performance indicators. Did your numbers match up to the goals you set at the beginning? Having clearly defined KPIs will allow you to access and move forward in your content strategy.
Update your content strategy based on your measurement
After you've taken time to look at some of your KPIs, you can plan for the future. Reflect on your strategy process. Where did you see the most success? What aspects of your plan didn't work as well? Take your newly gained information and experience to your next planning session. This will help you set more strong goals and deliver great outcomes in the future as you grow.
Strategy is essential
A well-planned strategy is the best way to ensure success in your content creation. When you have a strong end goals, progress marks along the way, a great body of research, and a strong understanding of your audience, you can create content that provides real, tangible value.
Planning can seem overwhelming at first, but working on projects one step at a time can make the whole process run smoothly. Now, it's time to get started! Grab your planner and get ready to see your goals come to life.
Written by Parker Dietz
Parker is a staple in our marketing team - Our Marketing Manager brings with him an intimate knowledge of the platform, and is our go-to on technical topics, and user behavior. With a wealth of knowledge about competitors and pricing, Parker is all about exploring the best way to communicate Cohley's benefits. Outside of work, Parker enjoys poorly playing guitar at parties, watching every Adam Sandler movie ever made, and eating Arabic food.