You might have content… but do you have content strategy?

I created this image by photographing gears fr...
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“I need content”, my clients tell me. And often, that’s the initial reason they engage my services: to create content. But content on its own has very little value. Press releases, articles, blogs, ebooks, whatever. This stuff is all useless on its own.

New content needs to work with existing content, and with the content that the business will produce in the future. It cannot work in a vacuum. It’s like gears in a machine. A gear on its own has no value but when it works in conjunction with other gears, it runs a machine.

So, what needs to happen before you have that press release written? What needs to happen before you have those articles drafted? You need to figure out how that one gear interacts with other gears to run the machine. You (or your content specialist) needs to perform a content strategy analysis.

Content strategy looks at everything you’re producing and the effect it intends to have. Then, content is created to fit exactly what is needed.

When you’re producing content for your business (or hiring someone to produce it for you), use these questions to help you understand your strategy:

  1. Who is the intended audience?
  2. Where are they in your sales pipeline?
  3. What is the next step you want your audience to take as a result of reading this content?
  4. Is this content part of a larger body of work? (If so, is there some kind of connection between this and the previously created content?)
  5. Where will this content be distributed? (Is my audience looking there for this information?)
  6. How can I attract more potential audience to the content?
  7. What are the short-term, medium-term, and long-term goals of the business?
  8. Does this content contribute to those goals?

These questions are a starting point to help determine how a single request for content fits into the larger business picture.

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