Recently on our podcast Digitalism, we discussed the dirty word of “strategy” and why it’s so vitally important to your business to have a plan in place before spending money on executing marketing tactics.
Today, I want to get into the details of how you can build a content strategy and what it looks like to practically execute on that plan.
But first, a story.
We have a client who is a small family-owned company in a multi-billion dollar industry. Although they’re kings to us, they’re small fish in a massive pond that have long beaten the competition through their customer service and their willingness to sacrifice profit for the good of the industry or the environment.
A couple of years ago, we collectively decided to make a simple but beautifully shot video that explained who they were and why they were unique.
One of the top 10 companies in the world got a hold of it and were inspired. They reached out to our client with an idea for partnership.
That company is now a client for our customer…and they’ve become a bigger fish in the pond as result.
This sounds pretty good right? Everyone should sign up for this growth plan! And for just 5 easy payments of $3,000 you too can …
Nah, I’m just kidding.
The reality is that this story was the end result of months of hard work and lots of investment from our customer. They chose to invest deeply into their content strategy, and saw the results pay off.
Here’s how it’s done:
- First off, you have to identify your company values or pillars.
What makes you unique? What do you believe/do/provide that no other company in the world does the same way? What is the reason that your customers should believe in you with their hard-earned dollars?These are the pillars we’ll build your entire content strategy around, so make sure you spend some time thinking through this.Once you feel solid on what your core pillars are – you can begin to brainstorm creative ways to communicate your pillars to your customers. The actual activation here is less relevant than the intent of your message and the fact that you’ll deliver it where your customers are spending time (which is why you need a strategy to begin with…but I digress)
- Next, you need to develop creative buckets or “shows” that can deliver ongoing value to your customer.
I say shows, because the way we think about content strategy for our customers is simple.Every company in 2019 is a media company. This isn’t an original thought of mine, but it’s true nonetheless. Whether you’re a pizza shop, a manufacturer, or an actual media company – the barriers between you and your customer have been lowered and now it’s up to you to create your own media and PR for better or worse.As result, we want to come up with episodic “shows” that inform, entertain, or education your customer in a way that engages their interest and communicates your core values.
These don’t have to be actual video shows, but they do need to be consistently produced content series that can be placed in front of your customers’.
- Once you have your show concepts in place, begin creating assets and then flight them to the places you know your customer is spending time.
This might be Facebook, LinkedIn, Youtube, Podcast, Email or something entirely different. You should know this information based on the strategic work you’ve done internally.Then overtime, monitor what “shows” are attracting attention and double down your efforts to create more and better within that concept.
For our customer, creating a content series around sustainability proved extremely effective. So, we continued to spread that message on the relevant platforms and have continued to create new episodes since.
Your business is a media platform, whether you want to be or not. What’s the lineup that your customers can watch in order to better understand if they want to work with your or not?
Finding your core message and giving your customers a way to identify and engage with that message is the crux of your content strategy. Following these steps will help you lay out the roadmap to creating content that starts a relevant conversation with your prospect.