Creating a content strategy for your business to use on its website and social media, gives your brand much needed consistency. A high level of consistency will positively grow your brand’s image. A positive brand image will build loyalty among your followers. Loyal brand followers will not only support your business but make those very important words of mouth recommendations for your business.
Do you see where we’re going with this?
Today we’re going to walk you through understanding what a content strategy is and why it’s important, plus how to create a kick-ass one for your business.
What is a Content Strategy?
A clearly defined content strategy defines what the world, or your target market, sees of and about your business. It’s a set of standards which define your business’ branding, including the obvious logo and colours, as well as messages and writing style.
An effective content strategy will be a living document. It will evolve as your business does, adapting to changes when you make them. At the minimum, it’s a good idea to review it every 6-12 months.
Inside your strategy document, you’ll find specific details on your:
- target audience
- writing style, including language, grammar and punctuation
- tone and voice
- images, fonts and colours
- types of content
We’ll discuss more on what’s included in your content strategy shortly, but for now, let’s take a look at the reasons it’s important to have one.
Why Your Business Needs a Content Strategy
If you’re on the fence about whether it’s worth the time to develop a strategy for your business’ website and social media content, then this is for you. We strongly believe that a business with a strong brand presence doesn’t happen by magic. It takes hard work to maintain a consistent face to your audience, but one which is made easier with a content guide.
Creating a content strategy will help:
- create a consistent message – consistency helps grow trust with your audience, building positive relationships. This consistency will be seen not only on your website and in your social media posts, but also in your newsletters and in printed media.
- help your team – if you are a relatively new sole trader, chances are that you are doing everything yourself, making keeping things the same easy. But as you grow, outsourcing parts of your content is most likely going to happen. Whether you hire a copywriter for your blogs or someone to create social media posts, if they don’t know what your content style is, they can’t replicate it.
- helps your target audience – if your brand image and wording stays the same, people will instantly recognise your business’ work. People like things to remain the same, and when you’ve gone to the effort of tailoring your brand to suit your audience, why keep changing it?
- make your content better – if you know how to communicate with your audience, then you’ll get very experienced in creating content just for them. Practice makes perfect after all.
Ready to get on and develop one for your business? Well, next on today’s agenda, we’ll cover how to create a content guide for your business.
Creating a Business Content Strategy Guide
We’ve explained the benefits of developing a content guide and touched on what you’d expect to find inside one. So, it is time we looked at each aspect in detail and walked you through how to create your own content strategy.
As mentioned above, there are six different types of things you’d expect to see inside a strategy guide:
1. Target Audience
Also known as your buyer persona, this area will clearly state who your target audience is. This will include information about their demographics, problems and interests. You’ll also list their likes and dislikes, income and where they’ll find and follow your brand. What they find important about your business, the benefits they’ll receive from your business, their pain points and their values.
If you haven’t already, now is the time to nail out your target audience. Start by describing your ideal customer in words or/and images if that helps. List their characteristics and the benefits they’d personally receive from your business.
2. Writing Style, Including Language, Grammar and Punctuation
Will you write using formal language or slang? Are bullet points okay? What about quotes? Will you use emojis, paragraphs and words in foreign languages? Knowing what your writing style is will ensure that not only do your words remain similar, but so does your use of commas, hyphens, lists, bold and italic text. All these things ensure consistency remains in your messages with your audience.
Chances are you’ve already got an understanding of your writing style, and most likely it is something you already do naturally in your communications. After all, in the early stages, you are your brand. Make a list of the words you want to use and describe what your content will look like on the page.
3. Tone and Voice
The voice of your brand needs to sound the same no matter when it is used. Your audience needs to think that they are hearing from the same person every time they see your brand. This includes text within your website, email communications and social media. A brand voice is like a person, so you can give it attributes such as being friendly, kind and approachable. Your tone are the emotions or feelings someone gets when reading your text and what they will believe your business represents.
Make a list of words that people will believe your brand is (creative, religious etc) for the voice, and for the tone, how they’ll think you are (clever, caring or smart etc) to help you with this one.
Here you’ll list your main competitors, what their marketing strategies are, their top selling products or services and what their brand demonstrates to their audience. You want to be 100% certain about how your competitors present themselves so that you don’t copy them. Yes, that is right – don’t copy them! You want to stand out from your competitors, not look and sound the same as them.
Spend time researching where they advertise, the types of engagement they receive and where their content is found.
5. Images, Fonts and Colours
Here it’s all about your visual brand. Your logo, the colours you use, the shapes and fonts of your brand. To create this, you could copy and paste from your brand guide if you’ve got one. Or simply list the different aspects within this section of your content strategy guide.
6. Types of Content
For this, you’ll want to write down the types of content that you want your brand to share. Will it be content your suppliers have created, or 100% original works written by you? Are you going to write blogs or case studies and how often will they be added to your website? Will you link to other businesses with complimentary offerings? Then there needs to be a list of the types of content your business will never discuss, share or link to. Once again, a list will suffice here, as will specific examples of the types of approved and unapproved content other businesses may have created.
By now you should be ready to get cracking on creating a content strategy for your business. Remember this is just one specific task which can help propel your business. Our business development services can provide the additional support and advice you’ll need on growing your business. Get in touch with the team at MBP today and together we’ll get your business moving forward to where you want it to be.