How Do You Create an Effective Content Strategy?

What defines the concept of an ‘effective content strategy’? What are the characteristics that prove a strategy effective? With more of an emphasis being placed on the creation of new, fresh and epic content, it makes sense to assume that a strategy can only be labelled as ‘effective’ once the content begins to perform.

While we focus our efforts on creating effective content strategies that will not only blow our brands away but also our audience, we often forget about the quality of the content that needs to be created. A symbiotic relationship in its own right, the success of a content strategy depends entirely on the nature of the content and the way in which consumers react to it. However, an average strategy would inevitably fall apart, ultimately emphasizing the need to understand how to define impressive content.

The Characteristics of Success-Yielding Content

  • Impressive content yields many shares by consumers and influencers.
  • It provides versatile and interesting information.
  • Great content is thorough and comprehensive.
  • The content has an extended shelf-life and can be re-purposed.
  • Successful content delivers consistent and sustainable results.
  • Great content also differentiates the brand as an industry thought leader.
  • The content also develops trust between your consumers and your brand.

Although it is rather easy to define the characteristics of great content, it is not as simple for agencies to consistently produce content that is of a notable quality or that meets the expectations of the consumer, and this is the pinnacle that determines the success of your content. While your authentic content does the legwork, your strategy needs to ensure that there is no space for error or a lapse in quality. With an immense number of Millennials (62% of them, to be exact) who judge their loyalty to a specific brand on the type of online content that is produced, you should ensure that your strategy guides you towards the 86% of B2B agencies that are making use of new, fresh content to boost the image of their brands. Here’s how you do it:

Ideation

Although the concept of ‘ideation’ seems relatively simple, it is important to work through this step to ensure that your creative team is on the right track, and that you’re able to harvest the good ideas from those that may not have the potential to yield favorable results. Be sure to get your team to draft their ideas, discuss them and come to a unanimous decision on which ones you’ll use to move forward.

Research

The more research that your creative team does, the better your strategy will be. For your strategy to take off, you will need to understand what already exists, what is trending and what is not working. Make use of the information that is available to ensure that your strategy is relevant, balanced and thorough. Give examples of existing content that works and some that doesn’t work – this will ensure that your brand understands your thought processes.

Define the Nature of Content

Once you’ve conducted your ideation sessions and done ample research, be sure to define the nature of your content. Ask yourself the following:

  • What is the format of the content?
  • What is the structure of the content?

Be sure to choose a format with which your team is most comfortable – if blogging is your chosen format, be sure that your writers can blog with ease. When it comes to the structure of your content, encourage your writers to come up with a framework of what needs to be covered to ensure that the content is exhaustive. Once you’ve reached the point at which you are comfortable enough to begin creating your content, be sure to treat every step of the writing process with rigorous thought. 

Keep an eye on how your content performs once the strategy is actioned, and if you find that certain themes, formats or platforms perform better than others, make sure that you adjust your strategy. What does this entail? Getting rid of the elements that don't yield results and upping the elements that do. After all's said and done, an effective content strategy takes change into account and is ready for it.     

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Source:

  1. Michael Georgiou. ‘7 Step Content Creation Strategy for Epic Content Marketing’.  http://www.jeffbullas.com/2015/02/28/7-step-content-creation-strategy-for-epic-content-marketing/