When it comes to business, it’s all about strategy. Every aspect of your business must have a strategy, from starting to product development and long term growth. Content strategy is no different, I mean why should it be, it’s the front window of your shop.
You’ve probably seen this on some of my other blog posts:
The top is for awareness, you must make your customers aware of
- Your existence
- Your ability or expertise
- Your products and services
So How Do You Create A Content Strategy?
Firstly, you must know your target audience, who do you want to attract, who are your ideal customers. (Download this customer avatar worksheet)
Secondly, where are they hiding, because marketing is like a game of hide and seek, but with content you can always win. I’ll explain later.
Thirdly, what do they want, what are their needs and pain points?
Fourthly, how will you fulfil that need and help them overcome their pain?
So, let’s dive in…
1. Who Is You Target Audience?
I started a recruitment agency in my teens, so let’s use that as an example. So, who is my target audience? Who is my potential customer?
A recruitment business has two parts,
- Securing Job Vacancies from companies
- Sourcing potential candidates.
So, we have two audiences, business owner or managers and potential candidates.
We can narrow this further down by specifying what type of business, for e.g. schools and teachers, you can further narrow it down to secondary schools and maths teachers.
Now our targeting looks something like this:
Business – Schools – Secondary Schools AND
Candidate – Teacher – Maths Teacher
As a business, we now have identified two clients or target audiences that we need to attract.
2. Where Are They Hiding?
Obviously, they are not hiding but you get what I mean.
The most obvious answer would be the internet. Yes, but where on the internet? LinkedIn maybe? As it’s a professional role and the services are B2B.
Where else? Everyone is on Facebook, right? How about YouTube, twitter, Pinterest…. Initially I would probably limit it to LinkedIn and Facebook.
Once you have identified a platform, narrow it down to where on the platform. So, let’s think…. (10 mins later), they would probably be hanging out in groups related to Ofsted (UK Government regulatory body), DFE (Department for Education) related issues, school unions etc.…
Where would the teachers be hiding?
Think… (15mins later), teacher discussion forums, teacher resources groups, student behaviour management related groups etc.…
Let’s look at an overview version:
Internet – LinkedIn – Ofsted groups
Internet – Facebook – Teacher discussion forums
3. What Do They Need And What Are Their Pain Points?
Once we know who we warn to target and where we can find them, we need to brainstorm and explore what they need. You must look at this from a business perspective as they may have many needs that do not relate to the business, so we need to stay focus on needs and pain points that can relate to the business. For example, they may be discussing issues like staffing, training, being over worked, etc.…
Schools pain points:
- Staff calling in sick
- Staff not trained
- Staff not qualified
- Staff not safety checked
- The process of hiring new staff
Teachers pain points:
- Under paid
- Lack of support
- School too far
- School culture
I think you get the point.
4. How Do You Address These Needs?
Do you really think you can go into one of these LinkedIn groups and just keep saying we got candidates or we got vacancies?
You must address their pain points with insightful content.
So, let’s take an example.
School – Lack of training.
How many ideas can you think of related to this? … (10 mins later)
We can maybe write on:
- Tips on how to quickly train staff
- How to find and source trained staff
- 4 ways to upskill your staff
I don’t know, I am just throwing ideas, whatever business you are in you will know better, but you should get the point by now.
But how do I convert them into clients if I am giving solutions?
People are busy, they don’t have time to do many tasks themselves and would rather have done for your solutions, hence why at the end of each blog post you have a subtle call to action “We have trained staff in your area, click here”.
Also, they may not use your services this time around, but they are now aware of your brand and services and if needed will come to you when they are ready.
Another thing, people consume content differently, some like to read, some to watch, some brows over an info graphic quickly, so you as a business need to ensure you have a consistent flow of quality content in different formats.
Let’s look at what we have come up with:
And then you break this down as much as you can. You can have multiple content for each pain point each addressing it from a different angle. Also, we have only narrowed it down to secondary schools, how about primary schools, or even a totally different business such care homes, each time you narrow it down, the more pain points you will find and the more opportunity you will have to create content which fulfils the needs of your clients resulting in brand awareness and inevitably increase in sales.
You offer information and educate your audiences, they will trust you and pay you back by investing in your services.
That my friend is how you develop your perfect content strategy, some people will give you 73 more steps, but I like to keep it simple, 4 steps and you’re done.
Download this template to start building your content strategy.
Take care be happy!