The strategy of things; content wise.
I’ve recently been writing more about the strategy of things. ie: how I apply strategic frameworks to the way I run my life – marriage, parenting, other relationships, helping myself get out of dark spots mental-healthily-speaking.
The idea excites people.
I believe that’s because the connection is a super simple one. Simple enough to be missed. But once you’ve seen it you can’t unsee it. Thinking strategically before you do something works everywhere.
Most people now spend a little time at the end of the year thinking about what they would like to achieve in the next year. They set goals for themselves both personally and professionally – either company-wellness-assisted, or on their own.
One of the easiest ways to get to that goal in today’s world is to use content marketing.
It applies whether you’re a small biz hanging onto every word Gary Vaynerchuck says, or a personal brand, just trying to put your best goshdarn foot out there and let people see your awesomeness.
To get hired.
To get your current peeps to see greater value.
I have my own take on things. We all have our ways of breaking down the shit we’re good at. And we all have our tribes of people who ‘feel’ our way.
In my case that way is frameworks.
I love me a pretty little package. If you have uber-Pinteresty bows on it, maybe I’ll look even closer.
To make things memorable, I like to use formulas, alliteration, numbering. You know, the human brain likes cadence.
So cadence, I got! I’m a writer aren’t I? A writer who likes things like keywording and A/B testing and looking at analytics dashboards atleast once a day. (I lie, it’s more. #TheGeekWillInheritTheEarth)
Here’s what I’ve got for ya. A series of 10 blog posts on content strategy. We’ll run these at twice a week for the next 5 weeks. In just over a month, you’ll have a full system.
What I call the CliffsNotes to help you speed-read your way through my whole content strategy process.
No catches. No sign up forms.
Options exist if you want to join the communities we have going. Details in the bottom of this post. Or if you want to level up to more detail on these systems I have programs. But only if you want.
Even if you only apply only the free content I provide on the subject of content strategy, you’ll see a big difference in the efficacy of your online presence.
While these strategy frameworks were made for content… because that’s my job, and it makes me happy, and it’s how I think… it works for so many things.
Entirely scalable, up or down to whatever you like.
So here goes.
In all content, whether a video for your spouse’s milestone birthday, or a blog post at work that someone dumped on you, you need at least 2 things.
- Knowledge of who your audience is.
- Organization – what are you doing with the content piece once its done? This one has laaaayyyyyers. Distribution. Repurposing. (Guest posting. Lead generation +++)
If you don’t have these things, your content marketing is going to be nowhere near as effective as it can be.
But, fear not! I gotcha.
Like all good things, effective content marketing begins with a strategy. Don’t let the big “S” word scare you. Getting to a content strategy is easier than you think.
Here are four simple steps to help you start thinking more strategically about your content.
1. Define a goal
Imagine you’re an employed professional and you posted curated, 3rdparty content to your LinkedIn profile everyday. First, what should you be posting? The answer to that lies in what you want it to do.
Sure, you want people to look at it – but why?
Do you want a recruiter to find it so that they would call you for jobs based on how smart and on the ball you are? Do you want to promote a new product on your website would like to use all this curation to drive traffic? (In which case, how are you tracking? See point 4.) This is a safe space. Voice the dream in your head. Reality hits it soon enough.
The more questions you ask yourself, the clearer your answer is going to be and your goal becomes apparent.
Break. It. Down.
2. Identify an audience
Who are the people you want to connect with?
How do you know they are them?
Where will you find them?
What are they like?
What might they be reading/streaming on Netflix?
Unless you know that, you’re going to be shooting in the dark and you won’t get any results. If you don’t know where to start identifying an audience, try my free tool that will help you define your content target audience in a fun way. (Pin-up. 50’s style. Male and female, no sexism here. Free buyer profile at the end. Go, get it!)
3. Have an operations plan
If you’re curating content, how often will you do that? Where are you going to source the content from? What tools are you going to use to schedule your content? There’s lots to think about and having a rudimentary sketch of a game plan is never a bad idea.
4. Set some metrics and then measure them
To go back to the curation example, if you want a recruiter to find you, how are you going to know a recruiter actually did? How many recruiters do you want looking at your profile? Ten? One way to do that is to go on LinkedIn and look at your profile views and see who’s been looking at you. Metrics make content accountable and content that doesn’t work can easily be changed.
Start practicing those four steps consistently, and you’ll already have more strategy in your content than you had five minutes ago.
We go into MUCH more detail in future posts. I’ll even incorporate multimedia and gaming.
It’ll be awesome.
Join our Facebook group – #ContentHacks – content marketing for small brands.