Content Strategy is a big buzz word these days. And that whole ‘Content is King’ is alive and well. However, it’s not as complicated or time-consuming as you may think. A content strategy is simply a well-developed plan on what content you will develop, and how it will be used and managed. Large organisations may want to employ a dedicated content strategist. For small and micro organisations it doesn’t have to be a drawn-out affair. Building a content strategy for your small business can be created in a few simple steps:

  1. Know your business plan: How do you make money? What’s your best seller? What are your key themes? What is the purpose of your business? The key here is gathering business requirements.
  2. Know your audience: Who is your target audience? What are their needs? How are you currently attracting customers? The key here is gathering user requirements.
  3. Know your brand: What is your tone? What is your image? What is your messaging?
  4. Know your environment: What are your competitors doing? What are your keywords?

These are just sample questions for you to get the gist. And as every content strategy is different, you can make it your own. Most small businesses don’t invest too much time in a content strategy, but the benefits far outweigh the time invested. The strategy guides your online and offline content, web copy, Information Architecture, user experience/customer experience, SEO, and more. The initial step in a content strategy is always a bit of research. Some strategies invest the time to interview existing clients. But if you have accurate marketing personas they are invaluable here.

Content Creation

Performing a content audit is a best practice for an organization that has existing content. From here you will have a good idea on what you need to create. I have found that the best content comes from in-house, but I’ve seen great content comes from outsourcing as well. Your timing and budget will decide, but at least you can inform them of your content strategy and specific content. Make sure you have specific content goals such as to increase organic traffic or increase conversions. Make them time-specific, measurable and attainable – this isn’t a wish list!

Content Marketing

Marketing your content is exciting when you see the impact the content makes on your business. Based on your content strategy, you should have a good idea on which platforms to market and how. Just make sure that you’ve created current benchmarks to gauge your success. Link building is a popular content marketing tactic. It is a slow and on-going process, but it can have excellent long-term results!
Building a content strategy is the first step to creating content that grows your business.
If you are an entrepreneur or small business that needs help with building a content strategy, I can help. Get in touch.

Carolyn Bergshoeff is the founder of WindWater Marketing, a small business marketing firm based in Toronto, Canada. Carolyn helps her clients develop strategic content marketing plans (and content) that help their organizations grow.