Sometimes the pressure to create original content and data overload can make you feel lost in your content strategy, whether you’re working by yourself or as a part of a team.
So, what can help you get back on track in those moments you don’t know what to do next?
When you feel stuck it’s smart to start by analyzing the current situation of your content strategy to find exactly where you stand.
Once you have better picture of the current situation, you can set brand new content marketing objectives and goals for your brand.
Auditing your strategy might seem like a lot of work, but it doesn’t have to be complicated.
The brand identity
Let’s start by looking at your brand as a whole. How does your brand identity affect the content you produce?
Just as a quick reminder, the content strategy is a part of the overall brand strategy. A brand strategy includes other elements such as brand identity elements, brand mission, social standing and so on.
It is essential that you build a strong brand identity as an anchor that will help you when you’re creating content. Most importantly a brand purpose and a target audience.
The purpose of your brand ties together the value you provide with a stronger meaning behind it. It will help drive your brand from your side, but it will also let people know what you stand for. You can relate the purpose with your audience by writing brand mission and vision statements.
1. What is your brand story?
2. What are you trying to accomplish with your work?
3. Where does your brand fit in society?
4. Where do you see your brand in the future?
These are the people that you’re creating the content for. Having a good understanding of the potential followers is very helpful in creating content and growing your brand. You can get into the mind of your audience if you know more about who they are.
1. Who is a typical customer of your brand?
2. What are some problems that your audience has?
3. What is the level of knowledge they have?
4. How does your brand solve their problems?
Figure out who you’re talking to and how your content and brand will fit into their lives. Are your brand identity and purpose strong enough or do they need some improving?
The goal of a content strategy is to create and distribute valuable and relevant content to attract that audience. That means that you should get to know the demand for content in your niche and market. You can do that by using the power of search engines like Google.
Start by preparing questions for your research. Here are a few examples:
* What are some questions you can answer?
* What type of content is performing well with the target audience?
* What social media platforms does the audience use the most?
* What are the keywords that your audience uses?
* How big is the audience pool?
The type of market that you’re entering will most likely be a competitive one. That means, there are many people and brands, that are offering the same thing you are.
That is where market research comes in handy. Think about the information you collected, and how it can help you here.
* Does your brand stand out from the competition?
* Is there something people are looking for, but nobody is providing?
* How can you be different than everybody else?
* What do you bring to the table, that your competition doesn’t?
There are millions of pieces of content uploaded to the internet each minute. That means that your brand needs to stand out in some way in order to get noticed. To obtain a better understanding of your position in the market, you can run inside analysis.
SWOT Analysis is a strategic planning framework that can help identify the strengths, weaknesses, and threats of a brand, related to business and project planning.
Of course, we’re going to give it a content twist to help you recognize the potential of your content marketing strategy. You’ve already performed some market research so it should be easy to put certain things into perspective. Use this printable worksheet to write down your analysis.
What is the type of content that has worked well for your brand so far? Maybe you have great visual elements, interesting short stories for your posts or informative articles that people share.
That is important because once you establish an image of what has worked for you so far, you can track back to why is specifically that type of content work well. How was that content created, delivered and communicated to the audience, can tell you why it worked.
What area of content does your brand need to improve? Think about the channels that you’re underperforming or not even using for your content strategy.
This can be a lack of website content, low post and follower count on social media, not receiving organic traffic and so on. That will help you understand where you need to step up and improve your content.
Is there something you can take advantage of, but haven’t capitalized on? The opportunity slot should include available options for your content in the future. Are there platforms that can be used to target people, but you haven’t done so far? Maybe some of your content can be re-purposed for other channels as well.
This step is where we will go into more details in the next lesson. Where you can read about setting specific goals for your content.
What are some troubles that you can possibly face along the way of content creation? This can include things like low paid promotion budget, not enough people working on the planned projects, not enough time and so on.
Whatever you put inside this slot is not to discourage you from doing work, instead to help you prepare even better on those fronts or to find a way around the problems.
Take it a Step Futher
It’s incredible how sometimes a post can pick up in speed and get more engagement than anything else you’ve posted.
When this happens to a specific post, you should always go into research mode and find out as much as you can why it happened.
Look at the people who interacted with your top post. Did profiles with a high follower count help your post by sharing it? What are the most common reactions and comments?
Are there any measurable trends that you can find across your content? By studying the analytics of your performance, try to draw conclusions on content spikes and lows.
Remember, it’s not about giving your content a new face, but more about showing off your brand personality.