How to create the best content strategy

What comes first: your editorial calendar or your content strategy? What’s the difference? An editorial calendar plans what you will talk about, the audiences you want to reach and the channels through which you will communicate. The best content strategy guides your writers as they produce the appropriate type of content to execute this plan. Without a content strategy, their writing could be missing its mark and you could be losing business. 

A lot is riding on your content strategy

People will form opinions about your company and products based in part on what you tell them on your website, and in your emails, blogs, social posts and by-lined articles. If you conduct your own media outreach, the media will also form an opinion of you based on all the above PLUS the writing caliber of your press releases. 

The quality of what you write could influence whether or not you draw people into your sales process or earn media coverage. 

The best content strategy includes these five elements

  1. It ensures everything is written in a consistent voice. You want audiences to feel like they know you. You want them to like you and trust you. It can be confusing to readers if you have multiple writers each using a different writing style. Make sure your writers can capture your desired company persona whether they are producing content for your website or customer emails. 
  2. It uses Media-Grade Content®. A well-constructed media story nurtures trust and product loyalty because it is informative, interesting and authoritative. It is written in complete sentences and not riddled with punctuation errors. Ideally, it follows the media’s preferred AP Style. When your content would pass the media’s stringent high standards, it is more credible. 
  3. It ensures content is written for the desired market(s). For each piece of content written, your writers should understand the audience’s demographics as well as where they are related to the Innovation Adoption Curve. Content that would easily resonate with a baby boomer might not even attract the attention of a millennial. Similarly, you would speak differently to someone who always wants to be the first to try a new product than someone who is typically and fiercely brand loyal. 
  4. It ensures content is written for the specific channel. In addition to varying word and character counts, blogs and newsletters will have different writing parameters than articles, social posts and press releases. You may want your owned digital content, for example, to be more casual than your press releases and articles. 
  5. It ensures content is focused on predetermined product(s) and primary value points.  As you follow your editorial calendar, you will cycle through your products, value points and other criteria. Writers should have guidelines to ensure they stay on point with these details. (Elements 3, 4 and 5 are incorporated into Step 5 of our Strategically Aimed Marketing® process, Control Templates.) 

Every time someone reads about your business or products, it’s essential to make that contact positive and high value. Contact us online or by calling 952-697-5269 to discuss how our writers can strengthen your connections with your audiences. 

 

Written by Robin Miller

Robin will coordinate the writing for your newsletters, social media posts, website, blogs, newsletters and press releases. “I like interviewing clients and spokespeople, hearing their stories, getting to know their personalities and listening to how they phrase their thoughts,” she says. “It’s fun to transform what I’ve learned from those conversations into media-grade content.” Robin enjoys shaping content to ensure that the message will be clearly received. “When someone understands the relevance of what they’re writing and can position it properly for their audience, their work tends to be more convincing and on point. I’m fortunate to have a very diverse background, which gives me a good perspective whenever we bring on a new client.” An IABC- and Mercury-award winner, Robin says her practical experience in the health sciences has proven particularly beneficial as she interprets clients’ scientific information for mainstream media. “But it’s no longer sufficient to write well,” she cautions. “As marketers, we must now comply with the intricacies of digital marketing. That involves a whole set of rules, which are constantly evolving.”

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