A successful content strategy needs 6 different prerequisites to have an impact:
1. Target Audience Research
The first prerequisite for a successful content strategy is your target audience research. Why do you need a target audience research? You need to know who you are addressing, where they like to hang out and spend their time online. Also, you need to know what their pain points are and what their goals are. That way, you know how to get their attention and how to get them to respond to you. This knowledge alone is worth the time you spend on it. Imagine: You know what your target audience wants to hear from you to respond!
2. Competitor Research
The second prerequisite for a successful content strategy is a competitor research. Why do you need a competitor research? It is simple why: You need to find out what has been done before. Has it worked? Has it not worked? Maybe you can find gaps that haven’t been filled yet. A good competitor research will give you a complete overview about what is currently online, can give you a lot of ideas on what to add and what to leave out.
3. Marketing Strategy
The third prerequisite for a successful content strategy is a marketing strategy. You need to be clear about what your overall goal for your marketing is. If you don’t know where you are going, you will not arrive. Also, you will need to know your specific goals for each of your social networks. Each one of them is ultimately suited for a specific purpose, so you have to decide what you will use each one for. In addition, you need to know what you are measuring and why. In your marketing strategy, you would cover your goals, your mission, your vision, and your key performance indicators. It is important to create a baseline, so you know where you are at right now, and a vision of where you want to go. Another important part of your marketing strategy is that you need to know which of your numbers shows you when you get closer to your goals: You need to know what you need to measure.
4. Content Audit
The fourth prerequisite for a successful content strategy is a content audit. That means you’re going to look through all your content that you have right now. When I say content audit, I don’t only mean a written content audit. Look at what kind of videos you have. If you do podcasts or speaking engagements, do you have anything recorded? Do you have written things as well? Do you have graphics? What do you have on content right now? That way, you know what you have and where you starting from and what you may have to add or create in order to go where you want to go.
The fifth prerequisite for a successful content strategy is your analytics. You need to take a look at all of them: Your social media analytics and your Google analytics for your website. If you don’t have any of them yet, because you’re just starting out, that’s fine as well. You will have to guess at the beginning (educated guessing!) and then check your analytics to see what worked.
Analytics help you to see when people are responding to which content. Analytics give you a better idea about what your target audience really wants – if your current following is your target audience.
6. Your Budget And Time
The sixth prerequisite for a successful content strategy is your budget and your time. All of the last 5 prerequisites will take a little bit of time to do, so you need to go ahead and schedule the steps for each into your calendar. If you have a bigger budget, but no time to do the prerequisites, you can hire someone to do the prerequisites for you (you can hire me :)). If you have a lot of time, but no budget, you will obviously want to do the prerequisites yourself.
Depending on how deep you want to go for each of the prerequisites, you may have to pay for tools to do your target audience research and your competitor research.
Once you have those prerequisites in place, you can start creating your content strategy. They will build the foundation for a successful content strategy.
Wishing you all the best,
About the Author
I help coaches, entrepreneurs and service providers to jumpstart their online visibility by providing social media marketing strategy, social media training and social media management. I am in business since 2008. You know you are making social media work for you if you are still in business after 10 years and thriving!
Aside from my continuous education in social media, my claim to fame is that all of my clients find me on social media. They contact me. Can you imagine what that would do for your business if prospective clients are contacting you? No cold calling involved.