Content is a cool tool that helps you build your unique community, make friends with your target audience, and inspire people to increase traffic to your site. You choose your own goals, and you need a strategy to achieve them. Otherwise, posting will become chaos, and publications' ideas will gradually disappear. We broke down the process into 7 steps, which can help you develop a strategy and never think about what to write about tomorrow.

Defining content objectives

Why do we need content, and what do we get as a result? - The two main questions that need to be answered at the beginning. Every company may have different goals; here are a few examples:
  • increase sales
  • increase traffic to the site
  • build trust with the audience
  • improve reputation
  • to create a company image.
Small companies more often have the goal to increase sales, while corporations have the goal to improve their image.

Analysing the market

Nowadays, you cannot do without analytics. In order to understand the needs of the audience and to hit the target with content, it is necessary to study various researches: trends in digital, from social networks to online publications and competitors' youtube channels. This will help identify your strengths and weaknesses.

Let's say you're selling an online marketing course. According to research, most zoomers and millennials believe you can get a high-paying job without a college degree. Your job is to convert this thesis into a post and tell them, for example, that you don't have to spend 5 years in university to become a digital marketer; you can take courses in 1 year.

Writing the product USP

To present a product to the audience in an interesting way, it is important to research it independently. You can turn to marketers or become a mystery shopper and study the product yourself to do this. It is better to use two methods at once.

Study your competitors

This is a great way to find out which posts go to your audience and which publications are best left out. You'll understand what you can take and how you can stand out from other accounts.

What is important to pay attention to:
  • What sites do your competitors publish posts on
  • What design do they use?
  • How they serve content and what tone of voice they use
  • Activities - contests, quizzes, questionnaires, etc.
You should also note the formats used by other accounts, such as stories, cards in posts, videos, and other engagement stuff. Analyse how they can be applied to your company.

Drawing a portrait of your target audience

It is important to understand people's needs and interests and how you can use the content to close them. There are several ways to do this: Manually search for active commentators on the pages of competitors in social networks and analyse their accounts. Or order analytics in a special service; there are many such proposals on the market.

Developing a portrait of the client may also be useful for the latest trends, which can be learned from research. It is best to highlight a maximum of 3 audience segments. Otherwise, your content will not have a logical connection. This rule does not apply to large companies with a wide range of products.

Choosing the tone of voice

To determine your communication style, imagine that your brand is a real person who needs to have a dialogue with several people from different segments at the same time. Think about what these interlocutors have in common, and choose something in between.

Develop a rubric

This is usually a table in Excel. If necessary, you can add to the table comments on what audience the post is written for and what needs it covers.

The content strategy is ready! This is an important document on the development of the company in social networks or online publications and blogs, which can take several weeks to prepare. But you'll never have a problem with what to publish tomorrow.

Everyone is probably tired of the claim that we live in historic times. But we do - fortunately or unfortunately. It seems that there is a sharp perturbation in absolutely every sphere when specialists in one or another industry are forced to rebuild and look for new ways to realise themselves. Digital professionals, content managers, taggers, and so on have also been affected by this. It’s vital to have professional content writers, not only for “write my paper for cheap” type of services but also to build your content strategy. But on the other hand - it's an opportunity to get out of your comfort zone (although not everyone agrees that you have to get out of it at all) and switch brains.

What's this all about? The content plan is a good and important thing, but always keep in mind the surprise factor. You can't write out a strategy for a month in advance and follow it clearly, not paying attention to external changes. Flexibility and the ability to react quickly to challenges are key skills in all professions that can't be ignored. Especially now.

The most difficult thing for me has always been situational marketing - instant adaptation to events as they happen. It is impossible to put it into a content plan, but it is possible and necessary to keep it in mind.

From this comes content segmentation. In general, it's common practice to segment forms of content - news, ads, newsletters, videos, instructions, cards, and so on. If you choose one format and clearly go by it, you deprive your audience of a product.

But still, making a content plan comes down to your target audience - which is they, what are they interested in, what do they like, and what kind of content are they used to consuming?

You can get valuable information about your audience by studying your competitors. And that's where competitive analysis comes in, which will help answer a few short but very important questions - who are your competitors, what platforms they use, what is their ERR, and what potential threats they will help bring to your brand?

Tracking your competitors is one of the whales on which a successful strategy rests. It will help you set the right goals for your marketing strategy.

What is important to consider when analysing your competitors? Social media behaviour - what platforms are they represented on, what content and what content formats do they distribute, which posts "get in" better and which ones are worse? How often do they share content in general, and how well do they present text/photo/video? Do they work with Influencers, and what format does this take?

In general, working with bloggers is the way to increase the visibility and reach of niche groups on social networks. And it's often not the size of the audience that matters. What matters is how interested this audience is in your content.

Answering all these questions and constantly monitoring your competitors' results is a direct way to make a "working" content plan for your brand and an opportunity to avoid mistakes by the example of others.