How to Create a Content Strategy, Part 1

Sep 28, 2017

I hate the words “content strategy”. I think it sounds icky and gross, like most words that marketers make up.

The thing is, we used to call this storytelling. That was problematic. Every creative professional alive wants to call themselves a storyteller, and they have a right to. Photographers, filmmakers, and writers are all storytellers. So we looked for something else to call this process, and we settled on the disgusting “content strategy.”

But you need a content strategy for your website.

The way I see it, there are just a few ways to get people more familiar with your brand, product, or service.

One of them is networking. I don’t know a lot of people who like networking. That’s not to say that networking is bad, but most people I know have had bad experiences with it. Going to a networking event can be like getting into a small pool with a bunch of great white sharks, and telling all of them that you’re only there to expand your network.

Another option is advertising. I want to be clear and say that almost everything you do to tell your story is advertising, whether you’re buying a billboard ad, making a Youtube video, or buying Google Adwords. Your time spent at networking events, getting eaten by sharks, is time that you’re spending on your marketing and advertising. So advertising is inescapable, and it’s not a different “thing.” Let’s treat it all as one and the same.

The final option I think you have is this: take command of your story and bring it to the people who are already looking for it.

That’s content marketing. That’s how you tell your story.

It’s also the hardest out of all of them. You need to do a bit of research, and you need to spend a lot of time thinking. You might even need to hire somebody. At the end of the day, you’re vying for somebody’s attention, and attention is more valuable than money, so it’s considerably harder to earn. But it reaps more rewards than any other method.

So here’s how to create a content strategy:

  1. Identify your audience. Who are you? What is it that you’re selling? You want to write, very specifically, about something related to your business.
  2. Identify the channels you want to use (go where your audience is). Instagram and Facebook are great if you’re opening a gelato restaurant. LinkedIn is not.
  3. Find ways to create value for the people you want to attract. You’ll naturally begin to find an audience if you’re creating value. The content you make comes from this value.
  4. Share everything you know, and charge for the things that are worth paying for. This is a great example of sharing everything you know. Another example might be backing up a website.

We’re going to dive into each of these topics over the next few weeks. I hope you’ll join me.


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