Who is your target audience? How many different audiences are you creating content for?
For instance, you’re a time-tracking SaaS product. You find your target audience is owners or managers of firms with remote workers, freelancers, or people typically looking to optimize their time. Spoiler alert: this company actually exists.
Who are you making content for?
What problems are you solving for that audience?
Every article should quickly comment on some problems your target audience has, which ideally ties in well to your brand’s value proposition.
This implies studying content trends in your industry, testing hypotheses, and most importantly, talking to your ideal client and figuring out what makes them work.
Moving on with our example, we find that the better part of our target audience feels like their big daring problem is their productivity. Overall, every individual of our audience feels like to be more productive, so we write articles for hacks and tips on how to achieve this productivity, such as "How Powerlifting Made Me A More Productive Professional"
Next, we focus on what makes us stand out.
The reality of modern entrepreneurship is that there is no such thing as an entirely unique product. Every product comes with at least a bunch of competitors, and business is going after its fair piece of pie.
Your future customers need to know why your product is different or better. Your content strategy achieves two big things here.
Firstly, it refines the audiences you want to attract. For example, your strategy can target audiences based on their price sensitivity. An article such as "8 Best Productivity Hacks Under $ 8 or Free" is probably going to attract consumers that are more price sensitive. This would be a solid article if we got a freemium or ad-based SaaS product, but not so great if we were a higher-ticket subscription-only service.
Secondly, your content can actually help you stand out. If you’re in an industry where there are a lot of close substitutes, your voice can create a significant difference. Content is an amazing tool to build rapport at scale- customers are more ready to buy something from someone they like and trust.
Content is your opportunity to build a rapport and trust machine. And content strategy is your programming.
What content format will you concentrate on?
How your customers take in your content is arguably more important than the substance itself. In particular, a feel-good 30-second video and article embed of 10 cute dogs making messes once got 100x the views of an in-depth article that took our Head of Content 30 hours to write. But she’s not mad about it. Not at all. Oh, it’s fine. Let’s not bring it up.
Your content can take many different formats, ranging from infographics, blog posts, and videos. Once you find which topics you want to focus on, determine the best format for your content within the scope of your budget.
What channels will you use to propagate your content?
Content may be king, but it always bows down to its queen: distribution.
Content is basically useless when your audiences don’t have the means to find your content. Channels can include properties you own such as your social media accounts and website, as well as channels you "rent" such as sending traffic to your content via Facebook Ads.
How will you create the content?
Once you have most of your content strategy ready, it’s time to build out the process of creating your content.
Put together a thorough roadmap of items such as: who is responsible for creating a particular piece of content, where it’s going to be published, when it’s going to go live.
In addition, it’s good to establish an internal process of how you go about hiring (and firing) writers and editors, and how to ensure your content goes from idea to live product with as few (ideally zero) issues as possible.