So how do you create a content strategy?
In the communication field, we talk a lot about telling the story. Content strategy is telling the right story, on the right channel, to the right audience – in a way that the target audience cares about.
Content strategy is messaging. It is deciding what are the key messages that represent your organization – what do you want people to know and understand about your organization? The other, very important side of the key messaging coin is – what do people want to know about your organization?
Content strategy is telling the organization’s story in engaging ways for the intended audiences – including social media, video, written word and on many platforms. So how do you get started?
Here are some first steps to developing a content strategy:
Decide on your key messages. How do you decide on key messages? What differentiates you from other organizations like yours? Ask why these attributes are important to your key audiences. (If you don’t know what is important to your audiences, more research is in order.)
Once the key messages are clear (and that in itself may take some time), find the stories that tell the key messages. I call this “evidence.” It is easy to say that your organization does this or does that. However, what evidence do you have that your organization is as you say it is?
Plan to tell the stories in multiple media and in multiple ways. Digital, print . . . the e-newsletter, social media, through videos, etc., … the story should be told in multiple ways – not just one way.
Time your content for a steady flow of information to your audiences when and where they are likely to engage with your content.
Measure your results. Are people engaging with your stories? How do you know? What data and measures are you using to know your strategies are effective?
Some leaders may believe that if they communicate whatever stories are currently popping in the district, they have a content strategy. Sure, whatever is happening today may be news, but it’s not telling the district story strategically. And when a news story pops up – there should be a strategy to handle the response too!
To tell your organization’s story strategically, you’ll need a content strategy.