When news breaks or a video goes viral, there’s no doubt that you’ll want to participate in the media conversation. This helps to show that your company is engaged with your communities, and it builds a relationship with your audience. While this is an effective strategy for developing external relationships, reacting to current events can put strain on your entire internal team. Instead, building a long-term content strategy through effective planning will allow you to maximize resources, engage audiences, and grow your company’s outreach.
Setting your sights on the big picture is often one of the hardest things to do. To make the process easier, define the timeframe for your strategy. Usually, working with a 1-year strategy term will help set achievable goals while allowing for company growth and flexibility, but don’t restrict yourself to that timeframe. Consider if your company has other time goals that could shorten or extend your strategy term, and then base your strategy framework around that. Once your timeframe is set, set benchmarks. Within a year, for example, quarterly goals provide useful checkpoints to make sure that you’re on track to meeting all areas of your strategy, including outreach/social media, audience, platform use, and content generation.
Eye on the Prize
With a skeleton of a calendar created, you should have an idea of what your goals are and what touch points are needed to achieve them. To lessen the burden of cramming in projects at the end of the quarter, organize a schedule for content development based on your goals. Define what kinds of content you’ll need to best achieve your goals, and spread them throughout your pipeline in order to have a constant stream of new work. By scheduling out your content needs, your team won’t be surprised by any asks, and they’ll be able to better prepare for generating the content itself. The consistency will help your team form a content-creating routine and build momentum to achieving your ultimate content-strategy goals.
Better With Age
With your team meeting your scheduled content-development deadlines, you may feel that you’re continually advancing your position as a thought leader in your industry — and that’s most likely the case! But just as with wine or cheese, some content benefits from a bit of age. If you know your audience responded well to a piece of content — or if your content connects to a specific theme or time of year — don’t be afraid to work that content into your strategy. Fun reminders of “what you were talking about last year” accompanied with some updated reflections will provide your readership with the content they relate to as well as some company transparency about your position or growth. In particular, interactive projects or motion graphics engage audiences at a high level, since by nature they access more than one level of involvement. This strategy also works for current events: if news transpires that connects to some content you’ve already created, accessing your content archive will lessen urgent demands on your team while still demonstrating your company’s awareness of present news.
Review, Revise, Repeat
Setting a goal-based schedule, generating content, and connecting to your content history will allow you to present a well-composed, engaging face to your audience. Some content pieces will be a big hit, but not all of your work will have the impact you’re looking for. At each calendar benchmark or content goal, make sure to take a step back and evaluate successes as well as things that didn’t meet the mark. It’s important not to guess here, since you or your team may have an emotional attachment to the work you’ve created. Instead, follow the numbers — use data and analytics to track your content reach. From there, consider why your successes were successful as well as how less-impactful content (or content type) could be reworked to achieve better results. Make a note of your successes in order to reuse them or develop them even more in the future.
With a strategy in place, you’ll be able to maximize your team bandwidth as well as position your company as an important player in your industry. Keep revising your strategy from year to year to work in diverse kinds of content as well as material addressed — this will further your audience engagement as well as keep your company up to speed with industry demands. Have you built out a long-term content strategy for your company? Share your thoughts below!
Check out the sources we consulted for this post: