Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past 40 years, you’ll know how content, and digital content, in particular, is getting better and better.
Videos are becoming more eye-catching. Infographics can sum up information better. And memes are going more viral.
The power behind digital content is nothing to argue about. According to Statista, almost 4.66 billion people were active internet users as of October 2020. That means a whopping 59% of the global population are looking for new, engaging content online.
While this creates incredible Content Marketing opportunities for businesses, it also means you’ve got to have a clear roadmap of where you’re headed. And that’s where a digital content strategy comes in.
Whether you’re starting from scratch or think your strategy needs a bit of a face-lift, we’ve laid down the steps for creating a digital content strategy you can rely on.
1. Assess What You Have
These days, brands and businesses are creating digital content for just about every website, mobile app, and social media account they manage.
While you might think the more content, the better, having heaps of content ultimately leads to “content chaos.”
You’ve got so much content out there on the wonderful wide web that you can’t properly keep track and manage it all effectively.
That’s why the first step to creating an effective digital content strategy is to do a full stocktake of what you already have. This way, you won’t have duplicate, competing content. You also might find opportunities for existing content that’s already great; it just needs a new coat of paint before you distribute it.
Don’t have any digital content to speak of? Don’t worry. Starting from scratch can be more of a blessing than a curse – there’s only room for improvement!
2. Set Goals & KPIs
Behind all digital content is a purpose. Maybe your main goal is to increase brand awareness. Or perhaps it’s to generate leads and create sales. Maybe it’s both!
No matter your goals, knowing why you’re producing digital content will help you answer how you should create and distribute it.
Setting clear goals from the very beginning will help you know what direction you want your brand to go and whether your digital content strategy is working.
Don’t settle for something like, “Our goal is to attract more engagement.” Your goals must be SMART — specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely.
Your strategy should also include KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) that will indicate whether or not your brand has reached its goals in a specific time frame.
3. Establish A System
Gone are the days of hurriedly finding a random stock image, slapping your logo on it, and posting it on Facebook.
Well, you can still do that, but the chance of it grabbing the attention you want is zero to none. People crave interactive content that they can engage with. They want content that jumps out at them, content that educates or entertains them.
For this to happen, one piece of content will need the eyes, ears, and hands-on expertise of multiple people in different teams.
From copywriters and editors to SEO specialists and graphic designers, several people will likely handle your content before going live. For this reason, you need to align your teams to create a process that works for everyone.
As part of your digital content marketing strategy, identify which roles everyone plays in the content creation process.
Clearly lay out what your workflow will be like, from ideation to the final stages. Taking the time to define your content creation process and create a set of best practices will save you time and money in the long run.
4. Perform a Gap Analysis
The beauty of digital content is that there are so many channels for you to reach your audience.
Blogs posts, newsletters, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, to name a few. The downside? More channels mean more content for your audience to choose from. And that means more competition.
Before you throw your time and money into creating your digital content, you’ve got to know what’s already out there and what’s working.
Identify any content gaps: the missing content pieces and topics in the existing media landscape. The more you understand the gaps, the more you can plan to fill them.
By knowing what people are asking for and what’s already out there, you might find an opportunity for something that your audience clearly wants, but they’re not getting. And that’s precisely the kind of digital content you need to create.
5. Know Your Distribution Channels
Having a plan for how you distribute your content is just as important as what content you create.
Your team might have put together the most attention-grabbing, user-friendly YouTube tutorial ever to have graced the internet. But if it’s not reaching your target audience, what’s the point?
Because of the staggering number of ways to get your content out there, you need to choose the distribution channels that are going to work for your brand.
Some businesses implement the spray-and-pray approach — posting their content anywhere and everywhere to increase the likelihood of getting noticed. The problem with this is that you don’t know if you’re reaching the right people and if your message is correctly resonating with them.
Part of your distribution analysis should be a clear understanding of your target audience and where they choose to spend their time online.
Are they young teens who spend every waking moment glued to TikTok and Instagram? Or is your audience more corporate professionals who love checking their emails?
Once you know more about their digital habits, you can make a calculated decision on which distribution channels to use. Your distribution choices will be a defining factor in the overall impact of your digital content.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re a global media corporation or a start-up marketing agency with big dreams — the right digital content strategy has the power to transform your business.
It’s time you put the time and effort into creating a game plan for your content and seeing how it pays off.