Day 25 – Elements of a Content Strategy

31 days to write better text by Denise Fay : Achieve MarketingFor the past 24 days, I’ve talked about understanding your audience, writing structured sentences, breaking up your copy into readable/glanceable (if there is such a word!) chunks.

The tips and advice all apply in practice to any and every written promotional method. With all the different types, it’s hard to know what to prioritise; which will bring the better return for your business.

Creating your Content Strategy

At this stage of the programme, now that you know how to write, you should be thinking of creating your own content strategy. What methods are you going to use to promote your business? There are many, many ways to promote your business using the written word and in this article, I’m only touching the surface.

If you could engage some or all of these, then we can move onto phase 2 of your content strategy – using webinars, podcasts and videos. I’d recommend mastering certain elements of your strategy first. There is almost a ‘conquer and master’ logic. Get to grips with some, build them into your content strategy and introduce a new element. You could try one a new element a month but do what is right for you.

Elements of Content Strategy

Based on my experience as a copy-writer, here is the list of the most popular elements that clients ask me to write. I’ve included the advantages and disadvantages of each element because that the feedback that I’ve heard. Writing isn’t easy, so be prepared for the disadvantages and advantages of each element.

Here are some items that should be in your content strategy. There are others but this will get you started!

Element Description Advantages Disadvantages
Article A piece of text generally over 300 words, written on a specific topic. Builds your credibility as expert in your field. Brings traffic to your site. Time-consuming to write and edit. Need to write a few to see the benefits
Ezines Email newsletter sent to internal database of customers, prospects, friends, interested parties.

Contains at least two articles – welcome and information re product or service

Monitor interest on topics with click-through rates. Keeps you in-front of customer. Great for soft-selling. Builds your credibility if you give free advice. If hard-selling, can produce actual sales. De-motivating if newsletter not opened or no click throughs. Time-consuming to make sure it reads well on different emails. Need to send emails regularly so requires commitment.
Newsletter Physical newsletter sent to internal database of customers, prospects, friends, interested parties.

Contains several articles of interest to the reader.

Differentiator as most people send email newsletters. Good relationship-building too. Can result in sales depending on product/service. Expensive as have print and posted costs.

Requires commitment to send regularly (monthly, quarterly, half-yearly)

Website Holy grail of your internet presence. Is your shop-front to the world. Promotes your business online. Gives people a sense of who you are. Sales-making tool if you have ecommerce capabilities. em…Only one is that it is time-consuming. You need to constantly update your website to make it relevant to users and search-engines.
Blog Blog is an online log of your activities. A diary if you will.

In this context, it’s a professional record of your ideas, knowledge, events etc.

Blog can be anything from 1 to 5 paragraphs.

Great for driving traffic to your site. Sharing ideas or events is easy. Builds credibility as a professional. Interesting way to promote your thoughts. Difficult to start as often blogger doesn’t know what to write.

Need to write at least one a week so commitment needed.

Whitepapers A white-paper is a long document that is generally technical in nature but highlights your expertise in an area.

Generally more than four pages.

Highlights competency in specialist area.

Builds enormous credibility if written in engaging way. Good promotional tool for using as ‘opt-in’

Not suitable for every industry
Case-studies Case-studies are documents which showcase your product or service in action.

Should be 1-2 pages with quotes from client

Great as part of your press kit and as a download on your website. Fantastic to highlight your product or service in action. em….the only disadvantage is the time involved. There can be ‘back and forward’ with client for approval
Corporate Brochure A brochure that highlights your company, it’s product or services. Generally handed to customers/prospects at meeting.

Can be anything from two pages to 20 pages, depending on layout.

Provides further information on your product or service after meeting. Great for showcasing your products/services or case-studies. Can be costly as to do it right, you need a designer. Depending on your organisation, approval through various channels can be time-consuming.
Flyers One or two sided information sheet that directly sells a product. Useful for promoting a product or service. Works well with a discount. Can be costly as includes print and maybe post or door drop company. Can’t be used in isolation, need to send them out regularly

Day 25 – Homework

Pick three elements of the content strategy that you’ve created already. Are you writing often enough?

Pick one element of the content strategy that you haven’t started. Start it at the beginning of the next month. And repeat the following month.

A word of advice. Don’t give up. It can take 12 months to reap the rewards of your content strategy. It is hard, and if you need help, get help. But don’t give up. You will see the return…it’s just not immediate.

About the Author

Denise FayI'm Denise Fay, an international marketing communications advisor. For over 16 years, I've been helping corporations and business owners to promote themselves by communicating the right message with the right audience. They achieve clarity, leads and sales. I'm also an award-winning author, engaging speaker, entrepreneur, business owner and mum of two, I have written copy that has won awards, won clients and most importantly, built relationships. Because at the end of the day, it all comes down to how we relate to others. And writing great copy that engages with your reader is well worth its weight in gold. You too can find wealth in your relationships. I can guide and help you find your words, create an engaging message and build a relationship that results in repeat sales with your customers & leads. Contact me today to get started. Come find me on Google+View all posts by Denise Fay →

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