It's getting more and more difficult to stand out and reach your audience with content. Especially as AI technology continues to infuse itself in our lives.
If you want to stand out from the crowd (and the algorithm) and grow your business, then it's more imperative than ever that your content strategy authentically aligns with your brand and your voice.
What does that mean?
It means that your content should reflect your core values, your unique selling proposition, and your personality. (WHAT?!?) Yes - you get to have a personality that is all your own, and so does your brand.
It should also resonate with your target audience, address their pain points, and offer them added value. It should give them something new -- a new product, a new thought, a new perspective, a new fact.
But how do you create a winning, yet authentic, content strategy? Here's how to get started:
Define your brand voice
Your brand voice is the style, language, and tone that you use to communicate with your audience. It should be consistent across all your channels and platforms, and it should match your brand identity and goals.
Identify (and identify with) your target audience
Your target audience is the group of people who are most likely to benefit from your products or services, and who you want to reach with your content. To identify your target audience conduct market research and customer interviews. Crazy thought -- talk to people. Whether it's a friend, coach, mentor, business partner, or someone you trust. Talk it out. Figure it out. Who do you ideally want to work with -- what are their pain points, and their goals. Figure out how to connect with them.
You should also segment your audience based on their demographics, psychographics, behaviors, and needs. You won't change your voice for different segments, but you may change the location or medium on which you reach them.
Conduct a content audit
A content audit is a process of evaluating your current content and figuring out what works and what doesn’t. It helps you understand your content performance, gaps, and opportunities. You should also analyze your competitors' content and see what you can learn from them.
Create a content plan
A content plan is a document (this is where my right brain comes out -- I still use Excel or Google Sheets for my planning) that outlines your content goals, topics, formats, channels, and schedule. It helps you organize your content creation and distribution process and align it with your brand strategy. Find a tool and process that works for you. And be sure to consider your capacity, how you want to schedule, and how often you want to create content (batches or everyday).
Be realistic and intentional with your content plan. Depending on your audience, you may not need to post on every platform. Or perhaps you should spend more time on long-form newsletters rather than graphic social posts.
Measure and optimize your content
Measuring and optimizing your content is an ongoing process of tracking your content performance, analyzing your results, and making improvements. It helps you evaluate your content effectiveness, ROI, and impact.
I've found that while some of this process can be tedious (finding a tool that works, analyzing metrics, etc.), the outcome is freeing. You'll find yourself loving the content you create and energized by it -- it will be more effective. It will reach the right people instead of all the people -- but they'll be YOUR people. And if you do an authentic content plan, then it will start to flow out of you.