Whether you’re writing words for your company’s website, publishing social media posts, or crafting content for a billboard in Times Square, there are three things you need to do to ensure success.
In this article we share tips that will help lay a solid foundation for your communication strategy and will positively impact everything from the effectiveness of your advertising campaigns to your bottom line. Here are three things you must do before creating content for your business.
1. Define Your Brand
Apple is one of the most identifiable brands on the planet and it got that way because 40-years ago co-founder Steve Jobs strategically defined what the company stood for: power to the people through technology. To this day Apple is still offering products and services that focus on improving people’s lives and they’ve created a devoted following because of it.
The take-away lesson from this is it’s imperative to define your company’s brand. What does it stand for? What is its personality? Can you describe what your company does in 10 words or less? By succinctly defining your business, you’ll lay the groundwork on which all your content can grow. This is also known as your mission statement.
Here are some more questions that will help you ascertain what your company’s brand is:
- Why does your company exist?
- What problems do you help solve?
- What is your company’s voice? (For example is it fun or serious? Authoritative or informative?)
- What other brands do you look up to?
2. Define Your Goals
If we look at the example of Apple again, many would believe the company’s goal is to create technology but that’s actually a side effect of the main goal, which is to make people’s lives easier. In the case of your own business, the end goal may be to make more money but that should be a bi-product of your real objective. Some refer to this overall goal as a company’s vision statement, and, like defining your brand, it provides the foundation upon which all your content will grow.
Once you’ve defined your company’s overall goal it’s time to decide on short-term goals. Perhaps you wish to increase community outreach or grow shareholder value or improve your customer service. Each of these will require a specific strategy and a set of tools that are designed for it. For example, say you want to double your company’s newsletter subscriber list. One strategy might be to install a pop-up on your website that invites people to sign up. Another might be to hold a social media contest in which people have to sign up to the newsletter in order to be entered to win. What you wouldn’t do is rent space on a highway billboard. Once you’ve determined your short-term goal or goals, the next step is to construct a time-frame: how long are you going to give yourself to double that subscriber list, for example?
Taking all this into consideration, we have a core company framework that resembles an inverted pyramid, like so:
We are now at the place where we can build a next level to the pyramid, based on your company’s short-term goals, for your content strategy.
3. Create A Content Calendar
As with any good strategy, it’s important to map out a framework and the best way to do that is by creating a content calendar. But first you’ll want to choose the channels that are best suited to your short-term goals. It goes without saying that these days, a website is a must for any company, but should you also have a LinkedIn page, a Pinterest account, and a Twitter feed?
Let’s consider an example based on a hypothetical short-term goal: you wish to see a 35% increase in traffic to your website of potential customers in the 50 to 65-year-old demographic. In that case, Facebook, Instagram, and Google Ads are all tools to consider. TikTok? Not so much.
After determining what channels will best serve your short-term goals, it’s time to create content based on the core concepts of your company, namely its voice, personality, overall brand identity, and its main goal. You’ll want to release messages over the course of a specific time period and monitor outcomes on the fly so that you’re able to pivot timing and wording. There are any number of ways to do this including third-party software and subscription services that will allow you to schedule, post, and report across a number of channels.