How to Create a Content Strategy – Part 1: Brand Voice and Audience
“Content is king.”
“Content is the future of marketing.”
But what does this actually mean?
Content marketing is becoming increasingly important as savvy consumers are no longer forced to watch, read, or listen to traditional advertising. It’s about providing your prospects with genuinely informative, interesting or entertaining content, instead of the old-school method of forcing sales messages on them.
This switch in mindset of giving rather than taking is key, with the belief that if a business delivers valuable information to their audience they will be rewarded with loyalty and ultimately, sales.
But it’s more than just writing a blog post and hoping for the best. A successful content marketing strategy needs to have a comprehensive plan behind it, and integrate into every level of your marketing activity.
Here we have put together an overview of how to build a solid foundation, and the questions which need to be answered in order to create a great content marketing strategy.
Determining the voice of your brand is essential for every business. How you communicate has a massive impact on how you are perceived, so take some time to nail down what you want people to think when dealing with your business.
Do you require a formal tone, or is the industry more casual? B2B’s may find that they need to adopt a professional vibe and use language that depicts them as serious and experts in their field. On the other hand, your business may be able to use a more relaxed tone or even humour to connect with your customers.
Some believe that your content can be casual during initial touchpoints in the customer journey and then become increasingly serious as they progress through the sales funnel, but this isn’t a hard and fast rule so do what feels right for you and your audience.
Some questions to answer may include:
- Who is your brand? This character is helpful in deciding what kind of language to use.
- What do you stand for/ what are your guiding principles?
- How do you want people to feel?
Once you have decided on the voice of your brand, it needs to be consistently used across everything that you publish. From social media to your website, a strong brand voice creates a cohesiveness to your messaging and helps for customers to feel like they are getting to know the brand – and trust is a strong factor in converting.
A great example of a strong brand voice is Australian skincare brand Go-To. They use friendly, witty and fun copy that is easily identifiable, and permeates everything that they do – even the product names, shipping information and shopping cart process reflect the personality of the brand, and they have been rewarded with a loyal following.
This may seem obvious, but when creating content it’s important to have a deep understanding of who you are talking to. While you may have an idea of what general demographic your customers fall into, it’s worth taking some time to drill down on exactly who your ideal customer is. This way you can cater your messaging precisely to the kind of person you would like to be doing business with, and create a persona that encapsulates this customer.
- What age group are they in?
- What’s their household income?
- What do they enjoy doing?
- What are their pain points?
- Where do they spend time/ where are they from?
- Why do they need your product or service?
You may have a couple of different personas depending on your business, but make sure that each one is as detailed as possible. Some people find that it helps to name their personas, so that they have an actual ‘person’ they are writing to when creating content.
For example, a florist may have two distinct personas they would like to target: The first is a professional female aged 30 – 50 years who subscribes to their weekly delivery service.
The second may be a male aged 30 – 50 years, who sign up to their calendar service which automatically sends bouquets on anniversaries.
These two personas are very different, and therefore require customised content in order to help them determine that this florist can provide the best solution for their specific needs.
Want to know more? Part 2 of creating a content strategy will cover how to create content that achieves your marketing objectives, and the best ways to distribute your content.
Are you using a content marketing strategy for your business? Let us know in the comments below.
And if you would like to discuss your businesses digital marketing strategy, feel free to get in touch with us here.