How to Plan an Effective Content Development Strategy
While you may be understandably skeptical that there’s anything truly “simple” about setting up a content development process, the truth is everything about it comes down to one word: organization. When you’re organized from the get-go, there’s no need to rush or take shortcuts that can sabotage even the best laid plans. If you’re ready to implement a content development process that will generate more leads and convert more loyal customers, make sure to include these steps.
1. Define your goals
This is the brainstorming and research phase of the process. What do your buyer personas and internal research tell you your audience wants and needs? What are your competitors doing that you can emulate and improve on? Look at what industry leaders are doing. Are they making better use of social media, offering workshops or seminars? Create a list of ideas you can start implementing today.
2. Consistency matters
Hands down, there’s no better way to get your content development process running smoothly than with an editorial calendar. An editorial calendar increases efficiency by helping you:
- Capture ideas.
- Set an optimal publication schedule.
- Track goals.
- Coordinate release of content across multiple platforms.
- Discover which content is ripe for re-purposing.
3. Be proactive
Get ahead of the content development game by planning an entire month of content about two weeks before it’s meant to post. Decide on topic themes, outline blog posts, schedule social media messages, shoot videos, write emails, and develop gated content. Make sure the entire team are on the same page before you start creating content. That way, there’s less chance of campaigns getting derailed close to deadline.
4. Set up an approval process
The three key roles in content approval are the reviewer, approver, and publisher. You can speed up the journey to publishing by:
- Designating a single person for each role.
- Setting clear guidelines on how to review and give feedback.
- Setting realistic deadlines for each phase. Instead of asking “when do you think you can get this back to me?” establish fixed time-frames that everyone knows they must adhere to.
5. Stay on message
All the content you develop should be based on primary and secondary messages that you consistently write to. It needs to reflect an understanding of who the target customer is, how they make decisions, and what their emotional trigger points are. It can be a tough job to keep all your content marketing on point, but a clear, consistent message wins people over. When everyone understands the core message, it makes it easier to:
- Work with various talent to create quality content.
- Address multiple audiences.
- Create content that works across a variety of media, including social, digital, video, print, and more.
A content development process is about much more than creating content. It’s part of a strategic process that includes using eBooks, white papers, checklists, case studies, infographics, blogs, email campaigns, videos, social media, and more to deliver the best value to your targeted audience.
Without a well-developed content process, you risk losing track of your goals and objectives. Once you have one in place, you’ll soon see the growth and ROI you’ve dreamed of. To learn more, check out our white paper, "What is a Digital Content Strategy? And Why You Need One."