Many publish content on the go without having a content plan. And although it could certainly work to gain a few more clicks, chances are people won’t come back if you don’t have a strategy to offer value.
But how to know which content your users need and want to consume? In today’s article, we explore some basic questions you can ask yourself to define the scope of your content strategy. Let’s get into the questions list!
Content Strategy Scope Checklist
Before you start creating content, it’s essential to define the scope of your content strategy. That way, you’ll make sure that all the content you create is compliant with your brand and relevant to the needs and interests of your audience. But also, that’s how you use the influence of your content to convert your audience into customers.
Also, when building your content strategy and scoping your questions list, you should have two major goals in mind. Content should help your audience solve their problem and position you as the expert to help them.
#2: Content Strategy— Jessie 🟣 Building The Creator Academy (@jessievbreugel) July 21, 2021
A strategy that takes your brand goals and uses content as a primary means to achieve those.
Your goals might cover increasing brand awareness to drive more $$. To achieve this, you implement a strategy that focuses on SEO to increase website visibility.
Having said that, now we’re ready to get into the list of basic questions to build your content strategy from the ground:
- Who are my buyer personas?
- Which topics are my buyer personas interested in?
- Which pain points can my content address?
- How can my content drive conversions?
- Where does my target audience hang out?
#1: Who are my buyer personas?
A buyer persona is a theoretical representation of your ideal customer, based on research and analysis.
A suitable buyer persona should have the following characteristics: a name, a picture (visualize them), demographic info (age, gender, and location), and an emotional profile. Therefore, you can use this information to create content that appeals to these customers.
Also, defining your buyer persona will help you understand the needs and expectations of your potential customers. Some questions that will help you define and understand your buyer persona are:
- What are your customer’s needs and pains?
- What are their interests?
- What emotions drive them toward –or away from– solutions?
- How much do they know about your product or service?
#2: Which topics are my buyer personas interested in?
Defining topics that are relevant to your audience will help you find the best and most reliable sources for your content. Just assure that the issues you’re addressing in your content, e.g. blog posts, are interesting to your niche.
Therefore, if you’re curating content, you can list external sites that offer resources that might help your audience solve their pains or needs.
However, if you’re still not sure what kind of content your audience wants, start by asking them. You can do this through a survey in your online community if you have one. Or by using social media or making Discord polls. Also, you can use communities and social media for info inspiration!
#3: Which pain points can my content address?
Another issue to add to your content strategy scoping questions list is asking yourself how you’ll address your client’s pain points with your content.
This means, knowing what are your potential client’s interests. And learning how they communicate with each other and the businesses they like. content strategy by scoping a questions list
Undoubtedly, social media and communities will help you have insights and first-hand information about their needs. Also, they’ll help you understand which problems they find in your product or service. And help you build the right solutions.
Here are some more questions that can help you understand better the needs and goals of your potential customers:
- What is the main challenge you have in your tasks?
- What problem at work is keeping you awake at night?
- What goal are you struggling to achieve?
#4: How can my content drive conversions?
While the ultimate goal of any marketing strategy is to drive sales and generate leads, an important way to build long-term brand awareness is to add value beyond your product or service.
Think about how you can inform, educate or entertain your audience. It’s important that every piece of content you create has a goal! Whether it’s to inform visitors about your product or service, help them make a buying decision, or encourage them to sign up for an email list.
Share your knowledge through a blog, podcast, YouTube channel, or newsletter. Rather than driving sales, focus on building relationships by giving your audience more opportunities to learn about your brand.
Patagonia, for example, creates films that align with the brand’s values and story. The company’s products appear in the films, but they aren’t sold in a pushy way. The value is in the films themselves.
The key to audience-building is to find and connect with the right people first. Initiate conversations, be social, and be collaborative.
You 🤝 Me— Instagram (@instagram) October 19, 2021
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Invite an account to be a collaborator:
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This way, progressively your content will start driving conversations between you and your audience, you and other brands, and within the audience itself!
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#5: Where does my target audience hang out?
According to Hootsuite, the average daily time users spend just on social media in the US is 2 hours and 27 minutes. And there’s been a global growth of 10.1% over the last year.
However, people are splitting their time across 7.5 different social media platforms, with Facebook still ranking as the most popular social network. So it’s increasingly important to have a presence on multiple networks – and tailor content to mimic each platform’s unique experience.
Apart from social media, there are other ways you can reach your target audience. These include in-person events to niche online communities present on Discord, Reddit, or Circle.
Whether it’s a social media or community platform, a 2022 Hootsuite report states that most Internet users are spending time on multiple platforms. This signals that people get something unique and valuable from each network.
This means it’s becoming easier for brands to reach the right audience. No matter which platforms they’re on, people are often in different mindsets when using each network.
Therefore, by tailoring your content to each platform, you can provide experiences that are in line with your audience’s reasons for being there.
#6: Which type of content would my audience appreciate?
It’s essential to create content that’s well-suited for each platform. On Facebook, users might be catching up with a friend that lives overseas. On Twitter, they might be skimming through the daily news. And on TikTok, they might be looking for a laugh while searching for the latest trends.
However, let’s say you have a community newsletter. To offer the type of content your audience will appreciate, think about the theme of your newsletter and what content your subscribers will like to receive regularly.
Some great ideas that work with almost every kind of newsletter are interviewing specialists or creators, promoting discussions, and sharing upcoming events.
To summarize, when thinking about the type of content that will be appreciated by your audience, you should think both about the content and the format (meaning the platform in which that content will be distributed).
#7: How much do I need to post in each content distribution channel?
When it comes to posting on content distribution platforms, quantity doesn’t seem to be as important as frequency or time of posting. For example, newsfeed algorithms, particularly Facebook and Instagram’s algorithm, consider “recency” as a major ranking signal. This consists of posting content when users and online as one of the best ways to improve organic reach, according to Hootsuite.
However, when it comes to other platforms such as Twitter, specialists agree that one of the best strategies is to sprinkle content during the day. This way, you’ll reach a broader audience.
In some of the newest and most popular platforms, such as TikTok, when is not as important as how much. TikTok even recommends its content creators post one to four times a day.
#8: Which KPIs can help me track the outcomes of the strategy?
When specifying the KPIs to help you track the outcomes of your content strategy, make sure to set SMART goals.
Setting SMART time management goals is necessary for improving your everyday content and building a successful strategy. However, it can be difficult to set goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely. So here are a set of examples that can help you in the process.
Reach KPIs (audience growth rate, reach, impressions, and social share of voice, among others) measure how many users come through your channels and platforms where your content’s published.
However, these users may only be passively interacting with the channel. Therefore, reach and engagement is two different things. Think of reach as a quantitative measurement. Reach data shows your existing and potential audience, growth over time, and brand awareness.
Then there are engagement KPIs which measure the quality of the interactions with your audience. These include comments, applause rate, average engagement rate, and amplification rate.
Last but not least, there are customer satisfaction KPIs (mostly testimonials and reviews). These are tracked to see how customers, readers, or social media users think and feel about your content. The sentiment of their interactions with your online presence is direct feedback for your project.
#9: Who’s involved in the content strategy?
The goal of a content strategy is to help organizations tell their stories, build their brands, and engage with target audiences in an authentic manner.
Therefore, the people involved in the process of developing a content strategy are many and varied. Writers, SEO managers, editors, and community managers all have different roles to play in making sure that your organization’s message resonates with your target audience.
#10: How often do I need to update existing content?
Content won’t remain updated forever. Therefore, many websites are updated regularly as new products are launched or trends change. How often you should update existing content depends on its purpose.
Blog posts typically need to be updated frequently because readers expect regular information from their favorite brands. However, it also depends on the subject you’re addressing. If it changes frequently, you might want to update it every few months or so. But if you’re writing about something that doesn’t change as often, then reviewing the content once a year might be enough.
How Content Strategy Scoping Can Help in a Rebranding Strategy?
A great example of an effective content strategy as part of a rebranding strategy is the case of Esquire, a U.S. men’s magazine founded almost 90 years ago.
Over the years, movements promoting inclusion and diversity took over new and more cultural spaces. As part of this change, media platforms had to rethink their editorial values and, consequently, their content strategy as a whole.
Thus, Esquire continued to be a men’s magazine, but with content adapted to the times in which we live. It changed from a magazine that had sexist, objectifying, and male gaze-centric features such as “The Sexiest Woman Alive” photoshoot to creating content for all types of men, seeking to generate a more global vision of what it means to be a man in 2022.
Not only do they create content for straight men. But they also generate magazine covers with trans men, such as Elliot Page. They also provide recommendations of the best LGBT bars in the United States, among other content.