We’ve been doing something really important these last few weeks…creating our very own Mattr Media content strategy for our niche area of the market. Why should you care? Well a few reasons really.
Firstly, because you know you need a decent strategy yourself (unfortunately the fun creative stuff is only part of what's going to make your marketing a success!). Secondly, because in spite of preaching “create stories with substance and value” to their clients, not many agencies practice what they preach…and we don’t want to be that agency. And lastly, we have LOADS of exciting video projects in the pipeline, but realised without a firm routed plan in place, not only would it not get done, but even if it did, it would be simply down to luck if it actually served it’s purpose.
Now, this blog is a bit of an overview of what we did to build the strategy but if you like it, you’ll be pleased to know that over the next few weeks, we’ll be releasing further blogs which go into the details for each element we talk about below. By the end of this series, whether it’s social video, a blog, or podcast on your mind…you’ll be a step closer to telling stories that matter to your niche audience.
1. Know your content's target audience
The most important thing for you to nail...who do you want to target? What are they interested in and what problems are they facing that your content will help them with that’s relevant to your business? We’ll go into the ways in which we figured this out for ourselves later down the line, but a good example of how we figured this out was to actually speak to our clients. After all, who knows better about what problems you should help fix then the people you work for?!
Another vital question-why are you doing what you're doing? What is your long term strategy? For us it’s simple: to build up an ‘opt in’ subscribership. Why? Because it means we have a chance of forging relationships with people who are interested in how we think.
A) GOOGLE KEYWORDS AND TRENDING TOPICS
Now you’ve worked out who to target, what do want to talk about? Keyword Research is a great place to start. With simple tools like Google Adwords and Trends, you can start digging into exactly what people are searching for and the level of competition you're up against. For instance, we learned that whilst “video content marketing” wasn’t exactly a hot search topic, “social media video” was, so that what we will base part of our subject matters on.
B) COMPETITOR RESEARCH
Keyword research goes so far, but competitor research is 100% key to figuring out your niche content marketing strategy. You NEED to see what other people are currently creating, what platforms they are using, how they are using each of these, what times they post and the tone of voice that they use to portray their message.
4. Working on your unique selling point
From looking at the above, where are the gaps? And I’m not talking about which social channel you use here…I’m talking about what you’re talking about and how you’re talking about it. For instance, we realised that there are loads of cool companies talking about ‘shareable content’ or social video trends, but there aren’t actually any who focus on shareable content that has some substance to it. For instance, we got really excited this week when we read that Persil started a campaign for kids to play outside more… that’s the kind of stuff we want to talk about!
5. Your mission: tailoring content to your audience
So you have an idea of what your audience wants but now is the most important thing - describe in a sentence what you are going to do for them! This will be the backbone of everything you create.
6. Social Media Channels: visually rich, B2B or B2C?
Now let’s look at the channels where you want to grow your audiences on. In other words, a blog, podcast, webinar, event, video channel? Our natural inclination was to grow a video channel and that is very much part of our plans, but we decided for now a blog would be the best way to start.
7. Ideation: Get that creative think tank started
Finally, the fun part! Take a day or two, make a pot of coffee and come up with a tonne of creative ideas with your team. After you've done all your keyword, competitor and platform research then all of this should be so much easier and clearer for you. You'll be able to visualise the content that will best represent your company, from the tone, to the branding and the topics that you KNOW your audience is hungry for.
8. Spreading your message
You’re creating your content, but now it’s about making sure it reaches its intended audience. Think about where your audience plays on the internet and make friends with them- whether that’s on Linkedin or Facebook groups, or similar Twitter accounts. Then, when the time is right, they’ll want to know about the content you’re making! (Little bonus idea to think about, who do you see as the early adopters and influencers you would want to see posting your content to third party sites? Having someone sharing your content is not only has you reaching a wider audience but is also really good for SEO if you're linking back to your website.)
It's all good creating great content, but how are you going to make sure it gets done? You need to create a calendar for your team, who does what and when? Have this regimented, so for example you know your blog post needs to be out on Linkedin, Facebook and Twitter everyday at 1pm, you need to Instagram a picture of the office every Wednesday at 11am and you need to start advertising your Periscope Q&A for Thursday at 4pm on Tuesday.
10. Measuring success and testing
In the short term our objective is to start engaging with relevant people on Linkedin, Facebook and Twitter, using our content as a nice ‘warm introduction’ to what we’re experts at. But we also realise what we start with may not be where we end up. So we need to work out what our aims are so we can analyse what has worked well at scheduled times throughout the year.
Wow, that was a long blog! If you’re at this part, thank you so much! It means you also believe strategy is the foundation to the awesome road you’re about to step down. Drop us an email if you have any further tips you think we should be talking about. We may be a London production agency but we are all ears for your opinions and suggestions and want to collaborate you! Make sure you sign up to our mailing list in the footer too!
** Note ** A massive influence on our planning is Joe Pulizzi who runs Content Marketing Institute. We’ve read both of his books (Epic Content Marketing and Content Inc) and thoroughly recommend you do the same! **
Thanks to 'joethegoatfarmer' for the awesome graphics!