As 2023 kicks off in earnest, it's time to put last year's planning into action. However, in our constantly changing world, plans need to be able to react and evolve in light of external forces. So, when is a plan lacking, and when is a more comprehensive content strategy needed?
A plan lacks a real goal beyond just completing the plan. It lacks insight into the problem at hand and is just a sequential list of tasks. It has deadlines but doesn’t build up a head of steam to unlock something for the business.
A plan can be executed efficiently in isolation, but it cannot be executed effectively without sight of a wider business strategy. A plan starts to lose its way when it’s not delivering for the business. This usually happens when you have multiple people involved from across the business. Whether its internal content owners asking for their off-topic content to be published, or legal knocking back the quality of your content. If this is you, you probably need to have a bigger think about your content.
A content strategy has five foundations: goals, structure, substance, marketing and governance.
- Goals involve defining objectives and key results for both the business and the audience. The ‘how you're going to get there’ part is your content strategy, which should, in its essence, not be more than three sentences long.
- Structure involves thinking through the topics that the audience is interested in and breaking them down into subtopics to add value.
- Substance is about finding the people in the business who have the content magic and creating a clear brief and format to inspire them to write.
- Marketing involves thinking about what the content should do before diving into channels.
- Governance is essential for making the right decisions at the right time with the right people in the room.
Finally, don't despair! Sometimes the plan feels never ending, with no end in sight. With the right strategy, you can win over the long-term.