Here’s Your 1-2 Content Plan

Here’s your content plan:

1. Figure out what you’re going to say.

2. Then say it.

I know that sounds flip, but it really isn’t. This two-step plan is actually more difficult that it seems.  But if you’re a brand – whether a global corporation or a small business – you should be creating content that your customers are interested in – or better yet passionate about.  Your customers want it and are already searching for it online and sharing it with family and friends.

So make it your content they find instead of the other guy’s.

So if you make pizzas for a living – create content about pizzas.  Isn’t that why your customers are coming to your restaurant?  What makes good dough?  How do you spin a pizza?  What’s the best combination of sauce to cheese?  What are the weirdest combinations of pizza ingredients?  What’s the optimal cooking time?

Then build a pizza blog and a Facebook page and share the content with your customers.  Film videos and put them on your blog and on YouTube.  Direct your customers to the content by word of mouth, coupons and deals, advertising and signs in your store window.  Put the social media icons on your menu.

If you’re a national brand that sells athletic apparel – create content about sports.  Build running applications for smartphones.  Provide tools and tips for getting in shape.  Provide access and insight to athletes who represent your brand.  Showcase the spirit and the passion of amateur athletes with profile stories that can inspire your base.

Then build out a digital and social network to share with your customers.  Build your content into your advertising and communications strategies.  Use the content to connect with and energize your customers.  They buy your products because they aspire to better themselves through athletics.  Help them reach that goal.

It is the same for all brands.  Tell stories.  Showcase your knowledge.  Inspire the people you want to buy your products and services.

Here’s how to get started on a content plan.

  • Listen.  Figure out what customers want. What are their needs? What do they want from you?  What are they asking for?
  • Map out your content.  What are you going to say?  How are you going to say it?
  • Publish your content through online and social channels: websites, blogs, social networks, applications, etc.
  • Listen again.  How are customers reacting to your content?  What do they like?  What do they dislike?
  • Talk to them.  Connect.  Ask questions. React to their inquiries and feedback.
  • Adjust your content based on your customers reactions.

Make sure to establish a process for listening and creating and publishing your content.  How can you efficiently and effectively build content creation into your brand?  What are the processes and best practices to streamline these efforts?   This is a very important because creating content – especially good content – takes time and hard work.  Make sure you aren’t winging it.

And listen correctly.  By that I mean really listen.  Get the tools you need to do so.  Hire people to manage your communities and interact with your customers on a regular basis.  Let them dig in to your communities so they understand them and help manage the conversations and provide insights on the content.

Remember: Listen isn’t a passive activity.

What are your thoughts about content?  About listening?

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