Why you shouldn’t just dive in to content

So you’re all excited and are exclaiming: let’s get to the good bits! I want to write! I need content or my CMO will go crazy!

Before you go there, let me offer this cautionary tale: you don’t want to just jump straight in. I mean, you could, and you may well have some success, but if you want to ensure you have a content programme with longevity and that continues to grow as time goes on, you need to do some planning before you start writing.

Here are five things you need to know before you even think about your first piece of content:

Define your requirements

Seems like a pretty obvious thing, but so many don’t do this – and without knowing what you need for your programme, you risk wasted time and resource chasing the wrong dream.

Identify your user’s needs

It’s not just all about your own requirements. Your users want something; find out what it is, and you’ll make your content work so much harder.

Your editorial strategy should allow for flexible, searchable content appearing to the right people in the right places at the right time.

Outline your brand’s message and narrative

If you don’t know this, check with your brand team or your communications and PR people. You’ll need to make sure your content aligns with this, or you’ll confuse your audience.

Know your organisation’s goals

No point writing content to drive people to buy smartphones when you’re actually working for a beauty brand – and no point writing to create brand awareness when your top goal for this year is to increase sales by 50%.

Get the basics in place

Define things like tone, voice, style and editorial process. These are the things that are specific to an editorial strategy. Will your content be sombre or optimistic? How will you say it – informal or factual? What will the production process look like?

And then…

Do some thinking, some brainstorming. Talk to your sales and customer service teams. Get a picture of your audience, and write for them. All of this feeds into an editorial strategy that allows for flexible, searchable content appearing to the right people in the right places at the right time.