Content strategy and planning process
Effective content doesn’t happen in isolation. A clear content strategy and careful planning are needed to ensure objectives are met and everything ladders back to your brand’s vision, mission and values. A content strategy includes defining the content vision, mission and (if required) pillars. Audience insights are essential to ensure we hit the right note. And then it’s on to the planning: WHAT we’re going to say WHEN (content planning) then HOW we’re going to say it (editorial planning).
Depending on breadth of project, these three phases can be broken down further:
Taking into account the audience insights, brand vision and competitor analysis, we can define our strategic position. Out of this comes our tone of voice analysis and content pillars. Content pillars are a really important step for planning and organising your content. They tend to be general themes or concepts under which we can categorise each piece of content we intend to create.
Content planning begins with a look at your existing content, either in a full structured audit or a more informal review. The next step is SEO analysis – what is your audience searching for? We can then create a content calendar – this is where we plot (usually) up to a year ahead and fill with relevant events in the wider world, your industry, your brand and our audience’s lives.
Then comes the magic! With our content calendar framework in place, we build in our editorial approaches. We do this via an editorial board – a gathering of relevant people from client and agency-side. This planning session results in an editorial synopsis – a piece-by-piece editorial features list of what we want to create, how, by when, with visual scamps or creative concept boards. This is then built into an editorial calendar so we can plot (usually) up to a year ahead. At this stage we will also know: which audience segment we’re talking to; which channel we’re using; which call to action; and exactly what we need to do to execute. Then content creation begins!