Content is an essential part of any public relations and marketing plan. It’s how you can determine what you want to be known for and it will dictate how your audience sees you. Your content is what brings new people into your orbit, builds a relationship with your audience, and establishes you as an expert in your field.
Your audience expects consistency from you. They want help with their problems in certain specific topic areas. If you’re losing focus, this causes a disconnect. The first step to overhauling your content strategy is to identify exactly what you want to be known for online.
If you are putting out content regularly and finding that it’s not bringing the results you want, you could be straying from your area of expertise.
Don’t fret! You don’t have to start all over again from scratch. If you have content lying around on your hard drive, you can brush it up and leverage it to build your audience. The first step is to choose your best cornerstone content.
Your cornerstone content is essentially your greatest hits.
It best demonstrates the value you have to offer your audience. This is the material you want people to see first when they encounter you online. The reason you need to identify these pieces is that they’re the most effective in helping you achieve your business goals. They have the greatest impact and that’s why you need them in key areas of your marketing.
Your greatest hits are pieces you’d like to appear at the top of the search engines when someone enters your chosen keywords. Think of this as your start here material. This content should be evergreen, meaning it won’t become dated over time. Don’t use content that focuses on timely issues. Choose pieces that will still be relevant this time next year.
Your cornerstone material should be general because you’re trying to cast your net wide, but it should tackle a problem your audience faces and give them actionable steps that will help to solve this problem. If someone reads your work and sees results, this is very powerful for getting them to check you out and see what else you have to offer.
It helps if this material is unique from the offerings of other content creators. Try to find something that takes a slightly unique angle or offers something no one else does. If the work is already published, choose something that received a great deal of engagement.
Most importantly, the content you use must reflect what you most want to be known for going forward. Define your core areas of expertise and focus on these when preparing your content. Then develop a content strategy around them!
Your area of expertise should be the area where you have the most experience and where your natural strengths shine. These topics are the core of your business. They are things you do well without even trying. This is the content that you don’t need to research in order to write.
Think about the questions you commonly answer for your audience. What have you helped them with often in the past? When has someone personally thanked you for the help you gave them? What did you teach them?
Look at the content you’ve created in the past. Divide it into different categories. Where were you most prolific? Find blog posts, videos, presentations, and social media posts that have received the most engagement and praise.
Do these topic areas align with your current business goals? Revisit your customer profile or create an updated version. Try to identify the type of content they want from you. This may have changed from the past or you might need a reminder. Check out what other content they consume online. You may see that they have new needs you’re not addressing.
You can also reach out to your customers directly and ask them. Conduct surveys, hold online focus groups or webinars, or reach out to your biggest advocates and ask them what they’d like from you.
You’ll be creating a great deal of material in the topic area you choose. It needs to be something you’re passionate about and can talk about all day, since that’s effectively what you’ll be doing.
We are going to give you 4 steps to getting organized with your content so you can start seeing the results you want. Download this FREE Content Marketing Planner and create your plan in the next 3 days.
Talia Beckett Davis is the Founder of Canadian Women in Public Relations and American Women in Public Relations. She works as the Managing Director of Pink Pearl PR.