Before embarking on these steps make sure you get input from all the stake holders and be realistic about what you can achieve with your available resources.

  1. Analysis – understanding your products or services, business structure, market, competitors and most importantly your customers. This will require some desktop research involving whatever data you have and finding what else is easily available (i.e. using online sources). It should also involve talking to customers. You want to find out how they research new products and services and why they buy your products. Try to uncover the emotional motivators that drive purchases because that is what really matters. Also map out the ‘journey of discovery’ that your customers go on to find what they want.
  2. Audit – defining what the company resources are. So looking at what content is currently available e.g. product brochures, videos, FAQs etc. Also understand how you will generate more content in future. It must create a realistic picture of the resources at your disposal. Ask questions such as “can we increase content production with current staff and budgets”, “Can our current setup deliver sustained content development”.
  3. Strategy – define the objectives. Be clear on what success looks like. Then using the information from Analysis and Audit create a realistic content strategy that works for the business. Most importantly ask yourself if it delivers value to your customers on their ‘journey of discovery’.
  4. Plan – this is the detail that will deliver the strategy. Who needs to do what on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. Make sure you work this through in minute detail for at least one campaign or piece of content so you can make sure you can deliver it. Create a detailed project plan and make sure you get sign off from all the people who will be helping to deliver it.
  5. Create – make the content (whitepapers, blogs, videos etc) and perhaps the delivery and measurement mechanisms required if not already in place. Ensure that the content and delivery methods reflect and support the customer journey and strategy.
  6. Deliver – most importantly make sure it is maintained consistently over time. Disciplined delivery is the realisation of all the previous steps and is what will drive the success you want.