Marketing 6 min read

Try This 4-Step Process for Content Development

Content development could be a daunting process for marketers, but it shouldn't be! The trick is to organize a simple strategy, and this is how you do it.

Shutterstock

Shutterstock

Online visibility of a business is crucial to its success. To create a compelling and profitable presence, it is essential to put in place a good content strategy.

But before we get into details, you should bear in mind that content strategy and content marketing strategy are two different things. We have a separate post discussing this.

Read: 8 Tips For Your Content Marketing Cheat Sheet

What is content development and how it could affect your business goals and the future of your organization as a whole?

What is Content Development?

What is content development and what are its benefits?
What is content development, and what are its benefits? | Shutterstock

Content development concerns the process of researching, gathering, organizing, and editing information to be marketed as different content types. Whether you’re just starting or you’re an experienced marketer, you have to be strategic about it.

The content master plan depends first and foremost on the needs and goals of your business. Then it’s about engaging customers around your brand content.

You want your content to trigger conversations, generate sales leads, and help your brand gain more traction.

By putting out content, every brand, no matter its size, looks for strengthening its positioning on search engine results and foster its image.

But depending on organizations and their markets, content development can take different forms and follow different approaches. As such, there’s no set strategy that fits all.

However, there’s a set of practices to keep in mind when developing a practical content blueprint.

Keep in mind that any content strategy comes under the broad umbrella of digital content marketing strategy. You may find marketers sometimes using the term interchangeably with content marketing.

Content Marketing Institute defines it as “drawing and developing the larger story that an organization tells. [It involves] focusing on ways to engage an audience, using content to drive profitable behaviors.”

Use this 4-step approach for strategic content development:

Smart Goal Setting

One approach to a strategic goal setting is to adopt the SMART model.
One method to a strategic goal setting is to adopt the SMART model. | Shutterstock

Setting the right goal from the get-go in any marketing endeavor is always a primary key to success. One approach to a strategic goal setting is to adopt the SMART model.

In other words, strive to set and enforce Specific, Measurable, Aspirational, Realistic, and Time-targeted (S.M.A.R.T.) goals.

As far as content is concerned, S.M.A.R.T. goals should be:

Specific: Every piece of content must be tied to one particular purpose, focusing on only one metric or key performance indicator (KPI).

Measurable: You should be able to measure or “quantify” the milestones you want to reach.

Aspirational/Attainable: Challenging goals that motivate you and trigger innovation. Goals should also be realistic; in other words, attainable based on your resources and industry.

Relevant: Content relevancy means adherence to a brand’s overall narrative, the industry’s trends, and expectations of potential prospects.

Time-targeted: Setting a time frame for goals with specific deadlines to help you stay focused and track your progress.

Building Brand Narrative

Brand narrative is about making your community “buy into” your brand.
The brand narrative is about making your community “buy into” your brand. | Shutterstock

To connect with your target audience, your brand storytelling should play a central role in your overarching marketing strategy.

Brand narrative goes way beyond the basic “who we are” section on your website. It’s about making your community “buy into” your brand, as opposed to “buying” it!

Working on building emotional bridges between your brand and customers can pay off handsomely. And to do that, you should opt for making a brand narrative, through stories that connect with prospects.

The message should be delivered while being true to the brand’s voice or personality.

Just like people love great books because of the emotional connection they feel, the brand narrative should unfold in a sincere, empathetic, and simple way.

Another cue from fiction storytelling to follow is the use of the element of surprise. Yes, your brand narrative should stay true to its core message and remain consistent in quality.

But that doesn’t mean your stories should be straightforward. Think of the buzz Apple creates around its products before their launch.

If you can, consider, for example, teasing your customers with offers they can’t say no to. Make it a surprise gift or a gateway to an even bigger surprise.

They would take your future teases more seriously because they would have tried and tested your process.

Knowing Your Prospects’ Learning Styles

To serve your prospective customers better, you should understand their learning styles.

Each person has their preferred styles and techniques when it comes to learning. People’s preference for one style or the other may differ depending on their preference or circumstances.

They may dominantly use one particular learning style or resort to a mix of styles. In other words, there’s no right combination, and your content development should follow suit.

There are countless models, each with its set of learning styles, but generally accepted are four types of learners:

  1. Innovative Learners: They make up the majority of people with approximately 35% of prevalence. Innovative learners like to know the why and how about something, and its relevance to them.
  2. Analytic Learners: They come second with approximately 22% of people. What these learners are after is “just the facts.” They would like to see data and information to support and match the communicated benefits.
  3. Common Sense Learners: With around 18% of people, common sense learners are all about practicality and concreteness. They’re interested in knowing the nitty-gritty of something.
  4. Dynamic Learners: Last but not least, come dynamic learners who make up approximately 25% of people. These are intuitive and imaginative learners who get excited by all the potential possibilities a piece of information may open up.

Again, there are dozens of learning style models. Another model group of learners is under the four categories but in a different way. We have visual, auditory, reading/writing, and kinesthetic learners.

Knowing the learning styles of people can help you cook up the best content to serve each according to their learning preferences. A savant mix of content is your best option unless you’re bound to one specific learning style for one reason or another.

Creating and Promoting Content

All three previous steps lead to this point: creating content.

Your business goals, brand narrative, and audience’s learning style should inform your content creation and promotion process. If you do your homework the right way, this critical stage should become less challenging.

You would know which content to publish plus when and where to capture the attention of which customer.

Read More: 10 Content Writing Tips For Beginners And Entrepreneurs

First AI Web Content Optimization Platform Just for Writers

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Zayan Guedim

Trilingual poet, investigative journalist, and novelist. Zed loves tackling the big existential questions and all-things quantum.

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