The start of a new financial year brings new budgets, new plans, and renewed ambition. So what are you going to do to ensure your content strategy is effective this year?


Effective communication comprises 3 core elements:

🧁It is clear: the overall theme, supporting ideas, intent behind the content, and language used are all simple and therefore easy to understand.

🧁It is compelling: the messaging used resonates with the target audience because it’s framed within the things they care about.

🧁It is consistent: every piece of content is saying the same thing and driving towards the same call-to-action (CTA).

Let’s consider how you apply each element within your content strategy:


Clarity

Clear communication requires you to apply copywriting technique to your content. The best strategy is to start with one central theme, which is underpinned by 3 supporting messages.

For example:

🧁Central theme: how to write effective communications.

🧁Supporting messages: ensure content is clear, compelling, and consistent.

Next, think about how to frame your words using storytelling. When you use this technique, your client is always positioned as the ‘hero’ and whatever problem they are battling is the ‘villain’. This makes you the ‘guide’ because you know how to overcome the challenges your hero faces, so they emerge victorious.

Finally, don’t forget your CTA, because every piece of content you write needs to have a purpose (otherwise, what’s the point?!).

🧁Think: what do you want the audience to do once they’ve read your content?

🧁Be specific: make your expectation crystal clear – “Click here to download a template to support your messaging” rather than “Read more” 

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Compelling

It’s not about you. Your content should never be about you. Your audience only cares about themselves (harsh, but true), so always start with them.

Go back to your marketing strategy and pull out the section about your target audience. Not this idea that your product/service can be used by any and every organisation, but your ACTUAL target audience who you actively target because they sit in your sweetspot. Now put yourself in their shoes:

🧁Aspirational identity: who do they want to be?

🧁Pain points: what is stopping them from succeeding?

🧁Personal ambition: what do they seek to achieve on an individual level?

In this simple act you start to see how to reposition your proposition. For example, rather than shout about what a great copywriter I am, I use my words to tap into your thought process. If you’re on this page, you’re probably thinking about how to create and execute an amazing content strategy over the next year, which delivers results the business needs (and makes you look really good in the process!).

Once you’ve considered your actual target audience so you can create the right context for your content, you need to turn your attention to:

🧁What: the products/services you offer to your customers.

🧁How: the things that differentiate you from the competition.

🧁Why: the reason you are passionate and why you exist.

With each element frame it up as follows:

‘It [FEATURE], which delivers [BENEFIT], so that [VALUE]’.

For example, in my business I could say:

My executive ghostwriting service allows you to share the insights of your subject matter experts without asking them to write a single word. This prevents your content being bumped down the ‘to-do’ list by ensuring it is prioritised, so you get high-quality thought leadership published according to your schedule.”

Finally, don’t forget to consider your company values because this sets the tone for your communications and helps you position your words in the right way.

For example:

🧁Fun: Time to make your boss look great!

🧁Friend: Make your thought leadership content my priority.”

🧁Formal: Distil the skills, knowledge, and experience of your c-level executives into compelling content.”

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Consistent

Effective communication is reliant on delivering the right message, to the right person, at the right time, through the right channel. And if that wasn’t challenging enough, every asset you create needs to align, so your whole campaign is pulling in the same direction.

If you’ve taken the time to plan your messaging, that’s a big tick in the box. To be super smart, you should also consider the process of how you create your content.

Start with one central asset. Something meaty, like a white paper, guide or report. This asset can be broken down and expanded upon to start building out your campaign.

For example:

Content creation for a new financial year

Watch the accompanying explainer video…

Pull out any key facts and stats into an infographic.

Create a 1-pager about your product/service.

Expand on the context/problem(s)/opportunity in dedicated articles and inject some tactical SEO to help your content be found.

Write a series of social updates for each asset to drive traffic to it.

Use each asset as a CTA in your email marketing as part of a nurture flow campaign.

When all your content is born from one central asset, it is inherently consistent, which means that throughout your campaign you’ll always deliver the right message, to the right person, at the right time, through the right channel.

Download your printable templates…

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Planning your content strategy

Once you’ve decided on the assets you need for your content strategy, be sure to plan out when each piece of content needs to be created, by whom, and if you’ll require any external help. With the drip feed of constant activity, you start to build momentum within your campaign.

🧁DO think about scheduling your content so it’s one less thing for you to think about.

🧁DON’T forget to follow up because you need to actively engage with your audience in the moment, rather than ignore any comments/questions that come in.

Planner_content creation for a new financial year

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Evaluate your campaign performance

Marketing is all about experimentation – and the outcome of experimentation is always learning.

Back when I sat on your side of the table, I would always plan my campaigns quarterly, but evaluate the overall campaign on a monthly basis so I could tweak and refine the execution. As well as assess each tactic about a week after it was published to see what was/wasn’t resonating with my target audience.

When evaluating your campaign, you need to leave any emotion at the door to look objectively at how your content performed:

🧁What did work? (for example) the white paper achieved 1,000 downloads in week 1.

🧁What didn’t work? (for example) those downloads only converted 1 lead.

🧁What could you do differently? (for example) change the CTA or adapt the white paper to make it sector specific.

🧁What else could you try? (for example) evolve the campaign with a webinar to present the findings of the white paper.


3 top tips for your new year strategy

🧁Stay focused on the metrics that matter. Marketing tools are fabulous for all the data they can provide, but you need to be able to action that data. Therefore, look at your end goal and determine the metrics that will help you make informed decisions about how to tweak and refine your campaign.

🧁Don’t forget to test your headlines – a simple tweak to your words or phrasing could be all it takes to secure the click. If in doubt, use a headline analyser tool, like this one from the Advanced Marketing Institute.

🧁Repurposing content doesn’t need to be costly or labour intensive. Simply think about how you can carve your assets up so they fit different platforms – like 1-min videos for LinkedIn, a graphic for a sales deck, or a teaser for an email.


Still have a question?

I’ve been a professional copywriter since 2014, and before that I spent nearly a decade working as a B2B tech marketer. In that time I have planned sooo many content strategies – and learned valuable lessons from the execution of each one.

I’m genuinely an open book so you are more than welcome to ask me anything. All you need to do is…

Say hello!