How to Design an Effective Content Strategy

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A well designed content strategy is your business’s greatest marketing asset. It is best to incorporate all types of content, across all major mediums into your content strategy. This includes social media, video, blog posts, and email. We believe that the best content strategies are holistic. This means creating an even amount of content across each of these mediums.

When planning your content strategy you may choose to go with a digital marketing firm, or you may decide to create your own content. This article will aim to equip you with the tools you need to design an effective content strategy no matter what route you take. Let’s get started.

Start With a Mind Map

The first step in creating engaging content is know what content you want – or should – make. To do this, you first need to know what is important to you, your brand, and your audience. A mind map is one of the best strategies to answer all of these questions. Here’s how you create the roadmap from your mind to your keyboard.

Business Mission-Centric Content Kingdom

You can think of a mind map as the breakdown of an animal kingdom. In this case, it’s the kingdom of your business. The mission of your business is the highest level of the classification in your animal kingdom. Just as all animals belong to the animal kingdom, everything you business does fits inside your mission.

Your company’s mission should always be your guiding force, be it for content creation or other business purposes. Afterall, your mission is why you’re in business in the first place. It’s what leads you to potential clients, and them to you. So take your mission and put it in bold right in the middle of your map.

Your Content Phylum (Talking Points)

Below the kingdom level is the phylum level. This is the second most broad definition of an animal kingdom, and in this case it is where you will find your company’s talking points for the content you will be creating. Your mission is why you do the work. Your talking points are the work that your company actually does. You should know a great deal about these topics. They are your crown staples. How your business earns its revenue. 

Your talking points should be the next lines jutting out from your business mission in the center of your map. 

For example, here at Mountain Cane Media, we build effective digital marketing campaigns for businesses. This includes web design, and social media strategy and blog management. So our talking points are focused on what it takes to build a beautiful, high-functioning website, as well as how to increase your social media following and blog presence. Jutting out from our mission in the middle of our map are the talking points of web design, social media, and blog writing. 

What is it that you do so well that others pay you money to do just that? The answer to that question is where you will find your talking points. In a tangible sense, your talking points are even more important than your business mission. They are what you should be talking about in your content posts. 

Your Content Classes (Subtopics)

The last stop on your jungle tour of content creation is your subtopics. Specific, actionable content is almost always better than just fluffy filler posts. You should look to add value for your audience with each post. Just as the goal of this post is to teach you how to design an effective content strategy, your content posts should teach your audience how to do something through an outlined process.

For example, this article does not just talk about designing an effective content strategy, it shows you how to do it through content planning procedures like a mindmap. Our mission is helping businesses succeed through digital marketing. Our talking points are web design, social media, and blog writing. Finally, we round out our content through subtopics structured around actionable steps, on well, creating content – because that’s what we do best.

Your subtopics should branch out from your talking points on your mind map. This will help you to best plan the context of your posts.

Alright. Now you know how to use a mind map to design an effective content strategy, so let’s switch topics towards a great tool to use with it comes to posting content – the waterfall strategy. 

The Waterfall Strategy

The waterfall strategy allows you to recycle your long form posts (usually blog posts) for use across all mediums. This strategy’s name comes from the process of cascading small content pieces across various mediums and platforms from one original long from content piece. The first step is to create the original piece of content. We have found that blog articles above 1000 words are best for this strategy. 

The Vlog Option 

Creating a vlog is another excellent way to utilize the waterfall strategy especially if you communicate better through speaking rather than writing. If you are unfamiliar with this term – vlog – it is recorded video content in which you go over the same talking points and subtopics as you would in a blog post. You may even find better success and higher exposure through creating a vlog rather than writing a traditional blog. 

Sharing your vlog on Youtube can increase your following base, while also giving you a written transcript that you can use for written waterfall posts on other social media platforms. You can also use your vlog for a video waterfall strategy by editing out short sections of a minute or less. 

These compact videos can be a vital marketing tool to use on platforms like Twitter and Instagram where the exposure metrics favor quick sound bits rather than paragraph form text. For this reason, it is best to create a vlog post of several minutes. This will give you more cascading pieces of content.

Pro tip – write out a script for your vlog before you film. This will make the recording go smoothly since you won’t have to adlib. It will also save you the hassle of having to transcribe your vlog after it’s recorded. 

Go Create Content

Now you know how to design an effective content strategy through planning tools like mind mapping. You know how to use a longer piece of content to create several small pieces across different mediums and platforms through the waterfall strategy. All that’s left is go create some content. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us at Mountain Cane Media if you find yourself in need of a knowledgeable digital marketing professional. 

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