When we started talking about creating a content strategy, one of the first things I mentioned was that you need to be able to define content goals. In order to do that you need to ask yourself a few basic questions about the people you want to serve and the topics you plan to cover.
Sure, it’s easy to create content on an ad hoc basis, and just write about whatever you feel like every day. But if you’re trying to educate your audience or help them solve a problem, then they’re going to need a little more from you than just your random thoughts.
That’s why having a strategy and abeing able to define content goals should be your first priority when you’re setting up your content plan.
Here are 6 questions that can help you define content goals:
Question #1 – Who is your content intended for?
Without going into a whole lot of detail on knowing your audience (we’ll cover that in an upcoming article), the first thing you need to know is who your content is intended for. In most cases, you will have varying type of audience members from absolutely new people to people who have been with you for a long time and consume everything you create.
Other factors that need to be taken into consideration are things like:
- how they signed up to your list
- which lead magnet they downloaded
- what products they’ve purchased
- what your end goal for that particular segment of your audience is.
Question #2 – Where are you publishing it?
Where you’re publishing makes a big difference too. For example, content you publish as a blog post will be very different from content you publish as part of an email sequence. If it’s content that’s going to be published on your social platforms it may be in a completely different format.
This is where repurposing can be a big help. Once you have an initial post written, it makes it so much easier to repurpose and reuse it in other formats so that you get your message out to multiple segments of your audience.
Also, you want to consider the purpose of the actual page you’re placing the content on. Content on your site that goes on your blog is going to be different from sale page content, about page content, etc.
Question #3 – What is your message?
When you’re creating content for your plan, you want to be very clear on the message you’re sharing with your audience. It’s okay to take your time on this and spend some time pondering and brainstorming the answer.
The ideal way to create content goals around messaging is to have an overarching theme for all of your content, and then a single thread of that message in each piece of content you create. You’ll be much clearer in your messaging if you’re not trying to cover several topics in one post, for example.
Question #4 – Where does your new content fit in the plan?
Before you create anything new, you should check the content you’ve already created around the topic. Repurposing what you have by taking pieces from multiple sources and turning them into something new is a great way to save time, and also to ensure that what you’re creating fits with what you’ve already said.
The same goes for new content you create. Even when you’re covering your topic from a new slant, you’ll want to know and be able to show your audience how this new information fits with what you’ve already been sharing with them.
Question #5 – What’s your end goal?
I’ve written before about how every piece of content you create should have a goal, and you need to get clear on what that is before you start to create it. Here are a few ideas to get you thinking about what goals you want your content to achieve:
- Is your content meant as a source of information?
- Or is it meant to education them?
- To solve a problem?
- Or provide inspiration?
And what about engagement? How do you want your audience to interact with the content you’re creating?
When you know this before you start, it makes it so much easier to create your content with the end in mind.
Related: 8 Content Goals to Consider Setting
Question #6 – What is the next action?
The last question you need to answer before defining your content goals is, “What is the next action I want my audience to take?”
Every piece of content should have a call to action, and a definitive next step that directs your audience where to go and what to do after they’ve consumed your amazing content.
Be very clear on this, and don’t just leave it up to them to sign up for something or click away from the page.
When you’re able to answer these questions, you will have a much clearer idea on how to define content goals for every blog post, email, product, and social post you create. You’ll know who the content serves, how it fits with your overall content strategy, and exactly what you want the audience to do with it.
Once you have all that, you can set about creating products and support materials that fit into your overall strategy. One way to make this easier is to start with a package of done for you content such as the Year’s Worth of Content* package that’s available at Ekit Hub. This pack will give you a cohesive set of material to work with based around one theme, that will make answering these questions much easier than if you had to start from scratch.
This is part 3 in our series on creating a content strategy. Read the rest of the articles here:
Part 3: 6 Questions You Can Use To Define Content Goals (You are here)
*Note: This post includes affiliate links, for which I will receive a small commission should you make a purchase.