Strategy

Keeping Your Stories on Strategy: A Checklist

Check. Check. Check. There’s something satisfying about running through a list and marking off everything you’ve accomplished. You know what’s even more satisfying? Executing your content marketing strategy with pieces of content that each serve the big picture and move you toward your goals. Well, prepare to be satisfied. We’ve got a checklist that will help you ensure your stories are on track from ideation to execution and keep you from losing sight of the strategy in the process. Check it out!

D Custom stories on strategy checklist

Know your strategy. Think of it like your favorite song: Do you really know the lyrics (“Walk This Way”, eat your heart out…), or do you just think you know the lyrics? Your strategy should be handy throughout the content creation process to check and recheck. Memorize your strategy goals and KPIs, and don’t forget about them.

What’s your line? You should be able to boil your strategy down to one tag line. Every piece of content should measure up against it.

All ideas are not good ideas. While all ideas should be taken seriously during idea generation, take the time to choose the ideas that will contribute to the larger goals.

It takes all kinds. A story cannot be all things to all people. The more specific a piece of content is in goal and audience, the more effective it will be. It’s also important to have a good content mix of topics, types, and channels.

Know thy audience. Ask yourself — would my target read this? What are her pain points? Remember all that market research from your content strategy? Now’s the time to leverage it.

Check yourself before…. Take a step back every few paragraphs or after each draft to ask: Is it speaking to the right audience? Is the piece working toward a goal? If not, now’s the time to tweak it!

Seal the deal. Having a clear call to action can make the difference between “That was a cool article. Now back to Facebook,” and “That was a cool article. Now I’ll share it on Facebook.” Your content can be used to encourage the reader to do various things, including the following:

  • Read another piece of content
  • Buy a product
  • Tell other people how much they like your brand
  • Move along in the sales cycle
  • Sign up for an email

Measure your results. Each piece of content should have some sort of measurable result, whether it be page-views, click-throughs, conversions, comments or shares. Baseline your measurements and monitor them. Then tweak your content as necessary moving forward. This is how merely average content programs turn into exceptional ones. Now you can check “Create on-strategy content” off of your to-do list — until you start the process all over again for your next story.

How do you make sure your stories support your strategy? Share your secrets to success on our social channels here, here, and here.

@dcustommedia