The template

A good content strategy template should include all of the following:

– A campaign mission statement: Write a sentence or two that reflects your goals for the campaign. This will serve as your guiding principle.

– Market research: What demographics are you targeting and what type and style of content do they prefer?

– Content: Decide on format, style, length, tone, and voice.

– Assigning the work: Who will create your content, distribute it, and monitor its success?

– Team workflow calendar: Keep everyone on target with dates for deliverables and distribution.

– Project master list designation: Once you fill out your template, assign it a place in your master list and stay on top of multiple projects.

Content Mission Statement

Before you start thinking about the content, define your terms. What are your goals? Be specific. The clearer and stronger your mission statement, the easier it will be to keep your campaign on target. Every content strategy template should begin with a space for a new campaign mission. It’s like the thesis sentence in an analytical essay. Then, the content should serve as the supporting paragraphs, reinforcing that mission in obvious ways.

Market Research

Your template should include categories for market research. For example: current customer demographics, target demographics, preferred content type, preferred style, preferred social media sites, etc. The idea is to create the type of content your target demographics prefer and to optimize it for the platforms they frequent.

Content Details

Your market research will tell you what type of content is likely to work best for your target audience. Now you have to decide on the details. Create spaces in your content template for format (video, audio, infographics, etc.), style (fun, serious, high-tech, etc.), length (60 second video, series of 5 infographics, etc.), and tone/voice (conversational, business, authoritative, etc.)

Content Creation

You know what you want the content to look like, now you have to decide where that content will come from. Some companies do content creation in house, others outsource content to freelancers or agencies, and others curate existing content. This part of your template should include spaces for individual names or for the names of the platforms or services you will use to create your materials.

Workflow Calendar

Every template should include spaces for specific dates for each content element. This will help you make sure creatives deliver the content on time. Every member of the team should have a copy of this calendar. The content is the centerpiece of your content marketing campaign. Without it, the developers can’t develop and the marketers can’t promote. Everyone’s schedule hinges on the content. If your template isn’t robust enough for your content calendar, there are software tools you can use.

Project Master List Designation

If you have multiple ongoing content marketing projects, keeping them all together will help you keep them organized. While each project may have its own mission, all of them should be working together to achieve your broad business goals.

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