Content strategy has taken the business world by storm, according to a recent study. And there’s a good reason behind the numbers. Your product – whether it be an app or a site – can’t just work.

What we mean by that is, it can’t simply be technically usable. It has to be used. After all, you’re designing for the user, aren’t you?

Of course, a smooth-running platform with great UX design is a big do. The thing is, designing communication and emotional engagement comes even before that. Content strategy steps in right at the beginning, laying a solid foundation for the entire project. It ain’t easy, but hey, great news!

We can do it together with a series of workshops to ensure your vision comes to life.

Table of Contents

    Content Strategy Is Like Dating

    In case you’ve never heard about it (or you did and now you’re eager to learn more), here’s our step-by-step content strategy guide. Basically, it looks pretty much like dating a new person!

    1. Know what you want. If you set your goal on a long-term relationship, you’ll take a different approach than when you’re just looking around, right? Define what you want and then act accordingly. Identifying your needs allows you to uptake the right action.
    2. Identify your target. According to psychologists, it takes less than one second for your brain to decide if the person you see is attractive. Well, it takes way more time to ideate on your users’ persona research. However, getting to know your user is essential engagement-wise, so the investment really pays off.
    3. Research your competition. Are they available? If they’re not, what can you do to win them over? Those questions translate perfectly to analysing your target audience’s relationship with the competition (and then use them to your best advantage). Of course, it’s also great to do a little benchmarking to get further insights.
    4. Be where they are. Are you guilty of wandering around the town just to “accidentally” bump into your crush? After some time, you probably know their favourite coffee spot or park. The same applies to your users. If you know where they spend their digital free time, it becomes much easier to choose the right media and platforms.
    5. Use the right words. Winning your would-be partner over requires some smooth-talking. If you want to be seen and appreciated, use the right tone of voice and make the most of your SEO strategy.
    6. Map out User’s Journey. It’s like the art of seduction. Action-reaction. If you do A, you expect somebody to do B. Of course, one journey map doesn’t work for all users, because we are all unique. However, a grounded-in-reality communication can help you design user behaviour.

    Both dating and content creation are no piece of cake. Your strategy has to be creative, memorable and well-thought-over. That’s why you need a wingman – or a wingwoman – to help you along the way.

    Why Workshops? It Takes Two To Tango!

    A product that looks great on paper but fails to work is a product no one aims for. Luckily, we know how to ensure that doesn’t happen. Sure, you can follow our content strategy guide, but why should you go through it alone? Such a project requires guidance, ideation and expertise.

    So, what better way to do that than with a creative workshop?

    Imagine you had an opportunity is to confront your ideas (“what do I want?“) with the reality of the market, competition and users (“how can I make it work?“).

    Then, with a series of meetings, your team gets a digestible overview of your entire content strategy – giving your product a form, shape and personality. Wait… That’s exactly what we’re doing (and it’s not even the best part)! Usually, content strategy and technological solutions are designed by two separate teams that have never met and have little in common (apart from working on your project).

    That rule doesn’t apply to HeroDOT, however. As a part of our methodology, we will help you define your marketing and business goals, guide you through the creative process, and educate your team on how to execute your vision.

    When everything happens in-house, all experts involved have a full overview of the bigger picture, share a mutual vision of engagement design… and are all here for you!

    Don’t Plan Your Content Strategy Blindfolded 

    There is one phrase that both Jon Snow and some clients repeat like a mantra: “I don’t want it“. Or, really, it translates to “I just want someone to do it for me“. Meanwhile, omitting this step is like going on a hiking date blindfolded.

    Sure, you can have someone tell you where to go and what to do. But where’s the fun in that? You can’t see the picturesque mountain tops, nor have the real impact on your journey. Chances are, you will trip over or fall into a precipice with one misplaced step. The risk of failure increases significantly.

    Not using a helping hand while creating a content strategy is like going on a date blindfolded
    When it comes to creating a content strategy, use all the help you can get.

    Sure, we can design your content strategy on our own, but it’s like flipping a coin. Either it turns up great – or forced, theoretical and artificial. Of course, we can take it step by step, show you the results of our creation, receive your feedback and then change the product over and over, until it fits your vision. But that prolongs the entire process and makes it unnecessarily complicated. There is a better option.

    You know the realities of your business, and you have the full picture of your business model. So, your insights and engagement in the whole creative process are indispensable. Together, we can make sure your project is reality-based, and then spice it up with some creative sparkles. If this is done properly, the technology will be designed to achieve realistic goals and meet your users’ expectations.

    And that is how the magic happens.

    Be The Best Version Of Yourself – But Still, Yourself

    What makes content exciting? You’ve probably scrolled through lots of ads, posts and sites, but only a few were memorable. The ones you can recall most likely provoked an emotional response. Just like Alfred Hitchcock said, “our primary function is to create an emotion and our secondary function is to sustain that emotions”.

    It’s not about marketing tricks and hacks, nor smokes and mirrors. Your user will feel it in his or her guts – we all do when it comes to manipulation. The best policy is to remain authentic.

    Let’s use the dating analogy once more: if you want to make a great first impression, you dress up, spray on some nice perfume and maybe put on a little makeup. But it’s just packaging. What’s behind the facade is predominantly you with all your tiny quirks, guilty pleasures and weird habits. And that’s what makes you unique. It’s not a matter of convincing the other person that you are worthwhile. If there’s a connection – everything will fall into the right place.

    The same applies to your user. The final product has to speak for itself – what we can do to enhance the overall experience is to let it show. How? Make sure any sort of content stands out, provokes emotions and engages on an intellectual level. If we love something (or someone), we understand and feel it.

    That’s why persona research is so important. You can’t copy-paste content strategy, simply because different approaches work for different people.

    Five multicoloured puzzle pieces named intellectual, emotional, creative, memorable, authentic. Green puzzle called "engaging" lays separately. A blue puzzle "strategic" is held by a hand appearing from a hole
    Even if the creation of great content might be a little bit puzzling, make sure you put all of the pieces together.

    How Do We Create Great Content Strategy? Together!

    “What can I expect from such a workshop?”, you may ask. Well, first of all: lots of unexpected, thought-provoking questions to confront your business idea with reality. Right from the start, we provide you with a side view, offering our expertise and holistic approach. Together, we expose the illogical, imprecise and ill-considered cause-and-effect relationships between content strategy and user behaviour. Our goal is to set realistic goals, both marketing and business-wise. Effect? Precise and pragmatic strategy definition.

    Then, since we already have a clear overview of what we want to do, we expand and broaden your perspective. That inspires creative ideation and generates out-of-the-box brainstorms. Because that’s the truth about ideas – they are contagious. If your goal is to go from point A to point B, you can either take the easy route or tread the creative path. And the second is the one we encourage.

    And finally, the best part: your brand narrative. Basing our performance on previously established deliverables, we can create a great structure for your website or app, a coherent narrative, memorable content and guidelines for both traditional and social media. However, workshops go beyond setting a list of dos and don’ts. We make sure that your team knows how to smoothly execute our strategy. We are not giving you a fish – we teach you how to fish.

    Conclusion

    Content strategy workshops look a bit different with every client. Why? It depends on the level of your engagement and previously established goals – or deliverables. Clashing ideas with reality is our main highlight because then you can design solutions strategically and avoid misunderstandings or disappointments.

    You can have a real impact on how your project’s future will look, no matter if it’s an app, a website or a rebranding. Identify your marketing goals with user engagement in mind, create your strategy and make sure all the pieces fall into their places during implementation.

    We know it’s a tough cookie. But that’s why we’re here for you with our team of multidisciplinary experts who will help you take it step by step.

    Contributors