What is content strategy? How will it help my wellness business?
If you have a health & wellness website, you probably have a blog, vlog, or podcast where you regularly publish new content. But, is it building your audience, email list, and sales? Is it helping you strategically meet your business goals? Are you a pro at content marketing?
Your blog is the execution of your content marketing strategy. The rest of your content flows from that – things like your newsletter, social media, advertising, etc. all come after you publish your newest piece.
Your blog should be building your business 24/7.
For example, by consistently creating high-quality niche-specific content you are increasing:
- Your brand’s authority and credibility, so you stand out and become a thought leader and the “go-to” expert;
- Your “know, like, and trust” factor with your targeted audience;
- The number of audience members that subscribe to your email list;
- The number of subscribers that purchase from you by nurturing them and “warming” them up to your upcoming launches.
None of these happen quite as quickly if your content is inconsistent, low quality, or generic.
Plus, by having a vision, goals, and a plan to execute, these alleviate so much stress when it comes time to create. You will know what launches, special dates, and topics are coming up in advance so you can start thinking about, researching, and scheduling time to create and promote.
Let me tell you exactly what is content strategy.
Content strategy vs. editorial calendar
A content strategy is, essentially, your “why.” It’s your business direction and goals. It’s the foundation for your content marketing.
According to Jon Morrow of Smartblogger,
The purpose of content is to create influence.
The purpose of marketing is to convert influence into action.(ref)
Hence, “content marketing.”
Content marketing institute defines content marketing” as:
Creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience — with the objective of driving profitable customer action.
Let’s dive into your content strategy vs. your editorial calendar.
Before you start planning your editorial calendar, you need a strategy. Your editorial calendar is your “how.” How are you going to execute your strategy?
So, you need a strategy first.
In other words, your content strategy is your direction and goals, and your editorial calendar contains the steps you’re going to take to reach those goals.What's a content strategy vs. an editorial calendar? #contentstrategy #editorialcalendar Click To Tweet
Here’s an analogy:
Pretend you have a new client. Let’s say her goal is to fit back into last year’s skinny jeans, lose 2″ around her belly, all before her vacation booked in two months. And she wants to do this the healthy, holistic, and sustainable way by eating more whole foods, fewer desserts, increasing exercise, and improved sleep. She’s not interested in “too good to be true” supplements.
Health strategy (analogous to the content strategy)
These are her vision & goals… her health strategy.
- Fit into last year’s skinny jeans;
- Lose 2″ around her belly;
- In two months;
- By eating more whole foods and fewer desserts;
- Increasing exercise, and;
- Improved sleep.
These are achievement/outcome goals. What she wants, and when she wants it. They’re high-level goals without the nitty-gritty of the daily work that will have to go into achieving them… that comes next.
These goals are also how success will be measured. At the end of two months, will she have lost 2″ around her belly and have solid exercise and sleep habits? Will her goals be achieved?
As the professional, how do you help her execute her strategy?
With a plan.
Health plan (analogous to the editorial calendar)
Here’s where you come in as her wellness practitioner.
Your first question when helping to create a plan is to understand the parameters:
- What’s her budget in terms of time, money, and motivation?
The answer to this one question will help you advise whether her strategy and goals are realistic, and which path to take to reach them. Then, you create a plan to help your client achieve her goals within these parameters.
What daily actions does she need to take to reach her goals? What foods should she eat more/less of? How often? Which exercises? Which sleep habits?
These may be some of your actionable recommendations to her:
- Eat # servings of vegetables using recommended recipes and/or meal plans, three-five times per day;
- Eat # g of protein chosen from your list with every meal, three times per day;
- Make homemade desserts using recommended recipes and recommended serving sizes, only eat once every other day;
- Do your recommended exercises for 20 minutes, every other day;
- Change 2 sleep habits per week until she gets 8 hours of sleep every night.
These are her actionable goals. The specific steps you recommend for your client to take to achieve her health strategy.
What about the format? Will 1:1 nutrition coaching, a personal chef, and private trainer be possible (or necessary)? What about a group program that meets weekly? Or, is your ebook bundle all she needs to achieve her goals?
All of these steps put together in a logical time frame are like the editorial calendar.Before you start planning your editorial calendar, you need a strategy. #contentstrategy Click To Tweet
How to create a content strategy
Your content strategy is based on your goals. To create your content strategy, write down your answers to these questions:
- Who is your ideal client? Who do you want to help?
- What are their pain points and goals?
- What type of content do they want and care about (e.g. educational, how-to’s, inspirational, entertaining, etc.)?
- How do you help them (e.g. expertise/modalities, coaching/programs/products)?
- What makes you different from your competitors? What’s your brand position and perspective? What niche do you want to be the credible go-to expert in?
- How do you want to categorize your content?
- In the next 3 months:
- What are your achievement/outcome goals? For example, traffic/views, likes/shares, email subscribers, or sales?
- Do you want to be featured in or contribute to other magazines, blogs/vlogs/podcasts?
- How will you know if it’s working? How will you measure success?
NOTE: I said “achievement” goals, not “actionable” goals. This means that you’re strategizing achievements/outcomes, not planning step-by-step how to achieve these just yet. Don’t worry, in the editorial calendar, we’ll plug in the actionable steps that will help you achieve these goals.
Once you have your strategy, you can create your editorial calendar to execute that strategy.Here's how to create your content strategy #contentstrategy Click To Tweet
By having a content strategy, you are visualizing and documenting the direction you want to take your business and marketing. These will help you to keep on-track to where you want to go, and not get side-tracked when something new comes up.
How to create an editorial calendar based on your content strategy
Now it’s time to get real and see how to make your vision come to life. We will plan how things are going to get done, when they’re going to get done by, and who is going to do them.
Here are things to consider when creating your editorial calendar to support your content strategy.
NOTE: I walk you through creating your editorial calendar in the video below.
Just as in the health plan example above, your first editorial calendar question is:
- What’s your budget in terms of time, money, and motivation?
How much time, money, and motivation do you have to create your content? Don’t forget the off-shoots from your blog, which are your newsletter, promotion (e.g. social media and advertising), and engagement.
Who will be working to ensure you reach your goals? For example, do you want to do all of the creation, promotion, and engagement your yourself? Do you want to accept guest posts? Do you want to outsource to a professional content manager and ghostwriter? Do you want to use and customize “done for you” content?
And, you can increase your productivity (i.e. reduce your time) by batching content. One benefit of strategizing and planning is that when you know your next few pieces of content, you can batch them together and create them all in a day or two.
Now, to create your editorial calendar, you need to answer:
- How often will you be publishing new content on your own blog?
- How often will you be publishing on other blogs, e.g. guest posting, being interviewed, etc.?
- Do you have/want specific categories for your content? How will they be balanced?
- What format will you use (i.e. long/short, written/video/audio, etc.)?
- What types of content do you want, i.e. researched educational, “how-to’s,” curated links, promotional, etc.?
- What “calls to action” will you use to achieve your strategic goals (e.g. email opt-in incentives, promotions within posts, purely promotional posts, etc.)?
- What topics will support your upcoming important days? E.g. birthday/anniversary, holidays, heath/food themed days, new product/service launches? Remember to nurture along the buyer’s journey, i.e. “warm” up your audience to upcoming offerings.
- What are your most/least popular posts? How can you maximize them? What’s trending on Google and social media?
- What content do you already have that you can update, re-publish in another format, or repurpose into a new piece?
- How are you going to find your audience, and how are they going to find you (e.g. guest posting, interviews, social media, advertising, SEO, etc.)?
60+ health & wellness topics you can create in 60 minutes
Download this checklist for the next time you need a post fast.
For example some actionable goals to include in an editorial calendar are:
- Blogging/podcasting/vlogging weekly,
- Pitching interviews and guest posts weekly;
- Creating a new opt-in incentive monthly;
- Getting interviewed and/or guest posting monthly, etc.
You’ll notice that these goals are things you have full control over and can tick off your list. That’s what makes them actionable as part of your editorial calendar. You literally schedule them in.Here's how to create your editorial calendar based on you #contentstrategy - #editorialcalendar Click To Tweet
NOTE: What you plan into your editorial calendar can be “sticky” or “fluid.” What I mean is that there will be a number of things that must be done on a certain date. They’re non-negotiable. These are “sticky” dates. For example special dates like your birthday/business anniversary, your launch dates, seasonal dates, or established heath/food dates. However, you likely will have some flexibility with other planned topics and dates. You may be able to move them around if a new or exciting opportunity comes up, or if there is something in the news that you just have to comment on. Your editorial calendar is as flexible as you want it to be, and will help you meet your content strategy goals as much as you want to.
With all of these in mind, go ahead and download my content strategy editorial calendar template here:
Now, watch me plan 5 weeks of content in under 20 minutes with this spreadsheet. Open up your copy, pause the video where necessary, and get yours done too.
Your strategic vision for your business drives all that you do. With consistent high-quality, niche-specific content on your blog/vlog/podcast you will build a targeted audience, email subscribers, and ultimately, customers and clients.
Your content marketing strategy is the foundation for your editorial calendar. It’s the goals you want to achieve.
Your editorial calendar is your plan to achieve those goals. It’s also the foundation for the rest of your content, be it in your newsletter, social media, advertising, and engagement.
Signing off and toasting: To having a solid content strategy that you build your editorial calendar to support your biz.
Over to you
What do you think? Do you have a content strategy? Do you have an up-to-date editorial calendar that supports your strategy? Do you want them?
I’d love to know (in the comments below)!
Don’t want to DIY this strategic plan?
Let me help you plan out the next 12+ weeks of content for your blog. And as a BONUS, I’ll give you a bunch of my researched, pre-written “done for you” blog posts. Let’s create your content strategy and editorial calendar in advance, so you know what you’re going to post about Every. Single. Time!
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I'm Leesa Klich, MSc., R.H.N.
Health writer – Blogging expert – Research nerd.
I help health and wellness professionals build their authority with scientific health content. They want to stand out in the crowded, often unqualified, market of entrepreneurs. I help them establish trust with their audiences, add credibility to their services, and save them a ton of time so they don’t have to do the research or writing themselves. To work with me, click here.