Dorine Kanaiza: Ten Steps to Help You Get Started with Your Content Strategy

Dorine Kanaiza is the Communications Officer at Digital Opportunity Trust (DOT) Kenya.


Whether you are a creator, communications and marketing practitioner or just someone who is working on their personal branding, a content strategy is a must-have. I love strategies because they give you a sense of direction. So, you are not doing things randomly but rather guided by a well laid-out plan.

In this article, I highlight ten steps that will help you get started with your content strategy. From auditing your existing content to determining your objectives, setting your tactics, analysing your audience, to highlighting and implementing recommendations, learn how to develop an effective content strategy that will bring you incredible results.

Step 1: Audit your existing Content

Analysing your current performance will help you determine what’s working for you and what you need to do better. Some of the useful social media tools that you can leverage include Sprout Social, Hootsuite, HubSpot or the embedded analytics tools on various social media platforms.

For example, Meta platforms have their analytics under the ‘Professional Dashboard’.

Step 2: Determine your Objective

It is crucial to know what you want to achieve with your strategy. Your objectives have to align with the overall organisational/ personal goals and be S.M.A.R.T (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound). An example of your objective could be: Increase organic website traffic by 20% within six months.

Step 3: Set your Tactics

How do you intend to achieve your objectives? Looking at the objective above (Increase organic website traffic by 20% within six months) some of the tactics could be: publishing blogs frequently, focusing on SEO like using the right keywords, title, subheadings and possibly paying for Google Ads if you have the budget. You could also promote your blogs on social media.

Step 4: Analyse your Audience

Who are you communicating to? There is nothing like a ‘general audience.’ You need to narrow down to a specific group of people you want your message to reach. This will determine the tone and the language your message will take, the appropriate channels to explore and the look and feel of your graphics.

Analysing your target audience includes studying the different demographics it encompasses; age, gender, level of education, occupation, location, religion, ethnicity, e.t.c.

Photo by Melanie Deziel on Unsplash

Step 5: Tailor your Messaging
Once you have determined your target audience, then you can proceed to create messages that resonate with them. Messages could take different formats like blogs, articles, reports, audio/video, or a media statement. When curating your message, you have to consider the length (depending on the intended channel it is for), tone and language.

Most importantly, your piece should answer the question ‘so what?’ It is good practice to add a call to action at the end.

Step 6: Identify your Channels

From your content audit at the beginning, you could tell which platforms are doing great and those that aren’t. Experience has proven to me that you can barely get it 100% on all the channels, especially social media. Of course it is possible if you have a bigger team, where we have designated individuals assigned to different platforms. It is advisable to focus on what is working for you as you figure out ways to improve on the others.

Supposing that you are just getting started, you might want to research where your audience is before setting up the channels. For instance, if you want to engage on a more professional level then X, LinkedIn and/or Facebook would be more ideal. Whereas TikTok and Instagram would be a good choice for an audience that demands more fun and visuals (youth in most cases).

Step 7: Note your Key Performance Indicators

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), simply put, are the crucial quantifiable elements used to measure performance on a platform for a given period of time. You can develop these from your objectives.

KPIs for various channels include reach, impressions, website visits, clicks on links, number of subscriptions or sign ups, following or views.

Step 8: Create a Content Calendar

Bravo, you have your strategy ready! Now it is execution time. A content calendar highlights what you will publish (including blogs, reports, press releases, email campaigns, or social media posts), when (specific day and time), where you will publish (e.g. website, Mailchimp, or social media) and the graphics (fliers, reels, videos, infographics, GIFs, or photos) you will use to enhance your messaging.

You can easily draft one on a Google doc/Word document. The next thing is to schedule your content. You can do this on the channels (most of them have a scheduling option) or explore other tools like those mentioned in step one. Do your research as well to find out what other tools best meet your needs.

Photo by Patrick Perkins on Unsplash

Step 9: Monitoring and evaluation

Once your strategy is set to go, you want to ensure that you are continually tracking your performance —focusing on your KPIs. Investing in social media tools can save you the hassle of manually extracting the data from your channels. Google Analytics comes in handy in measuring your website performance.

Once you have this info you can use it to create a social media analytics report and share with your team, including recommendations.

Step 10: Highlight and implement recommendations

It is important to study the results from your report and find out what you can carry on with or adjust. Significant questions that can guide your recommendations include: Did you meet your KPIs? If yes/no, why? What are some of your best performing content on the different channels? Should you publish more of those? What is not working and how can you improve?

Research what your competitors are doing and decide whether you want to borrow some of their tactics. You can also engage your audience, in a poll for instance, to learn what they would like to see more.

As I conclude, remember the saying ‘Content is king?’ Now imagine having a badass strategy! If you found this article useful, share in the comments what stood out for you and what you would add to this list.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *