No matter what industry an organization is in, it needs a comprehensive content development strategy to ensure it is creating the right content for its audience.
In patient advocacy, content is a powerful tool, not only to provide support to your community, but also to drive home the value of your organization to the various stakeholders you need to reach.
Here are our top tips for creating effective content for your audience.
Define your objective
Before starting any form of content production, your organization needs to define exactly what it wants to achieve. Would you like to gain more awareness of your work? Would you like more engagement online?
You may, for example, want to use your content to increase memberships. If this is the case, consider how the content will generate more members. If this isn’t your objective, decide what other reason is the motivation behind the content you will produce.
Consider perception, sentiment and opportunity
Once you understand what you would like to achieve, and how much funding your project will have, the next step is to define the perception, sentiment and opportunity that the content will have and address.
- Perception relates to how you would like your organization to be seen as a result of the content you are producing.
- Sentiment relates to how people already view you. This requires some research, but it is very important in understanding how your content will be shaped. For example, if people do not trust you, your content should push to change that sentiment. This may mean bringing in an expert clinician to lend their weight to the content you produce, for example.
- Opportunity is about defining the unmet need your content addresses. Are you replicating another organization’s work, or is your content entirely original?
Take stock of your resources
Too often, organizations begin to develop new content, even though they already have content that can be repurposed to achieve the same objective.
For example, a video can be broken into smaller video clips for social media, a transcript can be made of it to form the basis of an article and, in the case of interview, the audio can be taken and made into a podcast.
It is important to exhaust the opportunities from existing content before moving on to new content to avoid unnecessary expenditure.
‘Resources’ also refers to the people you have on hand to create the content. Will you have enough manpower, expertise and capacity in your organization to carry out your desired content development project? If not, will you need support for developing content and how much will this cost?
With objectives determined, perception, sentiment and opportunity defined, and available resources mapped out, the penultimate piece of the puzzle is to determine the identity of your content development strategy.
Ultimately, your strategy needs to be appropriate to your organization. For example, it is no use creating content that would suit a much larger organization with more resources and more exposure when your organization is just starting out.
Here are some useful questions to answer:
- What are we?
- How big are we?
- Are we respected?
- Will the content be promotional or non-promotional?
- Will the content be related to a specific campaign or event?
Building a strategy
Once all the above have been shaped and clarified, define the content. Think about exactly what you want to create. What content will be used? What channels will be used? Will the content be produced collaboratively?
Tone of voice is also a big factor here, alongside sensitivity. For instance, a group focused on raising awareness of bladder health will want to deliver its desired message using different language to one focused on lung cancer.
Then, formulate a detailed content calendar – one that stretches across the year and defines the type of content, channels that will be used, who will be involved, and when that content will be created and shared.
A solid content development strategy is one of the most difficult, yet most important, aspects of raising the profile of any organization. With the above tips in mind, you’ll be on your way to creating the most valuable content for your audience, which meets your own goals too.