Thanksgiving has a beautiful way of slowing us down and helping us see all that we have to be thankful for.
This year in particular, when it feels like so much has been taken away, it’s important to focus on what you do have and what you can still give to others.
Giving not just in the physical sense, but giving in all of its meanings – action, adjective and emotion – is what creates bonds and a foundation of trust and understanding. Which, as you probably guessed, is what makes giving an essential part of any mission or content strategy.
When building this golden quality into your content planning and production process, there are a few things worth bearing in mind. Read on to see how your museum or cultural organisation can give, grow and engage using content.
The first step to creating content that gives your community members something honest and genuine starts with you. It begins with your team’s core values, mission and vision. Essentially, before you can give anything to your readers, visitors or customers, it must come from an authentic and universally-true place.
Knowing what matters most to your museum or cause and how you plan to reach your goals and aspirations will act as a guide for the content you create. Keep going back to your core values – passion, innovation, diversity, creativity – and you will soon have a list of content objectives and themes that are true to yourself and your mission.
Once you know what your brand stands for and how you’re going to fulfil this vision, the next step is all about your audience – who you are creating content for.
First, who is your ideal audience member? If you have a customer avatar, use that as a starting point. Then in addition to their demographics – age, occupation, income, etc – try to find where they hang out online and the language and phrases they use.
The more you can understand what your audience is interested in, passionate about, what worries them and would like help with, the better you can resonate and connect with them.
Remember, if your piece of content doesn’t coincide with your audience’s interests or needs, how will it capture and hold their attention? In order to give something meaningful to someone, it has to appeal to their wants and/or needs.
The final piece of the giving formula is being helpful. Before creating any piece of content for your community, make sure you can answer the question: does it serve my reader?
Whether it’s sharing expert advice or tips, specialist knowledge or an experience, take time to understand how you are helping your visitor or customer. Some content goals will be clearer than others – this learning resource will teach kids about our museum’s collection – but knowing the purpose your content serves before producing it will always benefit you and your community.
To find out what your audience needs help with, try:
- Googling keywords and phrases that your team is an expert on and passionate about. This will bring up questions that ‘People also ask’ and ‘Searches related to’ your keyword at the bottom of the search results page.
- Asking your visitors, social media followers and customers what they are interested in, need help with and enjoy. Surveys and listening to your community online and in conversation are excellent techniques.
- Entering a relevant search term into AnswerThePublic or Google Trends to see what people are searching and asking online.
Give, grow and engage
You are now ready to create content that is true to your values and mission, relevant to your community and serves a purpose. As you follow these three steps, you will not only have something valuable to give to your audience, but you will also have a list of great content ideas for the future.
A gift for you
From now until Christmas, CBA Content is giving 5 online businesses a free Content Map evaluation. Designed to help small and medium-sized museums, heritage centres and cultural organisations, this Content Map will improve your understanding of your brand story, ideal audience and the type of content you should be creating for them.
To see what the Content Map looks like and exactly how it works, check out the video below: