Content Strategy – Step II: Key Theme Development

This is where the heavy lifting begins. Before you even begin to write, you need to analyze several key factors that collectively form the addends of a simple equation, the sum of which is – you guessed it – the key theme that will anchor your content strategy:

Step 2 - Theme Development

Step 2 - Theme Development

The first one is, of course, your customer profile:

  • Who exactly are our target customers?
    • Job title
    • Job description
    • Buying influence

Once you have a clear picture of who you are trying to reach with your content, you need to determine what their “pains” are – that is, those key issues that are causing them to lose sleep at night:

  • What specific challenges (pains) does the customer face that trigger a need for our product(s) or service(s)?
  • Specifically, how does our product or service make their pains go away?

Now that you’ve determined what your customer’s pains are and how you can cure them, you need to put that in context with what your competitors offer:

  • What is unique about our “pain relief” compared to our competitors?
  • What do our competitors talk about?
  • How can we differentiate ourselves from the competition?

After figuring out all of the answers to these questions, you’re ready for the final addend of the Key Content Theme equation – positioning. You now need to determine the four attributes listed below:

  • This is what’s unique about our product or service
  • This is what sets us apart from the competition
  • This is why we’re uniquely positioned to cure the customer’s pains better than anyone else
  • This is the compelling reason they need to buy from us

Be aware of where your potential customer is in the buying cycle when they receive your content. Are they just starting to look for a solution and need more context and industry or market information, or are they farther along in the decision-making process, enabling you to focus on your solution and how it addresses their specific concerns?

The sum of all this forms the basis of your Key Content Theme, providing you with the elements you need to create a unique tagline and compelling content to populate your website and other marketing initiatives.

Jim Schakenbach

Jim Schakenbach partners with inConcert Web Solutions to provide writing services for website pages and blog articles. He has over 25 years of writing and marketing communications experience in broadcast and the advertising industry. With a degree in journalism from Washington & Lee University and a career as a journalist, copywriter, and ad agency principal, Jim brings both real life experience and a depth and breadth of knowledge that enables him to write effectively and confidently about a wide range of subjects and industries.

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