How to develop the right content strategy for your community

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Creating engaging and meaningful content within a community can significantly unite members, ignite conversations, and cultivate a strong sense of belonging. Understanding the essence of a community content strategy, while seemingly complex, can actually be an enjoyable endeavor.

At tchop, we think that content strategies for communities are fundamentally different from a traditional content strategies of publishers, lets say for magazines, news websites or newsletters. While media is most often about longer content pieces, communities lean into snackable content. A concept introduced by both the mobile revolution and the growing dominance of social media.

 Some think of content created for your community as a snack table. And just like a great party, every community needs snacks.

A well-provisioned ‘snack table’ of content—encompassing resources, events, job listings, engaging discussions, expert AMAs, and more—encourages members to engage, share, and feel at ease, mirroring the communal warmth of sharing snacks.

Why You Need A Community Content Strategy

Community content, extending beyond traditional long-form articles to include polls, discussion threads, and Q&As, plays a pivotal role in stimulating community engagement. This content not only offers value to members and organizations but also promotes active participation and habit formation among the community.

To craft a successful community content strategy, start with clear objectives. Consider what you aim to achieve, who your content serves, and the outcomes you desire for both your members and your organization. Establishing Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) will help in measuring your strategy’s success.

However content within a community isn’t limited to extensive written pieces, though they are important and useful. Engaging the community can also be achieved through smart curation, brief updates, interactive threads, polls, and question-and-answer sessions.

The creation of community content serves three primary purposes:

  1. It enriches both the community members and the organization, providing tangible benefits and value.
  2. It fosters engagement and cultivates growth within the community, drawing in more participants and retaining existing ones.
  3. It encourages the development of routines and habits among members, leading to consistent participation and engagement.

How To Set Goals

Developing a community content strategy begins with clear objectives. Here are five key steps to lay the groundwork for your strategy effectively.

Consider what you aim to achieve with your community content. Who is your target audience, and what outcomes do you envision for both your community members and your organization? Establishing Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) early on can help track the success of your efforts.

Your strategy should address several core questions:

  • Purpose: What are your reasons for creating content within your community? Is your goal to boost engagement or to attract more members?
  • Content Type: What varieties of content do you plan to produce? Will it be articles, videos, interactive polls, audio content, or a combination thereof?
  • Frequency: Determine the regularity with which you intend to post new content. The specifics of this will be further refined in the next steps.
  • Responsibility: Identify the individuals or teams responsible for generating content, managing publications, and interacting with community responses.
  • Aggregation Channels: Decide on the platforms where you want to source content from (manually or automatically)

Why Frequency Matters

Determining the rhythm of your postings is crucial for engaging various member personas within your community. This rhythm, or content cadence, varies to accommodate the diverse needs and interests across your audience, utilizing different content types across multiple channels.

As the diversity of your content cadence increases, so does the effort required from your team. Content shared more frequently can be more responsive and reflective of ongoing community dynamics.

High-Frequency Content: Essential for keeping the community active, this includes low-effort, regularly posted items like discussion prompts or quick polls, aimed at daily or near-daily interaction.

Medium-Frequency Content: Incorporates activities like weekly goal-setting threads or casual expert Q&As. These don’t necessarily require live interaction, allowing for flexible participation.

Low-Frequency Content: Involves more substantial efforts such as workshops or feedback sessions, providing significant value and encouraging active member involvement.

Lowest-Frequency Content: The highlights of your content output, including major annual events or comprehensive longform content pieces like reports or essays, requiring months of preparation.

Each tier plays a unique role in fostering engagement and offering varied opportunities for members to connect and contribute. However you of course also must consider the mix of content provided by your team and the content that your users generate or post.

Managing community content always is about rights, roles and permissions. Who do you want to post, who do you allow to post and where? Often this is something that develops over time. Keeping a close eye on that mix is an important indicator.

Keep An Eye On The Calendar

Even with a solid content cadence in place, resisting the urge to improvise and opting for advanced planning can greatly enhance the effectiveness of your strategy.

Implementing a simple content calendar is key to maintaining focus and ensuring accountability. Such organization not only benefits the overall community but also encourages members to adopt the participatory behaviors you’re aiming to cultivate. There are various tools that can help you to set up and manage such calendars.

To start building your content calendar:

  1. Select 3-5 Types of Content: This could range from daily engagement prompts to annual in-depth guides. Choose formats that align with your community’s interests and your strategic objectives, ensuring a blend of content that requires varying levels of effort.
  2. Organize Your Content: Utilize labels or color-coding to easily distinguish between content types on your calendar. Begin by scheduling content that requires the most preparation time, such as annual reports or guides, and then fill in with more frequent content types like daily or weekly engagement prompts.
  3. Encourage Team Collaboration: Share your content calendar with your team to foster a collaborative environment. This not only streamlines the content creation process but also ensures that your team is aligned with the community’s engagement strategy.

By following these steps, you’ll develop a comprehensive and effective content calendar that drives engagement and fosters a vibrant community atmosphere.

Do What You Do Best, Curate The Rest

Embrace the art of content curation as a clever approach to community engagement. Leveraging existing materials such as blogs, courses, or selected social media posts can enhance your community’s value without requiring additional efforts from your team. Collaborating with your content creators to tailor these resources for your community not only maximizes the utility of existing content but also enriches your community’s experience, demonstrating that efficiency and strategic curation can go hand in hand.

There is so much good content out there. But most of your communities members often have troubles finding it in the noise. Help them with a smart way to curate everything that matters in one feed.

Follow Your KPIs

After developing your community content, it’s natural to feel proud of your accomplishments. Yet, the real test of its impact lies in understanding how well it resonates with your audience. To gauge the effectiveness of your content strategy, monitoring engagement is key. This involves observing how both your community and wider audience interact with the content you’ve made public, aiming to attract new members.

A practical approach to evaluate your content involves a retrospective analysis at the end of an initial period, such as a month. Review your content calendar to identify the variety of content you’ve distributed, ranging from daily interactions to weekly highlights. Assess the level of engagement each type has garnered to determine what has captivated your audience’s interest and what may require reevaluation. This process not only provides insights into successful content elements but also highlights areas for enhancement, guiding future content development towards greater engagement and community growth.


Crafting and curating engaging community content is a dynamic journey, one that requires thoughtful planning, strategic execution, and continuous evaluation. From setting clear goals and establishing a content cadence to leveraging existing resources and measuring engagement, every step is crucial in fostering a vibrant community. Remember, the essence of a successful community content strategy lies not just in the quantity of content but in its relevance, value, and ability to resonate with your audience.

As you move forward, keep refining your approach based on feedback and engagement metrics, and always stay attuned to the evolving interests of your community. The journey of building a connected and engaged community is ongoing, but with persistence and adaptability, your efforts will not only cultivate a sense of belonging but also drive meaningful interactions and growth within your community.