Most things in life are better with a plan. Want to start a business? Make a plan. Want to take over the world? Make a plan. Want to attract users and leads to your website to convert them into clients? Make a plan.
Content strategy is that plan.
The purpose of a content strategy is to devise consistent, focused and topic wide content that is engaging and sustainable over a prolonged period. The idea being that if you provide comprehensive topic coverage and relevance in your target subjects, your authority will grow, people’s trust in you will improve and begin to contemplate the idea that they might just buy one of your products or tell a friend to buy one too.
The modern-day web social environment is getting tougher every year. Without a focused content strategy, it is almost impossible to get your voice heard.
Content strategy vs Content marketing
Often, many confuse these two topics, myself included. According to the content marketing institute, “Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”
The assets you use in content marketing are going to be important pieces in your sales channels. When you condense it down, its main purpose is to attract leads and forge meaningful bonds with those leads.
Content will include these forms;
- Email marketing copy
- Blog posts
- Long-form articles
- Social media posts
- Case studies
- Landing pages
- White papers
Alternatively, content strategy is the overarching plan that all your content marketing ideas fit into.
Moz explains content strategy like this: “Content strategy concerns itself with the vision—the ins and outs of how and why your content will be created, managed, and eventually archived or updated.”
If marketing is the bullet, strategy is the gun
The layout of any content strategy is mapped out before any work begins. Objectives are outlined and delivery expectations are decided.
This is not to say that strategies should be set in stone at the end of the initial process. In 2020, content strategy is becoming an iterative process where trends, channels and tools are constantly emerging. Evolution is a key factor in any successful plan.
The strategy should map out everything a marketer needs to know, down to the smallest detail. Then, they have all the tools to implement the content production.
The mapping process can be done by asking yourself these questions;
- Who is our audience?
- What does our audience want to know?
- What is our buyers’ journey?
- How will our audience find the content?
- What are we creating content in the first place?
- What promotion channels do we want to utilise when we have published our content?
- What forms of content do we want to make?
- When will we be publishing the content and where?
- Who is leading the content creation side of things?
- How will we keep a consistent and clear brand style and tone across all content?
Why do I need Content Strategy?
If you are still struggling to be convinced, then let me give you a few reasons why content strategy is vital to your business going forward.
It helps you set defined aims
There is nothing worse than spending time, effort and money on a project only to realise that you need to scrap it and start again.
A strategy will set goals and help you reach them.
An example of this is creating content for audiences that doesn’t line up with your target users. Or you may create content that targets all the wrong keywords because they are too competitive in a saturated niche.
When you use a content strategy, you set priorities. You can plan and work with a focused energy that instils confidence that your effort will all be with it in the end and that you are going in the right direction.
It helps you create connections
The best content strategies help build connections between a brand and a consumer. It all flows from the points to which the content affects the consumer emotionally.
This emotional impact is what converts one time customers into returning ones. It can also turn them away forever if it’s bad.
It helps you record your progress
A strategy gives you a framework with which you can measure your progress. Short and long term goals provide a measurement of the effectiveness of your initiatives.
Your strategy will outline metrics that you can follow and analyse to figure out if you are getting the results you expected.
It helps you to identify new opportunities
Not all content opportunities are easy to find. Some need a little more digging. A fully fleshed-out content strategy will aid you in making content around hot topics that will get your worm in front of more eyes.
A content strategy will detail all how gathering and exploiting these new opportunities are possible. The marketer can then follow trends to get ideas for new content.
An uncoordinated effort is the bain of any brand marketing.
It helps you to save money
It is easy for marketers to get lost in their directions and start spending money on things that they do not necessarily need. A content strategy will guide them to define how much money should be spent on what, leaving more funds available for other parts of the business.
It helps with marketing team optimisation
Team members need to be held accountable for the results they produce. This is the only way to make significant progress in the marketing sense. Without a content strategy, a team will not be completely sure what content is needed and how much should be produced.
A helpful nudge from a strategy in the right direction can be like a call to action. It will clarify all vital metrics, work schedules, guidelines and media management amongst others. Making everything much easier and the team more productive.
It will help create content converts regularly
A regular and consistent schedule that is focused around the topics and journeys of your users will improve the conversion rate of your content.
To improve conversion rates, it must follow the following rules, however;
- Utilizing the right distribution and promotional channels
- SEO best practices for style and format
- Matching tone to the brand voice
- Targeted content to your specific audience and their specific consumer habits
A successful content strategy is not as easy as it sounds
A great content strategy will do many things at once. It will keep your aims in front of you, track and guide progress, lower costs, improve productivity and produce content that is of high value for your users.
Top-level, engaging and consistent content marketing is almost always as a result of great strategy.
Interested in more marketing-related articles?
Did I miss anything? Post a comment below to let me know!
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