Content strategy is the planning, creation, and distribution of content created to meet a company’s objectives. Without an appropriate strategy, your content risks being dull, unfocused, and ineffectual. A good content strategy will help you distinguish your business from your competition, identifying you are the leader in your industry.
For a content strategy to achieve success you must adjust your plan and strategy when necessary to remain on top of things. Stagnation can be a genuine issue in the content strategy world. Creating evergreen content in the format your visitors expect can ensure that your game plan working in your favour.
Content Strategy and Content Marketing: The Differences
Often these two terms get mixed up and for good reason. But there are glaring differences between them that help you tell the difference.
Content Strategy: Content strategy is the plan of action, schedule and KPIs for success that revolves around creating content. Creating the strategy involves researching competitors and the current state of your business’ content assets. Once this is done you can evaluate the amount of work that needs to be done to out maneuver your competition.
Content Marketing: On the other hand, content marketing involves the creation and promotion of content to promote a brand, product, or service. This happens after a strategy has been decided on and will be set out in a content calendar.
What is in a Content Strategy?
A content strategy sets out, in practical terms, the activities involved in making each representation of your company online the best it can possibly be. This encompasses blog articles, social media posts, videos, infographics, white papers, etc. Firstly, you have to formalize what messaging you want to convey through your content.
Ask yourself how do you want your website to be an information hub about things in your industry, is it a product first website, or is it more.
Through building a content strategy, you shape the tone of voice and style of communication with your customers online. This enables you to identify what new content to create, and which exist content to improve.
How Do You Create a Content Strategy?
Below are the steps to create a content strategy,
Step 1. Set goals
Delve into what you want to achieve through content. Do you want to educate your potential customers on the importance of your business to them? Is your industry relatively new so you need to introduce your topic, or is it saturated with beginner content? Set out the goals you want to achieve through content creation in the coming 12 months and work your way back from here.
Step 2. Study your audience
Think long and hard about your target market. Who is your ideal customer? What are the demographics and psychographics of them? Where do you expect them to find your content? Where do they spend time? These are all important questions to ask about your audience before you put pen to paper.
Step 3. Perform a content analysis
Knowing what is already on your website is important as it can inform you about what is effective and not so effective for you. If your website is old, you may have forgotten about some content that is outdated and needs to be refreshed.
Step 4. Conduct a gap analysis
Look at your competitors next, especially those who are creating great content. Do your competitors create a lot of content or just a few articles a year? If competitors are not active on YouTube, and your audience are searching with queries that videos could answer maybe you should be here.
Step 5. Map the buyer’s journey
Ultimately you want your customers to convert. A conversion could be spending money with you, downloading an eBook, or signing up for email campaigns. Whatever this conversion looks like for your business you need to map the many buyer’s journeys possible to get a website visitor to convert. Now you have a map outlining all the information needed for your customer to convert with you.
Step 6. Create a content calendar
Now that you know all the information a customer needs to consume for them to convert with you, you need to create a content calendar. This will outline when, how, and in what format that content will be created. For instance you could plan to create one white paper, two blog articles, and three ‘how to’ videos a quarter to help your audience achieve their goal with you. Don’t set overly-ambitious goals in this step, that you cannot achieve because of lack of resources or budget. Your strategy needs to be obtainable to motivate you to succeed.
Step 7. Develop a distribution strategy
Finally you need to create a distribution strategy. This is the plan of how you will promote your newly formed content. It includes channels like email marketing, social media, advertising, and so much more. When you created your buyer’s journey you would have highlighted touchpoints which are important to customers. Make sure to include all these touch points in your distribution strategy.
The Benefits of a Content Strategy?
There are four benefits that a content strategy brings to your business which will convince you to create your first one. These are:
- Good contents attract clients, educates them, engages them and builds loyalty so they will keep coming back to you
- Quality content assists customers with remembering your brand and invites them to engage with your business
- Informed content lets your customer arrive at their decision organically so they are confident in their choice
- Great content builds authority on the subject, making you an expert that people can trust and learn from
Why you Need a Content Strategy
Studies and research confirms that a strong content strategy will improve overall results for businesses. Here are some recent statistics that help you understand why a content strategy is good.
- Content marketing can cost up to 62% less than other marketing, while generating about 3 times as many leads (Demand Metric)
- You are 13x more likely to see a positive ROI when you prioritize blog content creation (HubSpot)
- Video content on landing pages can increase conversions by up to 86%. (Wordstream)
- 32% of consumers check out a brand’s social media presence before checking out their website. (Animoto)
- 72% of marketers say content marketing increases engagement (Neil Patel)
What is an SEO Content Strategy?
We have talked about what is a content strategy and how to create one but we have missed an important element of content that is SEO. An SEO content strategy is based around topic clustering where each piece of content is created around a keyword.
Firstly you must highlight important topic clusters in your industry and then you should plan content according to keyword search volume and popular content formats. To find the popular content format for a topic, simply google a specific term and see what the format of the top SERPs are — this is the format you should follow.
Why would you choose to create an SEO Content Strategy? The main aim of SEO is to increase organic search traffic, or the traffic coming through search engines. This traffic is 100% free. Gaining more free traffic sounds good to us.
What is a Product Content Strategy?
A product content strategy is a very targeted strategy based around a product, not a brand or company. This includes planning content for a product’s user interface, support documentation, customer support scripts, explainer videos, onboarding emails, blog articles, and more.
This content also varies based on the product’s targeted audience (B2B vs. B2C). For example, B2B software is more likely to have a steeper learning curve than a small B2C app. Knowing your target audience at this point is invaluable.
Content has been king for marketers for over a decade now but it has evolved. And we must evolve too, in order to remain relevant. A content strategy allows your business to plan for the future and work effortlessly at promoting your business. A successful content strategy would encompass all marketing channels so you have an integrated marketing strategy with centralised messaging.