Basic Concepts: Content Marketing Strategy
Creating a content marketing strategy is an important move for almost any company that decides to establish an online presence (which is almost everyone, these days) but, before you can start exploring the concept, you need to understand what a content marketing strategy encompasses.
To begin with, it’s not the same as a content strategy – it does sound almost the same and that may turn the lines a little blurry but, trust me, they’re different concepts.
What is a Content Marketing Strategy?
Content marketers are the professionals focused on developing the story told by your organization – they create content to draw and engage your audience, aiming to generate profitable behaviors (such as converting leads into paying customers).
Your company’s content strategy is much more about the processes involved with content: creating, publishing and managing all the relevant content for your existing users and targeted customers. Content marketing is all about generating profit from content and content strategy is about managing content as a lucrative business asset.
Why should I have a content marketing strategy?
If you still have to ask yourself this question, it means I’m not doing a great job explaining the concepts above. Yes, of course you do! Your business’ content marketing strategy will be the rhythm according to which you’ll dance, it’ll be the way you’ll address your customer’s needs using content and, as you can already imagine, there’s no magical recipe you can use to build your own.
A content marketing strategy is subjective, according to your business, your customer’s needs, your approach, your choice of language and so many other factors. For this reason, we can’t point out a specific template or strategy according to which you’ll be successful with your content marketing. What we can do is point out a few of the commonly included components, and that’s what we’ll do.
What should my content marketing strategy include?
As we were pointing out (repeated times, to make sure you won’t forget it), there’s no magic recipe for a perfect content marketing strategy – there are only strategic points you can make sure to include in order to steer your content production towards success.
Let’s start by pointing out the reasons you have to create content for your costumer, your vision of what success looks like (as well as the risks involved in this process) – these are the ground rules for building your case and your strategic content planning. Here’s where you get to explain why and how you intent to innovate using content marketing to “wow” your customers – be creative, we know you can.
After setting down the ground rules, you’ll get down to business – literally, it’s time to set your business plan for the content program. Everything that includes numbers, goals, KPIs, where you are, where you wish to get, it’s time to be less creative and more rational. This is the moment of truth: where you trace all the possible roads and obstacles that exist from here all the way ‘til the idealistic vision you outlined in the first moment.
To help you get to your goals, it helps if you have a clear idea of who you are as a brand, where you come from and what you want to communicate to your customers with your content marketing strategy – that’s what people commonly refer to as a brand story. Your brand story is what makes you stand out from your competition, it makes you unique and it makes you…well, you! It involves everything, from your environment, your product, your tone of voice, your brand story is a set of statements that’ll help you outshine others.
Now you’ve defined your vision, your goals and who you are…you have to define who you’re writing for, you’re audience, and how you intend on communicating specifically with them. Each audience responds to different stimuli and languages and, for this reason, it’s very important you map each of your targeted audience individuals so you can make sure to deliver the right content on the right moments of the customer’s journey (that includes the channels you’ll approach them through).
Who should be involved in creating your content marketing strategy?
Your content marketing strategy is, obviously, a marketing attribution – it is, however, highly beneficial to involve other areas – even those that are not apparently directly involved or impacted by it. This may seem irrelevant or counterproductive to remark in a small organisation scenario but, even in larger companies, it’s really, really important to keep everyone informed of the content production efforts so that all teams are on the same page.
The ways in which you choose to share your content marketing strategy will depend strongly on your internal culture and structure – you may choose to share your entire strategy documentation in details or, if it makes a whole lot more sense, divide the information targeting specific areas, such as sales, customer success, etc. – each area is impacted differently by your content marketing strategy and, for this reason, will be after different information from you.
How you share your content marketing strategy internally is very important because the input you’ll get from the different areas of your company are also going to be essential in shaping the edges of your strategy – after all, there’s much more to content than just marketing.
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