Content marketing is one of the biggest and most effective trends in marketing today. However, content marketing in and of itself will not lead your business to its goals.
So what will? A content strategy.
Here’s a closer look at what a content strategy is and why it matters, along with key questions to ask when formulating a content strategy that will help your business attract more customers, gain their trust, and generate more revenue.
What Is a Content Strategy for a Marketing Campaign?
“Content marketing” refers to the creation and distribution of helpful and relevant information to capture the attention of your target audience, build loyalty, and drive conversions. While content marketing has tremendous value for your business, you need a content strategy to make the most of it.
Content strategy is the planning, creation, delivery, and management of content to establish an effective content marketing campaign that answers your goals and objectives.
Many factors are involved in content marketing, including everything from creating content to scheduling a content calendar. But none of these things matter if you don’t have a clearly defined end-game.
Content marketing doesn’t exist in a vacuum. It exists to help your business achieve its goals. A content strategy maps content to these goals within the context of your company’s vision and overall objectives. It encompasses aspects like website content strategy and content creation strategy.
The Difference Between a Content Strategy and a Content Plan
Many people mistakenly use the terms “content strategy” and “content plan” interchangeably. However, they’re not the same thing. Content strategy is not about planning or execution. Rather, it’s about defining how and why you’ll use content to achieve your business goals.
Another way to look at it? Your business goals inform your marketing goals, and your marketing goals inform your content goals.
So what’s content planning then? This tactical enterprise comes after content strategy, and it involves delineating exactly what you’ll do and when to execute on your content strategy.
Elements of Content Strategy
Content strategy comprises a number of considerations. Depending on the specifics of your business and goals, some or all of these may come into play:
- Business intelligence: Business knowledge, perspective, and requirements help to identify and define issues that would benefit from a content solution.
- Process, governance, and auditing: Content is an asset. In addition to understanding how it will support the success of your business, you need a content management strategy that will inventory and maintain in a way that acknowledges its value.
- Customer research: Your products and services exist to serve an audience. So does your content. Understanding your audience will help you understand their problems and how best to solve them.
- Strategic vision: What is your overall vision for your content? This can be summarized in a statement, or in measurable outcomes.
- Brand identity: What tone, voice, and other brand characteristics will best speak to your target audience while fulfilling your business needs?
- Ideation: Brainstorming and design thinking can help you generate creative approaches and solutions.
- Channel strategy: What factors will dictate the channels you’ll use to get your content in front of your audience?
- Execution planning: What deliverables are necessary to implement a content plan. These may include writing content briefs, creating a content calendar, and designing wireframes.
Defining Your Content Strategy
Here are some questions to ask when formulating your content strategy:
- What aspect of our business goals do we hope to accomplish with our content?
- What KPIs will we use to measure the success of our content?
- What is the target audience for our different types of content?
- What can we learn about our existing content (and gaps) by conducting a content audit?
- How will we source ideas, and how can we keep them aligned with our brand identity, goal, and target audience?
- What content formats are most appropriate and feasible for our creative and production teams?
- How will we proactively document strategy and governance of content creation?
- How will we optimize our content distribution to best support our overall content marketing and business initiatives?
Which brings us to another way to answer the question, “What is a content strategy?” Think of it as a roadmap for how you will use content to fulfill your business goals.
At The Light Digital, we understand that things like content marketing, content marketing plans, and content strategies can be overwhelming — especially when you’re focused on more immediate business objectives. But here’s the catch: Content marketing should be part of your immediate business objectives if you want to harness its full potential and power for your business.
That’s where we come in. As specialists in digital marketing and advertising, we are laser-focused on how to help the businesses we partner with use digital marketing tools to exceed their goals. To learn more about putting our digital marketing services to work for you, connect with us today.