Do you really understand your content strategy? Many businesses focus too much on content creation without first having a solid and distinct understanding of what makes for a successful content marketing strategy. However, content marketing is all about successfully defining, implementing, and executing a content strategy. And, while just about anyone can create content, without a strategy it’s just that: content … words on a screen.
A winning content strategy outlines a set of internal guidelines and requirements for all of the content that your organization creates. It’s the content strategy that “concerns itself with the vision—the ins and outs of how and why your content will be created, managed, and eventually archived or updated.” Of course, winning strategies don’t just exist in someone’s head. The most important step in creating any content strategy is documentation. It should be well documented—and the whole marketing team should have a substantial grasp of it—so that your content remains cohesive, looks polished, and exceeds your overall marketing goals.
While your content strategy provides a general image of what your output will look like over time, the physical act of content marketing is about “tactics and execution.” For example, content creation is a tactic—it’s where writers construct informative content, editors control content quality, and designers polish the presentation of content. However, the tactics and execution are meaningless unless there is a deeper strategy and reason for creating the content in the first place. The content you create will serve as a bridge between your organization and it’s target audience. So, ask yourself: how do you build a bridge? Do you just acquire the materials and start building? Or, is there some planning involved first?
Content Strategy & Marketing: The Overlap
When you’ve developed a solid content strategy and marketers are in the steady flow of content creation, these two components begin to look very similar. Content marketing strategy and creation efforts should start melding and syncing to make your brand stand out. The overlap between content marketing and content strategy encompasses your vision, goals, audience research, voice and style, ideation, external governance, and more. You can’t and shouldn’t have one without the other.
Steps for Creating a Successful Content Marketing Strategy:
- Have a vision and know where you’re going
- Clearly define all members of your target audience
- Audit your content: inventory, organization, metrics, and data analysis
- Set clear goals: always keep these goals in mind and benchmark performance
- Align your content’s style with your brand’s personality
- Document your strategy, using this template, your own template, any template … just make sure you document your content strategy!
For more information, review this Venn diagram, which outlines where content marketing and content strategies intersect. If you keep these distinctions in mind, creating a well-defined and agreed-upon content marketing strategy should be a breeze. We help our clients increase sales, customer retention, and referrals with targeted, engaging content marketing programs. Whether you already have a content marketing strategy that isn’t working or would like to build one from the ground up, we’re here to help! 8020 Digital Marketing is a professional content marketing agency with over 10 years of business blogging, content strategy, and content creation experience. Contact us to request a free consultation and evaluation of your content marketing activities!