Content creation. Content distribution. Data and analytics. These are all important components of any content marketing campaign. And yet, they can all be fairly meaningless if they’re not united by a broader sense of strategy.
Your content marketing strategy provides you guidance on what you’re trying to achieve; how you’ll achieve it; and how you’ll define success. It clarifies the kind of content you need to create, and the channels you need and don’t need as you distribute that content. A good strategy can help you use all your content marketing resources effectively, and it also ensures that the content you create is consistently on-message.
Before you do anything else, then—before you write a blog, make a video, or post to social media—it’s important to have a documented strategy. In creating this content marketing strategy, you’ll reap a number of big benefits.
You’ll have clearly defined goals.
The first benefit is that you’ll have some sense of what you’re trying to achieve. Are you producing content to educate and inform potential customers, making things easier on your sales team? Is it purely for SEO? Are you trying to develop industry-wide thought leadership and authority?
All of these are noble and attainable goals, but you need to clarify them so you know what kind of content to write.
You’ll have metrics in place.
Not only does a content marketing strategy help you set goals, but it also forces you to define success. How will you know when your content marketing efforts are doing what they’re supposed to? Which metrics will you look toward? What kind of reporting do you need to measure your content’s effectiveness?
A content marketing strategy provides you with the answers to these questions—and helps you to say for certain whether or not you’re achieving the right results with your content efforts.
You’ll define your audience.
Your content won’t be effective unless you tailor it to your audience—which means, of course, that you have to know who that audience is.
A content marketing strategy should lead you to think critically about who you’re trying to reach, and ideally to create buyer personas to ensure that you address your audience with as much precision as possible.
You’ll discover the right channels.
Regular content creation on YouTube, Facebook, Snapchat, LinkedIn, and Twitter—to say nothing of blogs and emails—may prove both costly and time-consuming. But what if you don’t actually need all those channels? What if, to meet your goals and address your audience, you really just need two or three of them?
That could prove tremendously advantageous to the bottom line—and with a content marketing strategy in place, you’ll have a much more accurate sense of which channels you really need and which you can do without.
You’ll understand your content creation needs.
Content marketing always involves a question of how much. How much content do you need? How often should you be blogging, posting to social media, and sending out emails? It’s important to get the right frequency, and in some cases this might require you to outsource some of your content development tasks to a company like Grammar Chic.
When you thoughtfully craft a content marketing strategy, it helps illuminate your content needs, and give you some sense of whether or not you need that extra hand in content creation.
Are you ready to create a content marketing strategy?
Without a strategy to guide you, your content marketing efforts will really just be guesswork. Get more out of your efforts—clearer goals, better results, more judicious spending—by getting a strategy in place.