What is a Content Strategy?
So you’re thinking about adding a blog or some other form of content marketing practice to your business. That’s great! Content marketing is a proven, effective tactic for stimulating interest in your business, and for making you stand out. But deciding to start content marketing is only the first step and you can’t just start writing posts and articles without laying the groundwork. This is where the content strategy comes in.
What is Content Strategy?
A content strategy is your detailed vision that will guide the creation of all of your content with a specific overarching goal in mind. It’s like a blueprint that you can use to keep your content relevant, organised and effective.
A good content strategy will take into account your company’s strengths and weaknesses, your customers needs and wants, the activities of your competitors, and your overall goals.
With this information, you will be able to develop a detailed plan that will ensure that your content;
- Differentiates you from the competition.
- Improves your relationship with your customers.
- Maintains consistent themes that align with your core values.
- Is geared towards achieving your objectives.
Why You Should Use One:
A lot of people make the mistake of jumping right into the content creation stage without first devising a strategy, which can lead to confusing, generic or irrelevant content that doesn’t fit with a central theme and won’t connect with your audience.
Producing content on a wide scope of topics might seem like a great way to reach more people but it can often have the opposite effect and result in you not reaching the audience that you need to be reaching.
In order to be effective you need to dial down your vision so that you’re creating content that provides a small amount people with lots of value, rather than providing lots of people with a small amount of value. These people will be more likely to return to you for content, recommend you to their friends, and think of you when they have a need that your product or service fulfils.
How To Write A Content Strategy.
A good content strategy needs to be goal orientated because it’s impossible to know if you’re succeeding if you don’t know what success actually is. Goals can be based on anything from driving sales to increasing brand awareness, but the most effective goals are ones that are specific, measureable, achievable, realistic, and time-based.
The second most important element of a good content strategy is research, and lot’s of it. Researching your own company, your customers, and your competitors will help you to build a picture of the competitive landscape that your business operates in.
What does your company offer that is unique? What are the needs and wants of your audience? How are your competitors communicating with their customers, what aren’t they offering them, and what do you think you can do better?
Once you’ve figured all of this out, you can devise a content creation plan that will maximise your strengths, deliver the most value to your audience, and differentiate you from your competitors.
Let’s say you own a business that sells trendy indoor plants and pots. Your social media pages feature new product arrivals and sales deals but you aren’t seeing much of an increase in traffic to your website. Maybe you need to reevaluate your customers and develop a strategy that suits their needs.
While this might be a generalisation, trendy indoor plant stores are likely to have a young, hip customer base who probably value style and image over affordability. This knowledge can then be reflected in your social media posts by shifting towards a focus on clean, moody imagery featuring your plants in fashionably designed houses. It’s all about understanding your audience and delivering them something they can get excited about.
How Can It Help With SEO?
Content is the basic foundation of search engine optimisation. This is the process of manufacturing content so that it will rank higher in a Google search when people type in keywords and key-phrases related to your business. While an SEO strategy is a completely separate beast to your content strategy, they overlap in many areas and they should always be considered together.
Include a set of keywords and phrases in your content strategy that should be included wherever they are relevant. Don’t just put them in anywhere you can, that is bad practice and can turn some people away. Instead, just make sure you use them when they are related to the content that you are producing.
SEO is also affected by the quality of your content. Google tends to favour website’s who are trusted, and trust is built by providing people with highly valuable content. By creating and sticking to the goals and vision of your content strategy, you will ensure that your posts are useful and unique. Generic or purposeless content won’t be linked to or shared, meaning it won’t have any kind of positive affect on your position on a Google search.
As the old adage goes, “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” When it comes to content marketing this couldn’t be any more accurate. By building a content strategy that is backed up by thorough research and underpinned with clear goals, you will be able to find your place in the minds of your audience.