There is a lot of chatter about content strategy at the moment. But what is it exactly? Why do I need it? Most importantly, do I really need to build a strategy around it?
The answer is yes, you do need a strategy. Content strategy is different from content marketing or a social media strategy. Content Strategy is the way in which you provide your audience with trustworthy stories and information. It is designed to enhance your standing with your audience and to build your credibility. The aim is for you to be seen as an expert or reliable source of valuable information. The overall objective of content strategy is engagement – not sales.
A strategy needs to be readable, well organised and provide you with clear direction with what you are doing. It doesn’t need to be a 50 page wordy document that sits on your desk and gathers dust. Content Marketing Institute has a great one page template that you might like to use.
So now you know what a content strategy is, let’s discuss the reasons why you need one.
Many businesses approach creation and curation of content in a haphazard way. A content strategy will provide you with a well defined path to follow, and ensure that all parts of the business are travelling in the same direction, with the same message, for the same reason.
Google Demands It
If you want to rank highly in search engines, then you need to provide relevant, engaging content that your audience wants to see and react with. The content needs to be informative and credible. It needs to demonstrate audience engagement through shares, likes or comments on your website or social media accounts. This engagement signals to Google that your content meets the needs of your audience and therefore gives more credit to your content resulting in higher search engine rankings.
Align with Business Goals
A strategy will enable you to clearly define how to structure your content, what mediums to use for delivery and how often it should be produced. This can then be aligned to your overall business goals and objectives to produce content tailored specifically to your audience and to your desired outcomes.
Not only does your content need to be clear and on brand, it needs to be consistent. That means that your audience knows what to expect from you. This doesn’t mean that the content should be predictable or boring. It just means that your audience can be assured that you will present content on a regular basis that looks or feels like it’s from your business.
How can you tell how well your content efforts are performing if you don’t have anything to relate it to? Setting expectations and having regular reviews against your content goals will ensure that you are on track to meeting or even exceeding expectations. Consistent tracking of performance will also give you the ability to adjust your execution should your content not be providing the results you expected.
Now you know the importance of creating a content strategy, grab a pen (or a keyboard) and get crafting!