If you’re reading this article then it’s fairly safe to assume you’re a business in need of a content strategy. Therefore it’s also safe to assume that, as a business owner, you have more important things to do than read blog articles all day.
Time is money; so I won’t waste any of yours by speculating whether or not your business needs a content strategy. It does. The benefits of a content strategy apply to every business. If you want a leg up on your competition, then you need a content strategy.
What is Content Strategy?
If I told you to search “What is a content strategy?” on Google you will likely report that a content strategy is “the planning, development, and management of content…” and you would be correct. I am not a fan of this definition because it suggests that the content you create is secondary to the strategy itself.
A content strategy means nothing without quality content to back it up. Ergo, a better definition is needed, one which underpins the planning, management, and implementation processes as secondary to the quality of the content you create.
Perhaps Kristina Halvorson, founder of Brain Traffic, said it best when she defined a content strategy as, “the creation, publication, and governance of useful, usable content.” Useful, usable content is critical to the definition, and success of a content strategy, but it’s also the reason you need a content strategy in the first place.
Why You Need a Content Strategy?
You need a content strategy because without one nobody will ever find you online. To stand out amongst the millions of brands, websites, blogs and services that dominate the web you need a steady supply of compelling, engaging, and useful content that attracts your target audience.
Content Marketing Tip/Shameless plug: Quality content comes from quality writers like this one here.
What Should a Content Strategy Include?
You can think of a content strategy as an outline of the needs of your customers, business and brand, combined with a detailed plan for how content (articles, how-to guides, tutorials, videos, etc) will address those needs.
To that end, a content strategy will typically include five components:
Define Your Goals – This stage is where you determine the value you wish to see from your content, as well as the value you seek to provide your customer through the development of new content.
The goals of your content strategy should mirror your business goals and elaborate on any obstacles, or opportunities that you may encounter as you execute your content strategy.
Define Your Audience – This is where you determine exactly who you are creating content for. Who is your ideal customer? What are their needs? How can you appeal to their demographic?
Answering these questions, and more will help you determine a content engagement cycle that leads that customer on the buyer’s journey to sales and conversion.
Draw a Map – Once you have defined your customer it’s time to draw them a map to the “buy” section of your website. Map out your content so you can deliver throughout the buyer’s journey and usher your audience ever closer to their goal, and ideally a sale.
Tell Your Story – This is the stage in which you characterize your content marketing efforts into the messaging and branding that you want to convey to your audience.
This is also where you will determine your brand voice. How are you different from your competition? What are your values as a brand, and how do they align with the values of your audience?
Pick Your Channels – This stage is where you determine which platforms are best suited to tell your story, and what the criteria, processes, and objectives are for each one.
For more on maintaining brand voice across the various media platforms and social channels check out Maintaining Brand Voice Across Social Media Channels.
How Do You Plan a Content Strategy?
There are more ways to develop, implement and manage a content strategy. As previously stated, however, a content strategy means nothing without quality content to back it up.
Therefore the best way to plan a content strategy is to hire a content strategist who is not only an expert in content marketing but also writes the kind of useful, usable content that will put your company at the top of the SERP.
Contact Otherworld Content today and discover the difference quality content can make for your business.