WHY SUCCESSFUL CONTENT MARKETING NEEDS A CONTENT STRATEGY
"Not having a content strategy is like playing baseball without the bases - envision people running everywhere…not a pretty site." Joe Pulizzi, Content Marketing Institute.
Have you heard people interchangeably use the terms “content marketing” and “content strategy”? We’ve been hearing it ourselves even among marketing professionals. But there is really no reason to confuse the two.
What’s the difference?
Content marketing is essentially the creation and sharing of content for marketing purposes. In digital channels, it refers to content on properties you own such as your website, email, newsletter and social media channels. Content marketing involves a pull strategy vs. a push strategy and is meant to attract audiences with content that’s informative, educational, funny or entertaining, and lead them to a desired action. Find out What exactly is content marketing?
Content strategy, on the other hand, has a much broader meaning. It encompasses your company’s entire strategy and is tied to specific business goals. Content strategy includes the planning, production, delivery, management and marketing of your content. It needs to be measured, optimized, and structures need to be developed to produce it in a balanced way.
Of course, you can publish content without having a content marketing plan, but that would be like shooting in the dark. You may even get lucky, but your likelihood of success will greatly increase if you plan an effective content strategy in advance.
Doing it right
When you align content marketing with an effective and adaptable content strategy that matches the character and objectives of your business, it can yield highly desirable benefits — including higher search engine rankings, greater brand recognition, more authority in your industry and increased sales. Unilever documented savings of $1 billion in a year when it became more strategic about content.
Think of the best content marketing examples you’ve seen online. They were almost surely aligned with well-planned content strategies. For inspiration read 4 Content Marketing Success Stories.
Taking the first step
Building an effective content strategy begins with evaluating your business, its customers, goals and competitors, then answering questions such as
- “Who should we target?”
- “What kind of content would they like?”
- “How should we create it?”
- “How can we effectively deliver it?”.
Going all the way
You may be tempted to rush through the planning stage and move on to the more enjoyable task of producing and publishing content. But going to the effort of making a well-planned content strategy will make a big difference in the end. Here are some pointers for planning your strategy based on a content strategy template from Moz:
- Define your brand, objectives, channels and competitors
- Distill your core strategy into a single sentence
- Determine the main themes and messages of your content
- Create a rough outline of your plan
- Include a blog in your strategy that your audience can relate to
- Create rules that will help your plan succeed
- Review your workflow for content creation and publication
Savor the rewards
The sooner you start building an effective content strategy, the sooner you can start enjoying the fruits of content marketing that connects with customers and delivers results.
An-yal develops social media and content marketing campaigns for brands worldwide, find out more here. We’d love to hear from you!