Business guru Warren Buffett summed up content marketing best when he said, “Someone’s sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.” Buffett was talking about the benefits of long-term investing, but his sentiment is on par with content creation strategy as well.
An investment in a content marketing strategy done well now will pay dividends for your business for years to come. Your future self will be grateful for the shade tree your current self is creating.
Why a Content Strategy is Essential
Content strategy is the process of planning, creating, distributing, and measuring content across online platforms to meet your marketing and business goals. It’s a customizable formula for your business that, when done right, helps you win now and later.
A good content strategy is a clear plan that works practically and financially for your business. It keeps Key Performance Indicators in mind while measuring statistics to inform future strategies.
Content strategies are crucial because, in a content-heavy world, you have to be specific about what you publish in the name of your business. Spending time on a strategy means producing more targeted content that serves your audience.
Content marketers in 20 different industries and across 40 countries said their content marketing was “very successful” in 2021. In this same group of satisfied content marketers, a whopping 78% had a documented content marketing strategy. They planted the seed and saw the shade.
Components of Content Strategy
The three pillars of a successful content strategy are brand focus, user experience, and content distribution. You won’t master these three things overnight, but you will certainly benefit from including them in your plans.
Build Effective Brand Focus
Your brand focus is the standard your content upholds to stay on-brand tonally and thematically. It’s the framework of your brand and includes your brand voice and consistency. Your brand focus should maintain a healthy balance between what matters to your audience and what matters to your company.
Ensure Good User Experience
Whether it’s a terrible website format or inconsistent communication, a bad user experience can deter customers. Make it a point to gather client feedback and determine what the audience wants and needs. Then deliver those things to them in the best, easiest, most customer-centric way possible.
Build a Content Distribution Strategy
So you know what you want to publish… now what? Think about when, where, and in what format your audience will be most receptive to your message.
Develop a distribution strategy by selecting the right promotional channels and delivery methods for your content.
At Content Journey, we firmly believe your website should be the home base for your content. Then, using social media and other platforms, you can promote and repackage it for unique distribution. Regardless of the delivery mix you choose, it all should lead back to your home base, which is your website.
Planning a Content Creation Strategy
Now that we’ve navigated the importance of a content strategy let’s discuss how to plan one. You don’t have an idea for a home design and just start hammering boards together. You have to plan. Content creation strategy is the same way. You reap the benefits of it only after you’ve planned and executed it well.
- Set Goals. Some things are executed well “on the fly,” but content creation strategy isn’t one of them. Strategy requires planning, so know and set your goals and make it a priority to reach them. Plans can change, so be nimble, but have a strong idea of where you’re headed.
- Conduct Audience Research. You must know your audience and understand them to create content that serves them. Learn all you can about your customers and potential customers. The more you know, the better. Then make every decision with them in mind.
- Perform a Content Audit. What content do you already have? How well is it working for your business? Can you update or repurpose it? Don’t start from scratch. Build on what you have. A content audit will help.
- Brainstorm Content Ideas. What does your audience need? How do you solve that need? Brainstorm content that makes these connections clear.
- Determine the Content to Create. After brainstorming ideas, nail down the content that will best serve your audience and your brand. It’s OK to take educated risks and do something unexpected. It’s also OK to start slow and ask for help from content professionals like us.
- Publish and Promote Content. Clicking “publish” is not where the work stops. Don’t forget to share and repurpose your content, helping your audience see it in multiple forms on various platforms.
If you know your business needs content marketing, but you don’t have the time or maybe even know where to start with a content creation strategy, Content Journey is here to help. Contact us today to get started with research and launch a content marketing strategy by the first of the year.