The bedrock of all online marketing is a good content strategy. Excellent content marketing rests on a reliable content strategy that is Credible, Relevant, Interactive, Simple and Pervasive. In Jessie Paul’s book No Money Marketing, she uses the acronym CRISP, to help you remember the elements. It also summaries what digital communication should be – short and to the point.
The format of a piece of content can vary – video, local ads, social media posts, newsletters, marketing emails, landing pages, or blog posts.
Content strategy refers to the process that includes innovation, distribution, planning, and measurement of content in all forms of media to arrive at the achievement of a positive business goal.
A well thought through content creation strategy is a valuable asset that helps companies to balance content performance data to meet key performance indicators (KPIs). A content plan can come in either long-term or short-term, a short-term instance can be a time-limited campaign while a long-term can be the one that involves a higher level of content marketing activity that lasts for years.
Nike’s tagline of “Just Do It” is a long term platform and brand communication strategy. The short term manifestation of that is developing a content pillar like the Colin Kaepernick campaign. Amul’s “Taste of India” is the long term platform whereas the weekly cartoons are the short term manifestation.
7 reasons why you need a content strategy
The creation and promotion of good content is expensive and time consuming. As the number of media channels proliferate, marketers need to prioritise and optimise their presence on these platforms. Each media channel requires either an adaptation or new rendition to make the content relatable. Marketing investments are expected to provide “Return of investment” ROI in a company so marketers must strategize their content marketing activities and align it with the company’s business goals both for the short and long term.
A good strategy for usable content cannot be underrated either to create leads and increase your sales or for brand awareness, it is the bridge between business results and your marketing KPIs.
With a good digital content plan you can:
- Enhance discovery through better SEO, SEM, brand recall, brand relevance
- Accelerate the AIDA process by providing appropriate content for each decision point
- Reduce cost of conversion by creating a user experience of self-discovery
- Help you stand out from the clutter – and reduce cost of marketing
- Build brand preference
- Build brand premium
- Provide top-of-mind brand recall
It will help you get the best from your content.
How to create a good content strategy.
Some people might think that creating a good content strategy is like performing magic, but it’s really just following this seven-step process:
Determine your business objective:
A business without a solid objective stands a ninety percent risk of collapsing unexpectedly (okay, I just made that number up, but it’s probably true!). This is often one of the reasons you end up publishing bad content just for the sake of it. To avoid this drama, you need to define your business. Ask questions like, who are we?, What problems are we going to solve? What are the unique ways we can solve these problems? And so on. This gives you a heads-up on your content strategy.
Know your prospective audience:
Your audience is the essence of creating content because it is meant to be consumed. So you need to know who you’re creating it for? What are their interests. What part of their problems does your content intend to solve? What type of social media channels do they spend most of their time on? What is their age? What are their psychographics? Demographics? You need to know them as well as you know yourself. Or better!
A buyer’s persona is the ideal way of knowing your audience and what they want. In this case, you need to do a lot of research then create a general profile that suits each audience type you are targeting.
Do keyword research:
The foundation of your SEO content development is a matching keyword hence the content strategist needs to research the keywords that are relevant to your prospective audience. There are different tools to help with keyword development such as Google keyword planner or paid tools like SEMRush. Search for a keyword that moves traffic, create your content around them then watch your brand rank higher on search.
Analyse the competition:
Having understood your keywords and target audience, the next step is analyzing your competitor’s content. Compare and contrast your content with theirs to evaluate the difference, then build on your differences. This will make your content unique.
5. Select your channel for distribution:
Too many distribution channels will hinder your content quality and relevance. A brand should select a number of best-fit media channels and grow them. It may be a blog post and email or landing page, a small channel allows you to concentrate on it while building a unique content strategy for the right audience.
In this context it is worth also determining your distribution channel across owned, earned and paid media.
Build your editorial calendar:
This will guide you through when and where to release content and promote it. It helps you keep track of your content while ensuring a consistent publication.
7. Create value in your content:
When it comes to content strategy, the best you could do for your brand is creating useful content. Every piece of content should have a “Call To Action”. These processes will help you create a value-packed content strategy that gives your brand trust.
Case studies of successful content strategies.
Share a Coke campaign by Coca-Cola company:
This is a household campaign that you must have come across. This campaign allows everyone a feeling of importance by employing the strategy of personalization. You get to have a drink with your name personalized on the bottle. The company used about 150 names from the most famous names in Australia branded by their bottle’s side and guess what? People went haywire on it as Coke was the talk of the world then. What happened here? Personalization.
In order to market its inbound marketing tool, Hubspot invests heavily in content marketing on, er, content marketing. Pretty cool and a very efficient way to amplify its expertise.
Rumour has it that McKinsey needed a vehicle to publish the writing of its consultants because Harvard Business Review had a cap on the number of articles from a firm it could use in a year. Essentially the Quarterly was McKinsey’s Direct 2 Consumer strategy well before D2C existed as a phrase. Read this fascinating article on how it has benefited McKinsey.
CHROForum India Created as a hub for CHROs in India it allowed partners to communicate along a theme through formats such as the website, newsletter and events.
A question time with McDonald’s:
This content based marketing campaign helped in shaping people’s perspectives about so many things. McDonald’s decided to answer each and everyone’s questions without restrictions. This challenge boosted their marketing activities. Providing adequate answers to more than 8,000 customer questions builds a stronger relationship. This was exactly what McDonald’s did by sharing facts and trust me, people loved it. “Authentically tell a good story if you have one to tell” as quoted by McDonald’s Chief marketing officer, Joel Yashinsky. This will earn you trust and belief in people and even change the worse reputation to good.
Tata Tea’s “Jaago re”
– to highlight the brand value proposition of energizing or “awakening” the theme chosen was brought to life through social awareness campaigns that had a call to action for customers.
Where to find inspiration
Below are various places to derive excellent inspirations for your next post:
- Facebook: This social media app gives you access to save a post, links, and videos you find worthy of inspiration for your future content marketing.
- Twitter: This is one of the most used and resourceful social media applications across the globe. With Twitter chats and likes, your inspiration is unlimited.
- LinkedIn pulse: This is a publishing platform with many influencers who post about hundreds of hot topics. This app guarantees you great and inspiring content.
- Trending topics: Twitter and Facebook provide the most trending topics from which you can always get inspiration for your next content strategy.
- Google trends: Google offers you the most trending topics across the globe.
Every company needs a good content strategy as this is the bedrock to a more profitable destination. I hope this article has provided you with everything you need to know about content strategy.