Content marketing is now part and parcel of every major brand’s marketing strategy. But still, many marketers underestimate the importance of a carefully planned and well-documented content strategy.
Lucie SimonovaUpdated on Feb 20, 2024Published on Jan 4, 2018
The latest insights from the Content Marketing Institute show that 73% of B2B marketers and 70% of B2C marketers integrate content marketing into their overall marketing strategy. It’s no wonder – the pandemic increased content usage by a whopping 207% as the digital consumption of content skyrocketed.
That said, only 40% of B2B marketers have a documented content marketing strategy, and 27% have no strategy at all. However, in today’s highly competitive digital landscape, having a well-documented content strategy is no longer a luxury but a strategic must-have.
What is a Content Strategy?
As we mentioned in our blog post explaining the difference between content strategy and content marketing, you can think of your content strategy as a building blueprint.
That blueprint should map out everything a marketer needs to know about his or her objectives when it comes to content production. That can usually be done by answering questions such as:
- Why are we creating this content?
- What audiences do we want to address?
- What kind of actions and reactions do we want to achieve?
- How will we promote the content once it’s published?
- How will our audience find our content?
- What types of content do you plan to create?
- Where and when will you be publishing your content?
- Who is in charge of creating your content?
- How will you maintain your brand style across various platforms?
Going by the stats from the aforementioned CMI report, businesses with a documented content strategy are more effective at content marketing than their competitors.
But the reality is that many marketers — and perhaps quite shamefully, many CMOs — underestimate the importance of a carefully planned and well-documented content strategy to help guide each content producer.
If you’re still unconvinced, here are six compelling reasons to gather your marketing team and kick off a content strategy.
#1 A Content Strategy Helps You Set And Reach Goals
Ideally, all marketing efforts should bring you one step closer to your goal. However, misguided efforts only lead to a waste of time, money, and energy.
For example, you may be creating content for an audience that doesn’t match your target market. Or, you might be trying to create content for very competitive keywords while ignoring the low-hanging fruits that are more likely to yield results.
A content strategy helps you define your marketing goals and set priorities. It allows you to plan your work and ensure that all marketing efforts are goal-driven. With a documented content strategy, you can ensure that every bit of effort put in by your team translates into tangible results.
#2 A Content Strategy Helps You Track Progress
According to Rebecca Lieb, a content strategy consultant and keynote speaker, "There is no content strategy without measurement strategy. Before embarking on a content initiative, irrespective of medium or platform, it’s important to know what you want to achieve.”
In other words, your short-term and long-term goals serve as a yardstick for measuring the effectiveness of content marketing initiatives. A strong content strategy should outline the metrics you should track and analyze to constantly determine whether or not your content marketing efforts are yielding results.
#3 A Content Strategy Helps You Identify New Opportunities
Successful content marketers constantly look for new content creation opportunities. They create content around hot-button news topics, which help in the effort to reach more of their target audience.
To help with that, a good content strategy should outline all the avenues that a marketer can use to follow news and trends and find story ideas. Without a content strategy, the effort put into discovering new opportunities will be uncoordinated, and that disorganization will be reflected in the brand’s publications and tone.
#4 A Content Strategy Cuts Costs
Creating and distributing content can get costly. When marketers work without a content strategy, they can often lose sight of the bigger picture and spend far too much on projects, leaving only limited funds for later in the financial year.
Content strategies help define how much money should be spent per project, how it should be spent, and how marketers can find ways to cut costs if needed.
#5 A Content Strategy Optimizes Your Marketing Team
Accountability is crucial for making any tangible progress, no matter the context. Without a documented content strategy, your marketing team won’t know how much content needs to be produced, where it needs to be posted, how it can be repurposed, or anything else that can govern their day-to-day tasks.
Most people need a little nudge to get going, and a formal content strategy serves as a call to action. It sets out performance metrics for team members, defines a work schedule for content creation, guidelines on the management of social media accounts, maintenance of marketing automation system and everything in between. When you have a strategy, all of this becomes much easier, resulting in a more productive marketing team.
#6 A Content Strategy Helps You Produce Content That Converts
Last but certainly not least on this list is the fact that a content strategy is essential to producing content that converts on a consistent basis. That is if the content strategy contains the right guidelines, such as:
- Who your target audience is, and what kind of content they want to consume
- The tone of your content
- The style and formatting of each content type
- The distribution and promotional channels to leverage
If your content strategy contains those guidelines (and it definitely should, and then some!), then your marketing team will have the foundations they need whenever they approach a new project. All they have to do is build on the foundations set out in the content strategy.
Content Marketing Strategy Examples
The well-known phrase "content is king" is not just a catchy phrase; it’s the real deal. From talking directly to your audience’s heart to creating magic with SEO, there are many ways to approach your content marketing strategy. To give you some inspiration, we have 5 examples you can try to elevate your existing strategy or start it from scratch:
1. Targeted persona-centric content
Creating persona-centric content is like tailoring your message so perfectly that it feels like you’re reading your audience’s minds. You know their pain points, what keeps them up at night, and, most importantly, how your product or service swoops in like a superhero to save the day.
It’s not just creating content; it’s like having a one-on-one conversation with each person in the room, making them think, "Wow, they really get me!" Persona-centric content really means crafting personalized, unforgettable experiences for your audience.
2. Consistent brand storytelling
Have you ever scrolled through your social media feed and recognized a brand from a post just through the story it tells? That’s the magic of consistent brand storytelling. Catchy slogans or visuals are great, but consistency is the key.
A cohesive storyline that resonates with your audience is what will set you apart and make sure your brand becomes more than just a business to your audience.
3. SEO-optimized content
Crafting SEO-optimized content involves more than just sprinkling keywords like confetti—it’s about understanding the language your audience uses when searching and seamlessly integrating those terms.
When your content aligns with relevant keywords and meets the search intent of users, search engines take notice. SEO-optimized content also ensures that those clicking through are genuinely interested, increasing the chances of conversions and creating a win-win scenario for both you and your audience.
4. Evergreen content
Evergreen content is content that stands the test of time, remaining relevant long after its publication. Whether it’s a comprehensive how-to guide or an in-depth tutorial, these pieces retain their value, continually attracting new readers and maintaining their relevance in search engine results.
While trendy content will help you attract readers at a given moment, investing in evergreen content will establish your brand as a go-to resource in your field.
5. Omnichannel content distribution
Gone are the days of relying on one or two platforms for your content—today’s savvy marketers recognize the power of being everywhere their audience is. Omnichannel content distribution involves strategically deploying content across various channels, creating a cohesive and immersive brand experience.
This not only maximizes your reach but also enhances brand recall as your audience encounters your message across multiple touchpoints, reinforcing your presence and authority in their minds.
Content Marketing Strategy Template
Creating a content marketing strategy may seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be that way. A well-structured template can be your guiding light in this journey.
From defining your target audience to planning content types and distribution channels, a good template covers all bases. This not only streamlines the content creation process but also ensures a unified approach across all your marketing efforts.
What are some essential elements to include in your content marketing strategy template?
- Audience persona definition
- Content goals and objectives
- Brand messaging and tone
- Content types and distribution channels
- Content calendar
- SEO optimization
- Performance metrics and analytics
- Competitor analysis
Templates are usually not a one-size-fits-all but rather serve as an inspiration or a base to build upon. Also, keep in mind that templates are dynamic documents that should evolve with your business and industry trends.
Great Content Marketing Is Rare
Keeping your goals in sight, tracking progress, discovering new opportunities, minimizing cost, increasing productivity, and producing content that converts are all essential reasons for having a content strategy.
Great content marketing is rare, but when you do see a brand developing relevant content on a consistent basis, it’s almost always down to the quality of their content strategy.
With that in mind, check out our guide to the five hallmarks of a great content strategy to help mold your strategy in a way that promotes efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and quality content production.
What are the 3 components of content strategy?
What are the 4 steps of content strategy?
What are the 5 steps on developing content strategy?
What is a content strategy in marketing?
Feeling like your brand’s content is getting lost in the noise?
Listen to our new podcast for practical tips, tricks, and strategies to make your content shine. From AI’s magic touch to content management mastery and customer experience secrets, we’ll cover it all.Listen now