When you started your business, you may have begun with a business plan. Over time, your business plan may have changed and adapted as you learned more, and the marketplace changed. The current pandemic has definitely required many businesses to pivot on their strategies. Your content strategy must be dynamic, just like your business plan. Whether you’ve been creating content for many years or are just starting to invest in content marketing, you need to start with a solid foundation.
What Is a Content Strategy?
Before you can build a content strategy, you need to understand the basics. The Content Marketing Institute offers a simple and insightful definition as a starting point:
“Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”
A great example of content marketing before the internet is the Star Wars brand. After the first movie, the brand went on to produce comic books, novels, figurines and more, expanding consumer’s interactions with the movies. The SW universe expanded exponentially without the help of the internet, thanks to a sound strategy by the marketing team.
Your content strategy revolves around your core business and aligns with your business goals. It’s a roadmap that guides your content creation to improve your bottom line.
Components of a Sound Content Strategy
A good content strategy starts by looking at your business, your audience, and your goals. Content is storytelling, but if you aren’t telling the right story to the right audience, your content isn’t going to resonate with your audience.
Essentially, your mission statement answers three questions:
- Who is your content for?
- What are you providing?
- Why should customers care about your content?
When you answer those three questions, you create better content, because you have the right focus. Your mission statement can push you to achieve your best by getting the right content to the right people at the right time in their sales or interactional journey.
Identify Your Brand Voice
Your brand is how you relate to your audience. It’s akin to your business personality. Identifying your brand voice before you create content ensures consistency. Your brand may be clinical and scientific. If so, you may want to avoid creating memes that are light and playful. Your brand’s values and positioning need to carry through your content.
Who Is Your Audience?
Content is created for the consumer. In creating a content strategy, you’ll need to take a deep look into your audience. Don’t make generalizations, but really look at who is buying your products. Look deeper than basic demographics to find out what drives your customer. Once you understand your audience, delve into how they interact with your brand. Ask yourself:
- What moves your customer through the purchase journey?
- What is the pain point that drives a buyer to your product?
- What do you want the customer to do?
- What information does the customer need as he or she interacts with your brand?
- What channels do your buyers engage with as they move from interest to purchase?
Measure Success and ROI
Part of a good content strategy is to look at how well your content is working. There are many analytical tools that let you see what your audience is engaged with. A well-written blog post that your audience shares can help you refresh content to boost your SEO rankings and reach out in a new way. You should also measure sales and whether your audience is actually purchasing your product. Having a large audience that doesn’t increase your bottom line means your marketing dollars aren’t being spent well.
Develop Content that Aligns with Your Content Strategy
Once you have a content strategy, you can use that information to drive content creation. You probably have content assets that can be repurposed into new content for even more success. You may find that you have gaps in content where you aren’t responding to the customer’s journey. Your content strategy can now drive your content to relate to your customer more effectively. Having a focus for content helps you create content that improves your business.
Content marketing is your communication channel with your customer. Today’s customers have to sift through a lot of noise to find the products and services they want. Yelling louder isn’t going to help you get heard. Telling better stories that connect with your customer will. Discuss your content needs with the MintCopy team to find the best SEO writers that can provide content to help you be more successful with content marketing.
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