Content creation. Content distribution. Analysis of data. These are all important components of any content marketing campaign and however, they can all be meaningless if they are not united by a broader sense of strategy.
Your content marketing gives you guidance on what you are trying to achieve; how will you achieve it; and how you will define success. Clarify the type of content you need to create and the channels you need and don't need as you distribute the content. A good strategy can help you use all your content marketing resources effectively, and also ensures that the content you create is consistently on message.
Before you do anything else, then, before you blog, make a video, or post on social media, it's important to have a documented strategy in place. By creating this content marketing strategy, you will get a number of benefits.
The first benefit is that you will have an idea of what you are trying to achieve. Are you producing content to educate and inform potential customers, making things easier for your sales team? Is it purely for SEO? Are you trying to develop industry leadership?
These are all lofty and achievable goals, but you need to clarify them so you know what kind of content to write.
Not only does a content marketing strategy help you set goals, it also forces you to define success. How will you know when your content marketing efforts are doing what they're supposed to? What metrics will you be looking at? What kind of reports do you need to measure the effectiveness of your content?
A content marketing strategy provides you with the answers to these questions and helps you tell with certainty whether or not you are achieving the right results with your content efforts.
Your content won't be effective unless you tailor it to your audience, which means, of course, you need to know who that audience is.
A content marketing strategy should lead you to think critically about who you're trying to reach, and ideally create buyer profiles to ensure your audience is being targeted as precisely as possible.
Regularly creating content on YouTube, Facebook, Snapchat, LinkedIn and Twitter, not to mention blogs and emails, can be expensive and time consuming. But what if you really don't need all those channels? What if, to achieve your goals and target your audience, you really only need two or three of them?
That could be tremendously advantageous for the bottom line, and with a content marketing strategy in place, you'll have a much more accurate sense of which channels you really need and which ones you can do without.
Content marketing always involves a question of how much. How much content do you need? How often should you be blogging, posting on social media, and sending emails? It's important to get the frequency right, and in some cases this might require you to outsource some of your content development tasks to a company.
When you carefully design a content marketing strategy, it helps illuminate your content needs and gives you an idea of whether or not you need that extra hand in content creation.
Without a guiding strategy, your content marketing efforts are really just guesswork. Get more out of your efforts - clearer goals, better results, wiser spending - by implementing a strategy.