Content Strategy: How to Support Your Growth With It
Everyone who is connected to the marketing sphere has definitely heard the term content strategy. But what is it and why do people pay so much attention to it? Is it really worth it? There are so many people and companies talking about it that it is easy to lose the point.
What is Content Strategy?
The term content strategy refers to the concept of planning and creating any type of comprehensive media – be it in a written, audio, visual, or any other format. It is a big part of any marketing strategy because it helps to represent who you are and what value you provide.
Nowadays, most of the companies are implementing the content strategy thingy to captivate potential customers and convert them into leads. Planing the content you are going to create and providing useful information is one of the core aspects of inbound marketing.
Why do you need it?
We have gone through what is a content strategy but we still need to understand why companies need it.
Let’s think for a moment. Remember how your company goes through the content creation process.
Do you decide on each and every content piece you are presenting to the public the moment you need it?
Do you move in accordance with a predefined idea or logic and revolve your content around something like monthly discounts?
If you are following the first method, you may need to rethink the process of content creation for your company. Coming up with ideas whenever needed is great but you should connect those ideas to communicate a somewhat coherent message to the community. Content that cannot be tied to its meaning and message will not be as effective as the one that can. Its puzzle parts should fill in spaces between the pieces.
For people, choosing the second option, we have good news — you are almost there. If you revolve content around a single thread — a core idea — your publications will definitely bring better results. The next step for you is defining the goal and logic beforehand, say for the upcoming month.
What makes content strategy shine is that it sets the ground for faster research, easier preparation, and better management over the processes. You know when and what should be written, shot, or recorded to reach the set goals. It helps you keep track of what has been done, where you are at the moment, and what you still have to do to get from point A to B.
Having a content strategy written down also helps all team members to save time. With it, you eliminate the need for constant and distractive meetings to plan the next step. Everyone can be updated with the project’s progress by just checking the content strategy at any moment.
How can one create a Content Strategy?
Hmm, yeah, it sounds great! But how can you create a content strategy out of thin air?!
Worry not. We are here to help you go through the rough process for the first time.
There are no strict rules for when it comes to creating a strategy. Rather, there are some stages you should go through to design a content plan that will fit your needs.
Define your goal
After all this information and barrage of thoughts, why have you thought you need to have a content strategy? What is the challenge you want to overcome? Or maybe, what goal do you want to reach?
You should think about these questions before you do anything else. Having a goal is crucial. It is what will help you quantify your steps and figure out how well you are doing. It will also give you a sense of a direction, acting as a lighthouse throughout the content creation process.
As you have determined your goals, it should be easy to understand where you want to be. Now is the best time to conduct research, find out what are competitors doing, what are the right keywords to use in your content, how to promote it, etc.
It may seem overwhelming, especially if you are doing it for the first time. However, it might be the most decisive of the point, as all your next steps will heavily depend on the information you will get while researching.
Just don’t panic. Move forward step-by-step. A good start is looking through the competitors’ websites, social account, and offers. They will give you a good example of what works at the moment, what does not, and what needs to be reviewed once more. Learn from the competitors and improvise whenever there is lack of information.
Analyze and brainstorm
Now, when you have done the research, the information about the market and competitors is there, waiting for you to analyze it.
While analyzing it, try to find patterns that will help you reach your goals. For example, you might notice that video materials are getting more and more popular on social media. From that, you can conclude that by creating a quality video you can improve your engagement and increase the number of views better than if you publish an image.
Brainstorming comes either after the analysis. Alternatively, to save time, you can start generating ideas when a pattern or a useful piece of information is found, instead of allocating it a separate step.
One important thing: don’t overthink. Planning is important, but many factors can affect your content you have no control over. Do you have two great ideas, but feel like it would have been hard to put them in one article? Then just write two articles instead. Don’t waste too much time thinking about connecting all the dots.
Remember that some stars may be from another constellation and not fit into the one you are looking at right now.
Choose the content type
As mentioned above, some content types work better on certain platforms than the others. For example, posting a video on social media may bring you higher results; or creating a text-based informative e-book will give you more space to put the information you have prepared for your community.
But you should not stick to one type of content only. You can create an e-book, fully consisting of visuals and infographics, or still choose an image over a video for that one social media post. And you can mix all these things up in the next article you are writing about the life of a penguin.
You are the ruler of your content. As long as you believe in what you do, you can ignore the rules and suggestions to create the content you would want your audience to receive
Publish and manage
The content is ready and so are you. But it does not mean that after you hit that ‘publish’ button you are done with it. Follow up on the content you have created, share it with others, collect information, and analyze its success.
The information you collect from your own content is extremely valuable. It shows how certain things work for you and on what you should concentrate on. It will also make planning your next content strategy easier and more efficient.
To sum up, content strategy is planning everything about the content you need to create, from the smallest nuances to where it should lead you. This plan makes it faster and easier for you to organize your work and see the strengths and flaws of the company. And while all that is great, remember —you should not forget to monitor the results of your content and its performance. It will help make every your next piece better than the previous one.