You write two blog posts a week, you send out a couple tweets. Your content strategy is good to go, right?
Unfortunately, too many marketers confuse blogging with content strategy. While blogging is an important part, it is just one of many tactics that revolve around the planning, development, and long-term management of content.
Here are four important parts of a content strategy:
Collaboration Across the Company
Like any successful marketing tactic, a strong content strategy comes when you work and align with different areas of your client’s company. For example, if you are working with a software company, you would need to collaborate with the product team to understand new features and write educational, how-to content for existing customers. But, you also need to work with the sales team to understand what kind of assets they need to generate more leads and close deals.
And, you always want to ensure your content strategy is aligned with the overall business goals. When explaining the value of content, it’s easy to default to brand awareness. There’s no question that a good content strategy will increase brand recognition, but you also want to tie your content programs to company-wide metrics.
Quality Content Creation
You can’t have a content strategy without the actual content. Create an editorial calendar and plan out the topics you will write about over the next quarter. Those topics can and will change, but mapping out the general idea will help you coordinate marketing efforts and stay aligned with seasonal content opportunities.
When thinking about what kind of content to create, always put your customer first. Understand your target audience and write posts that solve their everyday challenges. No one wants to read a veiled sales pitch about a product or service. Build trust first by offering helpful, valuable content.
Tailored, Customized Promotion
Develop a promotional strategy for each piece of content you create. Think about how you’ll share it on social media, the influencers you need to contact, and if there are any forums or groups where you could post it. And don’t forget about the long-term strategy. It’s easy to promote a new e-book the day after it launches, but think about what you’ll do with your content six months or a year later.
Experimenting and Measuring
A content strategy does not end the second you hit the “post” button. You always need to be monitoring traffic, clicks, and shares well after the post has been published. Track the time you posted or shared the content, and the image and copy you used. Then, start experimenting. For example, try sharing a blog post on Twitter with and without an image. Or, post something on social media at different times. Monitor the performance of each piece, and use the facts you uncover to help improve the content over time.
How You Can Get Started
If you have been tasked with developing a content strategy for a client, the first thing you should do is a content audit. Go through all the existing pieces of content and make a spreadsheet to track titles, word count, traffic, conversions, shares, and promotional tactics. Once you’ve gone through all the assets, you will have a clear picture of what has and hasn’t worked.