What is Content Marketing Strategy?

Content strategy and content marketing strategy often get intertwined or misused. Let’s define the two, so you have a strong understanding of how each work.

A content strategy defines your audience, your overall business goal, and how you plan to use content to reach those goals. Do you want to use the material to build brand awareness, boost engagement, or increase sales? Once you determine the exact need for content, then define who your target audience.

A content marketing strategy is your strategy within a strategy. It’s your plan to market your content.

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Your content marketing strategy sets your vision for the goals that define your content strategy. It outlines your planning (editorial calendar), your distribution plan, your creation process, and your maintenance method. It’s your plan to build your audience by creating, publishing, distributing, and engaging new and old fans. Use this time to dig into your data and discover what topics your audience wants to learn, read and share. Through data, you can find more insight into your target audience so you can create thought-provoking and authentic content to build a trusting relationship with your fans. Example: If your target audience is the adventure-seeking mom, in your content marketing strategy, you’ll want to create content ideas (editorial calendar) toward this group. Then research and plan how to share this content with that group. Find partnerships and plan them out. Discover when the best time is to share content with this targeted group.

Your content marketing strategy is your plan to share the content that you create to market your brand.

Why Content Marketing Strategy is Important?

Without a fine-tuned strategy, you’re doing a lot of busy work.

A content marketing strategy is important because it’s your framework to keep your content-publishing machine going. Think of the content marketing strategy as your GPS and oil to the machine. It’s your guide to know what to create, when to create the content, who will create the content, what audience your content is meant to target, where you will distribute it, and how compelling the content is for your audience (this is when you can dig into your metrics). Your content marketing strategy also helps keep your keywords on track and enables you to make sure your workload is fast and efficient.

Think about it, if you start driving without a destination, you’ll be driving for a long time. If you determine your destination without figuring out directions, you could be driving miles beyond miles. It’s more efficient to know where you are going and nail down directions so you can get from point A to point B fast and efficiently. It’s the same concept with a content marketing strategy. It allows you to write your content with a goal in mind. It helps speed up the creative process, the publishing process, and the marketing process. In the end, creating and using your content marketing strategy will save you time and money.

Do you need a content marketing strategy?

If you don’t have a content marketing strategy, be ready to do busy work.

It’s suggested to create a content marketing strategy to make your marketing efforts fast and efficient. Your content marketing strategy helps you plan your editorial calendar, so you know what type of content (article, video, infographic) you want to create and push on your site and channels. Your content marketing strategy also helps you determine what topics to write about or talk about in a video.

Your content marketing strategy helps your team stay organized and get on the same page because the plan will map out who is doing what, voice and tone, vision, business goals, content objective, promotional time frame, channels to use, and content partnerships. It keeps everyone in the loop when content items are being created, edited, or pushed live. Your content marketing strategy is the communication element to keep other departments in the know, too.

Your content marketing strategy aids in keeping your voice and tone aligned when creating authentic stories. It will help you build your core values for storytelling. According to Dr. Jennifer Aaker, a behavioral psychologist, author, and the General Atlantic Professor at Stanford Graduate School of Business, your core content values need to include authenticity, empathy, and purpose. In her lecture, Power of Story (video number 6), she discusses how important it is to have meaning when creating content. Otherwise, your audience will see right through your storytelling and not trust your company. A content marketing strategy will help define the purpose of your stories. 

Why Should You Write Down Your Content Marketing Strategy?

Scenario: Someone on your team says, “We need content. Start writing blog posts, now.”

You: Open a word doc and start staring at a blank screen with the words pondering in your head, “Where do I start?”. Then, an hour or two goes by with maybe a paragraph written.

Sound familiar? Take the guesswork out of your content and write down your content marketing strategy. In fact, according to a survey conducted by the Content Marketing Institute, 46 percent of marketers have their content marketing strategy written down. Moreover, according to the LinkedIn Technology Marketing Community, companies with a documented content marketing strategy are 36 percent more efficient than companies without one.

Not only does a documented content marketing strategy make companies more efficient to achieve their business goals, but it also helps every department communicate and understand what’s coming down the content pipeline.

Stop wasting time and money. Write down your content marketing strategy to speed up your content workflow process.

How to Create a Content Marketing Strategy?

From research and goal setting to brainstorming and production, here are the specifics on how to create a content marketing strategy that will set your company up for success.

  1. Define your goal
  2. Research your targeted audience
  3. Do a content audit
  4. Look up SEO keywords to target
  5. Brainstorm content ideas
  6. Create an editorial calendar
  7. Determine where you want to publish and distribute content
  8. Build a promotional plan

Click here for a more in-depth look at how to create a content marketing strategy.

How to Improve Your Content Marketing Strategy?

Stuck in a content slump? Are you not hitting your KPIs? Before you stress out, re-look at your content marketing strategy and make a few adjustments.

  1. Look at your metrics. Dig into both year over year and month over month analytics. The data will help you understand what content is resonating with your audience and what isn’t working. Look at page views, visitors, unique visitors, time spent, conversions, exit rate, comments, and shares.  
  2. Run a content audit. Look at what you produced over the year and dig into the metrics.
  3. Determine if you wrote to your target audience. If you missed the mark, make a note of that and look at how you can create content to target your audience.
  4. Note if you can improve your SEO. If some content pieces weren’t performing well, look to see if you can use better keywords.
  5. Decide if you want to re-purpose content. If something didn’t perform well, try re-purposing the piece.
  6. Update your promotional calendar. Look at your analytics and see if there is a better time, social channel and day to promote your content. This insight will help you reach your audience more effectively.

Download our Content Marketing Strategy Checklist.