A content strategy is a must-have for any marketing organization. It is the foundation for almost all of your marketing activities but the process of developing it can be daunting. A content strategy is a plan for creating, delivering and maintaining useful marketing content designed to attract, engage and acquire your targeted audience.
What Does a Content Strategy Include?
Content strategies typically include the following elements:
- Define your Goal. Determine what you hope to accomplish with your content strategy and make it SMART - specific, measurable, achievable, results-focused, and time- bound.
- Research Your Audience. Whom are you trying to reach? How do they buy your products/services? Where do they get their information? Once you have this information, you will be able to develop a persona based on that information.
- Conduct a Content Audit. Find out what content currently exists, determine if it is current or outdated, conduct a gap analysis on what you have and what you need based on the personas that you developed in the previous step.
- Develop your Brand Story. Decide what ideas and messages you want to communicate to your audience.
- Create a Communications Channel Plan. There are so many communication channels available today. Based on what you learned about your audience, decide how you will communicate with your targeted audience.
- Governance. Add your brand guidelines, decide who is in charge of your content, and document an approval process.
- Determine How You Will Measure Success. Decide which metrics you will use to determine the success of your goals – these could be brand awareness, engagement, customer loyalty, lead generation and sales.
So, what is missing?
A competitive analysis on how your competitors are communicating in the marketplace.
Don't Develop a Content Strategy in a Vacuum
You want to develop content that converts. Nobody needs a dozen guides, checklists or e-books on the same subject. Make sure that the content that you are developing is not more of the same but is differentiated from your competitors.
Differentiated content will also help you move up the ranks in Google because you won’t be creating content that has been indexed for a long time. For example, this blog post could have been titled How to Develop a Content Strategy. There are so many blog posts and primers that help companies systematically create a content strategy that it would be difficult to compete effectively.
However, the one piece I always see missing is the Competitive Analysis. Without it, how do you know if your content is different from your competitors?
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