We all know that content is King when it comes to online marketing. As such, I wasn’t surprised when Econsultancy’s recent Content Marketing Survey reported that 90 percent of digital marketing professionals plan to ramp up their content development over the next 12 months.
What I wasn’t expecting to see, however, is that less than 40 percent of the 1,300 marketing professionals surveyed have taken the time to clearly define their content strategy.
While clever blog posts, quirky infographics, and viral videos are the cornerstones of effective campaigns, these tools are only effective if implemented as part of a cohesive marketing plan. As more and more brands embrace their role as publishers, (73 percent of the survey’s respondents recognized this important shift in ideology) marketing agencies and consultants are also reexamining the way they approach content development and distribution.
What is a Content Strategy?
Like a roadmap, a content strategy provides you not only with an end goal to work towards, but also helps you to clearly define the steps you’ll need to follow in order to achieve the desired results. Kristina Halvorson, author of the book Content Strategy for the Web says that content strategy:
“…plots an achievable roadmap for individuals and organizations to create and maintain content that audiences will actually care about. It provides specific, well-informed recommendations about how we’re going to get from where we are today (no content, or bad content, or too much content) to where we want to be (useful, usable content people will actually care about).”
As such, a well-defined content strategy should take the culture and values of your company into consideration, along with any ongoing brand messages and communication strategies.
Key Things to Include in Your Content Strategy
Every content marketing strategy should touch on a few key elements, including:
- Integral themes and brand messages
- Relevant topics and imagery
- Search engine optimization techniques and standards
- The incorporation of any strategic recommendations on content creation, distribution and governance.
These basics will help you analyze content gaps and will ensure that you have the right resources in place produce quality, share-worthy content.