A lot of folks have interesting ideas about what content strategy is or is not. That’s why I’m laying down a really quick crash course right here.
Content Strategy is Not:
- Copying the competition: Cribbing your competitor’s blog post length, types, titles, and formatting. It could be decent strategy if you are also mirroring their promotion, social media, and outreach strategies and have the same client personas, calls to action, and product offerings. What you see on the surface isn’t the big picture.
- Likes and shares: Don’t get me wrong, any engagement is a positive thing, but click-throughs and the kind of engagement that brings folks who engage with your content closer to being customers is much more beneficial.
- About brand building. Building your brand, growing rapport, and establishing trust are all things you want to do with your content, but that shouldn’t be the main goal of your strategy. Unless you are surveying folks who interact with it on the regular, you have no way of measuring these things and finding out whether or not you are successful.
- Based on the frequency of posts. Your cadence for publication isn’t really part of your strategy. It’s actually a small part of the tactics that you use to fulfill your strategy. Your frequency for posting to your blog or social should be based on your goals, calls to action, persona types, current campaigns, and so on. Frequency is more of a tool.
- Getting a lot of traffic. Too many folks still think that pumping out blog posts packed with keywords will suddenly lead to a deluge of traffic. It doesn’t. And even when it does, that may not be targeted traffic that makes you any money. So what’s the point of that?
Content Strategy Is:
- Tied in with your overall marketing strategy. It doesn’t matter whether you call it content marketing or inbound marketing or something else altogether–content strategy is a component of your overall marketing plan. Your regular marketing and your content should generally have the same aim and the same goals. And if your content strategy is your marketing strategy, that’s perfectly okay too.
- Purposeful. You aren’t just posting to post. You have an audience in mind, and there’s something you want them to do. It’s all well-thought out.
- Flexible. Unlike an expensive print campaign or television spots, content is easily adaptable. If your strategy isn’t getting you the results you want, you should start tweaking it and playing around with it.
- Inclusive. Your content strategy needs to include social, promotion, outreach, email, and all kinds of other elements to get eyes on your content, which means more eyes on products and services people can buy from you (or affiliate links or ads, if that’s your thing). Just tossing out blog posts here or there or dropping a white paper onto your website won’t do it.