A content strategy is a strategy that takes your business goals, and then uses content as a primary means to achieve those goals.
For instance, your business goals might include increasing brand awareness (to ultimately drive more revenue) — to achieve this goal, you might implement a content strategy that focuses on SEO to increase website visibility on the SERPs and drive traffic to your products or services.
New business owners might assume a content strategy is a 'nice-to-have', but not entirely necessary early on. However, producing high-quality content to meet business needs can help companies build trust with new audiences and, ultimately, succeed over the long-haul.
Plus, with 70% of marketers actively investing in content marketing, it's often critical you develop a good content strategy to compete in your industry.
When you develop a content strategy, there are a few questions to answer. Let's dive into those, now.
Who's the target audience for your content? For how many audiences are you creating content? Just as your business might have more than one type of customer, your content strategy can cater to more than one type of reader or viewer.
Using a variety of content types and channels will help you deliver different content to each type of audience you have in mind and engage everyone your company does business with.
Ideally, your product or service solves a problem you know your audience has. By the same token, your content coaches and educates your audience through this problem as they begin to identify and address it.
A sound content strategy supports people on both sides of your product: those who are still figuring out what their main challenges are, and those who are already using your product to overcome these challenges. Your content reinforces the solution(s) you're offering and makes your customers more qualified users of your product.
Your competitors likely have a similar product as yours, which means your potential customers need to know what makes yours better — or, at least, different. This is where content comes in.
In order to prove why you're worth buying from, you need to prove why you're worth listening to.
What forms will your content take? Infographics? Videos? Blog posts? Having identified the topics you want to take a position on, you'll need to determine which formats to budget for so you can best express that position.
Just as you can create content in different formats, you'll also have different channels you can publish to. Channels can include owned properties, such as your website and blog; and social media properties, such as Facebook and Twitter.
Figuring out how you'll create and publish all your content can be a daunting task. It's important for a content strategy to know who's creating what, where it's being published, and when it's going live.