con·tent mar·ket·ing stra·te·gy (noun): A roadmap developed from extensive research and knowledge of the audience which the content is intended for. It should be defined inline with specific business goals, including why a certain type of content has a certain focal point for said audience. The most complete, bulletproof strategies also involve how the content gets planned, produced, delivered, and tracked through its lifecycle.
Did you know that for almost 200 years, Spanish explorers thought California was an island? Now--before we start making fun of them endlessly, let’s give them a bit of a break: obviously, they didn’t have a map to reference. They could have noticed the enormous amount of water present and just assumed that, you know, it went all the way around.
Figuring out the right content marketing strategy for your brand is going to be similar to exploring unknown land. You can’t make assumptions and just hope that the map that you come out with will be correct in the end. You’re going to have to put in the work to see both good and bad results, tweak your hypothesis, and finally define the blueprint that’s going to work for you.
Of course, there’s no one right way to do content marketing. But there is a wrong way, and you’re going to have to promise to never do this: I pledge to document my content marketing strategy. Not keeping documentation on what you try is kind of like drawing a map of California on sand: you can’t possibly know what’s right or wrong if there’s no record to refer back to and calculate the delta between.
Your document should be one that’s living, shaped by you and your team over time. New learnings should be added, failed hunches should be deleted, and everything is tracked and recorded. To help you launch into defining your strategy, this section will walk you through how you can set up, what we believe, is the most efficient way to explore your audience and market.
DEFINING YOUR BUSINESS GOALS AND NEEDS
Why are you interested in content mark eting? What exactly do you hope to accomplish through content? Is it brand awareness? Lead generation? Helping your sales team close sales more quickly? Establishing your brand as a thought leader in your space? Developing a relationship with your current customers?
Depending on what your primary objective is, your content marketing strategy along with the type of content you produce will be slightly different. It will also determine which metrics are the most relevant for you to track and analyze, post-delivery.
For this step, use our handy cheat cards to define your brand’s #1 need and the corresponding metric that you should focus on in drafting your content strategy.
Take a snap shot of your brand’s current online presence in order to keep track of your progress. What do your metrics look like now? What do these metrics look like if your content marketing efforts had a 100% return? In other words, what sort of results would double your salary? Set your goals in numbers. You don’t need anything fancy. Just fill out our paper template.