Strategy – “a particular long-term plan for success, especially in business or politics” Collins Dictionary 2015.
Strategies aren’t just business buzzwords, they are essential methods of ensuring you do everything possible to achieve a set goal. In content marketing, that means delivering the content, the tone of voice and the engagement the audience in question can relate to.
There is no one size fits all content marketing strategy. Each individual business has their own needs, target audience and goals. Each will need their own strategy developed with that uniqueness in mind. However, there are five main elements a good content marketing strategy will include.
Depending on the size of your business and how many stakeholders there are, a business case isn’t always necessary. This is where you state the reasons for content marketing, the risks, costs, goals and vision of what it will look like and what it needs to achieve.
In this context, the business plan is the why, what, when and how of your content marketing strategy. What goals will you set? How long will the strategy last? What are you going to offer? What challenges need to be overcome? How will you measure success?
Writing of any kind has to have the audience at the heart of things. While as a novelist you can write for your own reasons, content marketers cannot. Therefore, a thorough understanding of the target audience, their demographics, likes and dislikes and other attributes should be understood as much as possible.
This can be simple if dealing with a single target audience or contain multiple strands if we are targeting different audiences with different content. An audience assessment is necessary for each individual strand.
It’s only once you understand the reader that you can direct them to the outcome you want.
Every content marketing strategy needs to have a familiar thread running through the entire process. For example a brand voice, a build up to a significant event, characteristics of the message or something else. This will depend on where your brand sits now and where you want to be in a year’s time.
The story isn’t an essential part of a content marketing strategy but it does help. Even small businesses can benefit from creating a brand voice that resonates with their target market. It makes it much easier to communicate and to invoke emotion with the messages.
Finally, we need to decide what mediums we are going to use to get that message out there. Will we use blogs? Press releases? Social media? Downloads? Or a combination of all of them.
A good content marketing strategy will use the mediums popularised by the target audience. So for younger audiences, social media, blogs, microsites, articles, podcasts, and video are all good places to start. For more mature audiences, blogs, articles and even printed media will all resonate well.
It is often said that a strategy never survives past the first shot. While we aren’t doing battle, it’s important to realise that a content marketing strategy isn’t set in stone. A typical strategy is an evolving thing that will adapt as it progresses and be continually refined to include new ideas and lessons learned.
Contact Coastal Content for a cost-effective tailor-made content strategy that delivers on the goals you set!