If you’re just getting started with content marketing or you’ve been using the same approach for a while, it never hurts to review your content strategy plan to make sure it’s relevant, innovative and effective.
First of all, don’t even begin thinking about how you’re going to create and distribute the content. That’s usually where people start, which is why so many organisations are doing “content” but not content marketing.
Content marketing strategy is mapping out the overall plan for what the content creators should be generating and spreading. While you’ll certainly adapt and iterate based on what happens when your content is actually out there, creating a documented strategy will help you get closer to the mark, earlier. You’ll save time and money no matter how you decide to create and spread the content.
Content marketing strategy ultimately boils down to three simple components. Not necessarily easy, but we know by now that simple and easy are two different things.
Before you can get someone to buy from you, you need to know what to say to them, and how to say it. You’ll never get that right unless you know who you’re talking to.
Call them personas, avatars, or even characters if you like.
Your first step is to do the research that allows you to create a fictional, generalised representation of your ideal customer. Don’t underestimate the importance of the word ideal in “your ideal customer.” Although you always put the problems and motivations of the prospect first, you should proactively choose the type of person you want to reach.
Now that you know who you’re talking to, you can start to figure out what they need to hear from you. You’ll also want to place yourself in the shoes of the prospect along the buying journey, so you can deliver the right information at the right time.
It could be a funnel sequence, product launch, or defined period of time on your editorial calendar. What do they need to know to do business with you, and in what order?
Now we get to the creative part. By taking the time to understand the who and the what, you now know how to craft messages exactly how the prospect needs to “hear” that information.
The “who” reveals the stories you should tell, not just to transmit information, but to create a unifying sense of connection. The “what” tells you how to craft an overall communication which ties directly into the prospect’s motivation for change.
Instead of guessing blindly, you’ll deliver the right message, at the right time, that makes your ideal prospect view you as the only reasonable choice.
And since you chose them first, your marketing will be naturally authentic — because you’re reflecting your own values to those who share them.