Do I really need to create a content marketing strategy?
Yes! As we’ve learned through our annual research, not only do you need a strategy, you also need to document it.
Those with a documented content marketing strategy:
- Are far more likely to consider themselves effective at content marketing
- Feel significantly less challenged with every aspect of content marketing
- Generally consider themselves more effective in their use of all content marketing tactics and social media channels
- Were able to justify spending a higher percentage of their marketing budget on content marketing
What should my content marketing strategy include?
Think of a content marketing strategy as an outline of your key business and customer needs and a detailed plan for how you will use content to address them.
While there are no definitive “templates” for building a content marketing strategy — each one will be unique to the business that creates it — there are five components that they commonly include:
- Your business case for innovating with content marketing: By communicating your reasons for creating content, the risks involved, and your vision of what success will look like, you are much more likely to gain executive support for your strategy — and to get permission to make a mistake here and there as you figure out what works best for your business.
- Your business plan for content marketing: This covers the goals you have for your content program, the unique value you are looking to provide through your content, and details of your business model. It also should outline the obstacles and opportunities you may encounter as you execute your plan.
- Your audience personas and content maps: This is where you describe the specific audiences for whom you will create content, what their needs are, and what their content engagement cycle might look like. You may also want to map out content you can deliver throughout their buyer’s journey in order to move them closer to their goals.
- Your channel plan: This should include the platforms you will use to tell your story; what your criteria, processes, and objectives are for each one; and how you will connect them so that they create a cohesive brand conversation.
How often should I update my content marketing strategy?
Some parts of your strategy should stay consistent even as your content marketing program grows and evolves — namely, your mission and business goals. In fact, these two things are so key that you may want to put them on a Post-it note so you can keep them in view whenever you are working on your content.
However, other aspects of your content marketing strategy will likely benefit from being reviewed and updated periodically. To ensure that your content marketing program remains on target, consider revisiting your channel strategy, core topics, and team processes on an annual basis — or more often if you are just getting started.