Why Brands Need a Content Strategy — and How to Create One
There are a lot of reasons why a content strategy is important for your brand. To start, it’s an investment that will pay off in the long run: having a well-defined content process helps streamline your business, making it easier to scale and operate at a large level. It also gives you control over the message, making sure that it is on point to your audience. And finally, it’s just plain good business sense: in an age where products can be easily compared if you don’t have a defined message, you stand the chance of being easily forgotten.
1. The importance of a content strategy: why it matters to your brand
A content strategy is essentially a clear plan on how you’re going to consistently deliver content to the audience you’re trying to attract. It is about identifying your target audience and their needs and then creating content that matches and solves their problems. Sound easy? It isn’t. A lot of people think that the easier it is to successfully create content, the more valuable it is, but there are a lot of intricacies when it comes to any content strategy. Despite what articles like this may say, creating content isn’t as simple as slapping your brand logo on a piece of content and calling it a day. This is doubly true when you’re talking about social media, stats show most popular posts have often been created 3–4 days earlier than they were released. The result? Poor engagement, and not a positive response.
If you’re going to be releasing monthly posts on all social media platforms, it’s important to be consistent with them. Channels that show a trend tend to have a higher engagement rate, meaning you get more users clicking and engaging with the content you put out. This means that you have to identify your target audience and community. This is where your content strategy starts to take shape, whether it’s an industry, a target demographic, or any other specifics. Each account or channel you set up will have its own unique set of needs and priorities, therefore you’ll have to think the same way for each one.
This is when you’ll want to start thinking about the purpose of your content and how you connect with your target audience. What are you providing in terms of value? Who comes to this channel to buy/use your product/service? What type of content are you creating for this channel? Data from all your current social media activities can help you see where you can spend the most attention in terms of optimizing content around the topics you already invest time in or actively promote.
2. Defining your content strategy: what it is and how to create yours
“Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”
The most important part of this definition is the “valuable, relevant, and consistent” part. What exactly matters here is that you define what content you create as evidence of your business and make individuals care about what you have to offer. This will be your brand’s identity, a type of mark you want to color your message.
Your content strategy should be not only defined but also monitored. It should be reevaluated regularly: you’ll see how your content is performing, what parts of the content are working, and what may need to be modified to adapt to current trends. This way, you can adapt your content to align with your target audience’s preferences and expectations.
On the side, you should consult your marketing team to see what was working (or may not be working) in terms of content delivery and making adjustments.
Another crucial aspect of a content strategy is that it should live beyond the marketing team’s calendar. If a professional were to look at your campaign in September, they would see it has markers of the beginning of winter. The most effective way to establish this strong correlation is to do long-term testing on your content, which makes sure you’re always creating the right type of content that makes your target audience care. This is also a great idea to do ahead of time to establish where you want your brand to be in 3 or 4 years’ time.
It pays off to have a content strategy that is suited to your target audience. Creating content that is specifically for each target audience means you can each respond to the unique consumption habits of each group. In this way, you can even create content across different platforms — for example, on YouTube and Instagram — if that’s helpful to reach the audience you want to receive.
3. A guide for creating an effective content strategy
Brands who want to take their content game to the next level need to understand two things: focus and audience. They need to decide where their money is best spent and have a clear idea of what they want to say. In addition, they have to measure success and understand how to measure it. The content strategy in this article will help you get a comprehensive grasp of the most important things you need to know to put your plan into action.
Historically, writing has been considered a reserved profession. It requires immense confidence to write anything that requires word count and proofreading, let alone something like a logo or a tweet. However, content is king these days — over one billion people consume content every month.
Of course, there’s a range of other potential subjects to write about, including your brand, your competitors, other products of the moment, and even politics, but those are a bit outside the scope of our discussion. We’re going to focus on the topics that matter to everyone who works with content: your brand’s content.
A good content strategy is based on three key pillars: theory, data, and practice. Without these three things, your content will simply be noise, or… well, you get the idea.
4. How to know if you have the right content strategy in place
If you’re wondering if you have the right content strategy, consider this:
Content is everywhere and when it comes to driving business revenue, getting the right piece of content in front of your audience can make a huge difference. Luckily, brands understand the importance of content and are willing to invest in their online content strategy.
Once again, for established brands it’s undeniable: a well-established blog will always produce more traffic, generate more leads, build your trust versus an unknown blog. Improve the quality of your content by providing proof to back up your claims, and build up authority organically. Now for up-and-coming brands, building an audience on social media or blogging is still an effective option. It also allows you to reach people that might not know your business exists, and it provides something new to filter their search.
As a brand, you should be taking your content and its strategy seriously. This requires understanding your brand, its message, your audience, and the platforms that are important to be on. Having these elements will place you on the winning seat allowing you to build a brand that will last.