Creating Content Strategy

27 February 2013

However a very popular term nowadays, Content Strategy still seems to be very confusing for many marketing practitioners. So, to make it all clear: Content strategy refers to the planning, development, and management of informational content—written or digital. In “The Web Content Strategist’s Bible" by Richard Sheffield content strategy is defined as a repeatable system that defines the entire editorial content development process for a website development project.

In order to facilitate your struggle when creating your content strategy, Michael Brenner from b2bmarketinginsider.com came up with a 6 steps plan.

  1. Set Content Strategy Objectives – Define exactly what and why you want to accomplish with your content stratefy. It is important that you include a content marketing mission statement in order to obtain a certain percentage share of the online conversations regarding your topic. Or to become a thought leader on a certain topic. Try to establish your current share of the conversations in your space by using search, social and web analytics.

  2. Identify Content Resources and Planning – Just like any other strategy, the key to success is good research and planning. In order to create a strong content strategy you first have to establish who's in charge with creating content within your organization. Next, measure how much of that content is utilized in any external activity and how measure how well it performs. Map the content to your customer buying cycle. Look at how much content you create that is gated vs un-gated, customer-focused or product-centric. Then deploy resources to fill the content gaps you identified.

  3. Define Your Content Marketing Plan – Ideally, you can use your own employees for creating content. If you have the means, you should look into hiring writers or outsourcing some components of your content creation such as videos and graphics that require specialized skills. You can help to deliver value to your audience through other people’s content, as long as it is appropriately attributed and transformed to protect their copyright.

  4. Build Reach – One important goal of your content strategy should be to build reach. Needless to say that you should aim to build reach in the most efficient manner possible for the lowest possible cost. No matter how great your content is or how much authority your website has, it is not going to reach every possible audience type. This is where paid and unpaid content syndication can help you. The simplest form is to share your content through your own social channels. On the more complex end of the spectrum, you can pay to syndicate your content to other sites through paid content syndication, banners or social advertising.

  5. Optimize for Engagement and Conversion – Throughout the entire content strategy creation process you should keep an eye on the engagement and conversion levels. Measuring and analyzing all the sources of your traffic isn’t enough. You have to define which content and tactics are driving the highest levels of engagement and conversion to your defined business goals. Identify which authors, evangelists and influencers are helping you reach your goals through their own efforts. Then optimize towards that content and those tactics, authors and influencers. Look at who is regularly commenting on your content and seek to reciprocate. Follow the people who follow you on Twitter.

  6. Report and Refine – Share your results widely to build additional support for your programs. Remember that every employee is a possible content producer and seek to recruit as many as you can. Show how your content strategy is generating real business results and calculate the return on the investment.

    Congratulations, you have just took the first steps towards a great content strategy. Now re-visit your objectives and start the process all over again.





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