What is Content Strategy?
Defining content strategy can be compared to disparate descriptions of three blind men who were asked to describe an elephant. They each held different parts of the animal (trunk, ears, and tail), and proceeded to form opinions based on the part they held.
The point we are trying to make here is that as it was with the blind men and the elephant, content strategy has been studied by so many people that there are diverse definitions which are all correct. That is why we decided to present definitions from two sources before hazarding ours.
Mark O’Brien, the author of A Website that Works: How Marketing Agencies Can Create Business Generating Websites aptly defines it thus:
A plan for adding unique, expert, and indexable content to your site on a regular basis.
However, another author Rahel Bailie chose to go the whole nine yards with this definition:
Content strategy deals with the planning aspects of managing content throughout its lifecycle, and includes aligning content to business goals, analysis, and modeling, and influences the development, production, presentation, evaluation, measurement, and … of content, including governance. What content strategy is not is the implementation side. The actual content development, management, and delivery is the tactical outcome of the strategy that needs to be carried out for the strategy to be effective.
Going by these definitions, we could say that a content strategy concentrates your content development on a specific business objective by focusing on the planning, creation, delivery, and governance of your content.
The Significance of a Content Strategy
When you attempt to create content without a guiding strategy, the result is purposeless and unproductive content that ultimately dents your brand. Content creation without a strategy will almost never drive your business directives simply because of the lack of focus.
Conversely, content that is guided by strategy is highly productive. This is because optimally aligning your brand’s message and values with your content enable your business objectives to be met without sacrificing customer satisfaction.
How Do You Develop A Content Strategy?
In order to develop a content strategy you need to start with research at three different levels:
This is the first level and the most important because it is all about defining what your company represents in the industry: mission, vision, and core strengths. What are your company’s mission and vision? What services can your company provide better than anyone else?
The next level of research should be about the customers. What are their needs and desires? What are the demographics and social behavior of your customers? Where, when and how do they access content generally?
What are your competitions' selling points? What are they doing differently? How successful are their content strategies? What can you do differently in light of all these?
The answers to all these questions will help you develop a world-beater of a content strategy. One that caters to peoples’ needs while driving your business objective.