Content Marketing + Content Strategy: Do you really need one?

‘Content marketing’ is a bit of a buzz word at the moment and a lot of businesses hear the phrase and think: “Fantastic, let’s get blogging!” … without giving any thought to why or even what they are doing.

But what is content marketing exactly? And is it really that new?

As PR professionals, no, this is not a new concept to us. In fact, we have been content marketers for years.

The Content Marketing Institute describes content marketing as “ a strategic approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience – and to ultimately drive profitable customer action.”

Content marketing can apply to all of your content – whether online or offline and its various formats. These include media releases, blogs, email newsletters and 140 character tweets.

So why is a content strategy so important?

# 1: It forces you to do your research. Any good strategy will make you ask the questions such as:

  1. What are my goals? Objectives?
  2. Who am I trying to reach?
  3.  What do I want to say to them and what do they want to hear from me?
  4. What resources can I commit to this – not just money, but time – and am I being realistic?
  5. What tools am I going to use? Blogs? Email? Social media? Editorial? Website case studies?
  6. Where can this content go? What are my distribution channels and how can I leverage each piece of great content?

You need to understand why you are writing that blog, tweeting or emailing your clients. Might seem straight forward and obvious. But so many business owners, marketing managers and the like jump on the latest bandwagon without any thought to what they want to achieve. So make sure you have clear goals in place as step 1.

This is all important and ensures what you are doing adds value to your business!

#2: You have a plan and a timeline to work to. It is integrated with all other comms activities you are undertaking, maximising value and impact. It is also means you will never be stuck for great content on those days when perhaps you aren’t feeling your creative best! However, despite best laid plans, remember sometimes the best content is in response to a trend or piece of news so your timeline should always be flexible.

#3: You can measure your successes and also figure out areas for improvement. With measurable objectives in place you will be able to see what works and where you can improve. Without a strategy, chances are you wouldn’t be measuring anything.

If you are stuck on developing a content strategy, we would love to help. Simply contact us or email the team at [email protected]