Why Content Strategy is a Brand-building No-brainer
There’s simply no getting around it. You must implement an innovative, decisive content strategy to grow your business’ target audience, increase brand awareness, boost ROI/revenue, and build customer retention. Here’s why it works and how to get started.
Fact: What you’re currently reading is a form of content strategy. The digital revolution has not only changed the way people spend their time, communicate, interact, attain and disseminate information, educate, entertain, inform, and socialize, it’s forever altered the way people spend their money. Hello e-commerce! A standalone brick-and-mortar is no longer necessary for a business to thrive. Yet, whether you own a traditional brick-and-mortar-type business or e-commerce -based brand (or both), strategizing and sticking to an effective content plan is key to keeping your biz on the right track and in the black.
Minding Your Business: What is Content Strategy?
Let’s start with business-building basics. Content strategy is the process of planning, conceptualizing, ideating, creating, executing, and on-going management of content through written words, media, or imagery for the sole purpose of increasing a business’ ROI (return on investment), audience engagement, and customer retention. Since the digital era has disrupted traditional forms of advertising and most potential customers spend their time online, content strategy is mostly created for the digital space. Developing and employing effective, on-point content strategy can make or break your business and is a growing key role in modern business marketing planning. Content strategists are hired by both established brands and smaller start-ups to create and carry out game-changing content that will exponentially boost marketing results. Content strategy allows you to understand exactly WHY you’re using a certain TYPE of content, the demographic you wish to reach, what KIND of content you wish to create, the GOALS you wish to achieve, and what CHANNELS to leverage. Good content strategy that meets or exceeds your business’ marketing expectations requires tactical planning.
Types of Digital Content
As stated earlier, you are currently engaging in a form of content by reading this blog post. While most types of content may seem obvious, others not so much. Here are the most popular forms of content strategy used in the digital domain:
- Social Media
- Search Engine Ads
- White Pages
- Case Studies
Getting Started: Six Steps to Content Strategy Success
According to CMS Wire, smart and successful content strategy is one that is resourceful, specific, informative, educational, entertaining/engaging, valuable, and pertinent to the needs/desires of a particular demographic, with the ultimate objective of converting site traffic to paying customers who continually return to click the “BUY” button. Bottom line. The key is knowing your strategy BEFORE you even begin producing it. Here’s how to get going:
WHO do you want to attract to your brand/business?
Who is your target audience? Who would your product or service appeal to?
Conduct an SEO keyword research relevant to your target audience. What keywords are they using to search for a product/service? Implementing these keywords into your various content types will drive traffic to your site. You can always invest in a seasoned pro by hiring an SEO Analyst.
Keep Your Competition Close By
Not only must you study your audience, you must be aware of your competitors’ strategies. Dive into the digital deep waters to analyze what’s working and what’s not. Google Analytics is an indispensable tool to assess audience engagement, sharing ratios, response times, etc. Know what your competitors’ audience is likely sharing and commenting on daily and do it better for your brand.
Pick the Places
Choose which distribution channels you wish to disseminate your content strategy, i.e., which social media platforms and/or which search engine ads. Where does your target audience spend most of their time before hitting the “BUY” button? Will that fun, “how-to” tutorial you created for your beauty brand’s new line of makeup brushes be better on YouTube or Instagram or both? What about the E-book you wrote on nutrition basics for your new fitness blog? Every channel has its own buying power potential.
Create a Content Calendar
Now that you’ve done your diligent research, it’s time to commit to rolling out your content strategy by creating a comprehensive and cohesive calendar. What type of content gets created? What distribution channels does it go on? When will it be made available for the world to see?
Stick to It
As with most things, success is dependent on an unwavering commitment to consistency. Your content strategy may not be an overnight success, but a brand-building hit overtime if you stick to the process. Remember to stay focused on keeping content fresh, fun, informative, engaging, entertaining, and irresistible – consistently.
It takes a little trial and error before you find what works best for your vertical but the payoff is exponential growth. Now get out there and strategize!