Content is everything to the success of a business, and content is often the number one focus of marketing strategies. Content strategy refers to the effective and in depth planning, development, and management of content, written down or in other forms of media. The term is particularly common in web development since the late 1990s, and the importance of content has become more and more key and crucial every year since then.
Content is a recognized and crucial field in user experience design, but it also goes on to draw interest from adjacent communities such as content management, business analysis, and technical communication too. To define it simply, by the creation of content it is meant to build an affinity with your existing audience. This content would reinforce the brand that you have to offer, communicate the value of the product and why it should be purchased, and create new opportunities. Custom content, (which anyone who is successful has achieved), is the creation of” branded content” that really focuses on a key target audience. For the most part, custom content is created so that you can communicate with your own existing customers and sell them additional products or services.
Overall and with the vast majority of cases, all content strategies are familiar and similar to a degree but with a wide range of different applications and tools that can be used effectively and neatly, and frequently are responsible for implementing and training individuals to best use them in their own businesses. The responsibility of content strategy is to allow and create opportunities for business owners to configure strategic policies, outreach, and metrics for the most effective use of their content.
The Content Marketing Strategy in Action
Many organizations and individuals end up tending to confuse content strategy with editing. Yes, content does need to be edited and written in such a way that it targets a certain audience, yet content strategy is “about more than just the written word,” so to speak. Someone who seeks to be a professional in content strategy needs to also consider how content might be re-distributed and/or re-purposed in other channels of delivery. There’s a lot more that goes into it than just the writing of the content itself.
The purpose of content strategy has also been described as achieving business goals by maximizing the impact of content on target potential client bases. Furthermore, content strategists should strive to achieve content for their businesses or for their clients that is readable and understandable, findable, actionable and shareable in all of its various forms and across all different sectors of social media.
Statistics on the Value of Good Content Strategy
Businesses have been finding success in effective content strategy since the 1990s, but the last few years in particular has shown the real strength of these activities. For some statistics on it:
- Self-employed individuals are more likely to use blogging than large businesses, (those with 1,000+ employees).
- 45% of marketers say blogging is their #1 most important content strategy.
- 69% of marketers say they plan to increase their use of blogging this year.
- The average word count of top-ranking content (in Google) is between 1,140-1,285 words.
- Marketers who prioritize blogging are 13x more likely to achieve a positive ROI on their efforts.
- Just over half (51%) of business owners report that content management is “very important” or “absolutely critical” to creating a cohesive customer journey.
- 71% of marketers report using visual assets as part of their content marketing strategy.
- The most popular content marketing tactic reported by 90% of B2C businesses is social media; the next most used tactics are illustrations and photos (87%), eNewsletters (83%), videos (82%) and website articles (81%). (source)
- The most effective content marketing strategy for businesses is eNewsletters (61% of marketers say these are effective). Other effective strategies are in-person events (67%), illustrations/photos (66%) and social media content (66%).
- The most popular social media platform among businesses is Facebook, with 94% reporting its usage. Other popular platforms are Twitter (82%), YouTube (77%) and LinkedIn (76%).
- 66% of marketers say Facebook is their most effective social platform; this is followed by YouTube (53%), Twitter (50%) and Instagram (42%).
- The most popular paid advertising methods for marketers are promoted posts and search engine marketing (SEM). 76% of businesses reported using these strategies.
- The most effective paid advertising method for marketers is search engine marketing (SEM), with 64% reporting that it’s effective.
- The #1 content marketing goal for B2C businesses in 2016 is sales (83%), followed by customer retention and loyalty (81%) and engagement (81%).
- 30% of content marketers say sales is their most important content marketing metric.
- 50% of companies say they plan to increase their content marketing budget in 2016.
Using a Content Strategy Template
From the statistics it is pretty plain how important having a good content strategy is. Setting up a content strategy template for this is also vital to planning and organization. Your content strategy needs to be very specific and tailor-made to your target audience. While you need to have a lot of content out there, don’t bother with content that does not specifically apply to your target base and to your own marketing strategy. Content strategy is simple enough, but it takes work and time to implement it properly. Use effective tools such as research to examine your target audience and get an idea of what kind of content they would appreciate the most and what kind of content they would find the most interesting by far.
Make sure to update your content strategy too. Keep an eye out for feedback and monitor the results of what you do with your content. Keep what is successful and drop out what is not. Ensure that your content is fresh and written newly each and every time, and that your content keeps with the times and offers an interesting and new idea and concept to those who are already interested in your products or services, or to those who might be in your target audience but who are not yet sold on what you have to offer.