A common misconception is that a content strategy is only for large corporations or organizations. However, that isn’t the case. One of the primary reasons your company needs a content strategy is to reduce content marketing challenges. Because these challenges are constantly in flux, you must have a strategy to stay on track.
Content strategies allow businesses to evaluate their customer’s needs, identify how they relate to the business’s needs, and develop processes for meeting them both. Some marketers view content strategies as the approach, culture, and mindset they must have to deliver appropriate content across every buyer journey stage.
Remember that marketing involves more than promotion. That means, if you use traditional marketing, that might not be as effective anymore. The main reason is the exponential growth of content and messaging customers receive daily. This endless flow of instant information means your content must stand out, be helpful, and meet your customer’s needs.
Let’s dive into ten reasons companies need a written content strategy and four tips for developing this information.
10 Reasons Companies Need a Written Content Strategy
Content strategies force businesses to assess and reassess their goals. Doing so leads to simplified processes while simultaneously defining the ins and outs of how and why you’re creating, managing, and updating content.
1: Brand Promotion
Brand promotion breaks into two categories – awareness and lead generation. Developing awareness means you’re increasing your audience size. Lead generation breaks your audience down into prospects willing to provide their contact information in exchange for your content.
Content strategies prevent awareness and lead generation from fighting against each other. Instead, your content strategy defines ways the two of them can complement each other. For example, you can reinforce your potential customer’s brand awareness by using content for lead generation.
2: Branding Yourself as an Expert
A content strategy helps you brand yourself as an industry expert. Does your target audience know your background, strengths, and expertise? The information you post on your company’s website – be it blog posts or white papers – can help position your company, your brand, or yourself as an expert.
Think about your social media content, for example. Are you posting information that resonates and helps you establish authority? Your content strategy helps pull all that information together, identify how it should connect, and determine the best ways to showcase expertise.
3: Build and Nurture Your Brand’s Online Reputation
Every content strategy must include building and nurturing your brand’s online reputation. It’s a mistake to believe these efforts don’t play a significant role. The main reason is that your company’s ratings and reviews show up in search results. Ideally, you want to ensure that you’re:
- Culling positive ratings, reviews, and testimonials to use in marketing content.
- Responding to all reviews – negative and positive – promptly
- Offering suggestions for help or asking how things could change when responding to negative reviews.
4: Develop and Enrich Your Brand’s Community
Content strategies that include developing and enriching a brand’s community show target audiences the company’s commitment to establishing genuine connections. Typically, companies can use social media channels to establish this goal. Some of the most common channels include Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Embracing opportunities to connect and build relationships with target audiences means that marketing leaders and business owners can interact with their audience, which develops and enriches their community. Benefits for these efforts include:
- Cost-effective and impactful strategies
- Customer service improvements
- Earn loyalty while building trust.
- Increase repeat business.
- Your brand develops a personality.
5: Establish Brand Identity
Research shows us that 81% of customers indicate that trust is critical when making a purchase. Think about your recent purchases. Did you buy from a company you knew nothing about, or was it one you know and trust? Your content strategy needs to address ways of establishing your brand’s identity and, ultimately, establish trust.
Start by including storytelling that connects your target audience with your brand. These stories can be things happening within your company, connections you’re making in the community, and more. Then develop strategies for showcasing that content on your blog, social media platforms, email marketing, and more.
6: Give Followers Opportunities to Close
Strategies should also include specific pieces of content that generate leads and sales. For example, if you want to turn social media followers into customers, you must know how to promote your brand’s content using ads. Incorporate the following elements in each ad to help give followers opportunities to close:
- Calls to action.
- Compelling ad copy
- Enticing imagery and (or) videos
- Links to landing pages and lead forms.
7: Improve SEO Rankings
While some brands develop an SEO strategy separate from their content strategy, that doesn’t mean the two don’t go hand-in-hand. Consider this – 68% of every online experience begins with a search engine. With over 3.5 billion searches happening worldwide, there are limitless opportunities to improve rankings. SEO allows brands to:
- Increase passive traffic – ultimately, you’re developing a steady traffic stream that, over time, creates conversions.
- Generate content ideas – use keyword research to determine content ideas for which your target audience is searching.
- Track competitors – look for topics getting traction or links for your competition.
8: Maximize ROI by Turning Prospects into Customers
Content strategies allow businesses to develop a strategic approach to managing their content as an asset with a measurable ROI. We learn from a survey by Semrush that 14% of marketers expect to see more than a 25% increase in their budgets to keep up with demand, reach prospects, and convert.
Here are some tactics for maximizing ROI by converting leads into customers:
- Track conversions by analyzing channels that work, ones that aren’t working, messaging, and more.
- Refine your messaging to match the language your prospects use.
- Establish a model for lead scoring
- Address common questions and objections prospects bring up.
- Show prospects you value them by demonstrating that you pay attention to what they say.
- Choose a social media platform where your prospects spend most of their time, develop a presence, and engaging with them often.
9: Motivate Network Sharing
When brands share high-quality content, social media users can’t help but share it. You’ve been in that position – you see something that resonates, is authoritative, entertains, or provides value. You think about who could benefit from that content, so you click “share.” It’s easy to step into your target audience’s shoes and create content you believe they’ll think is worth sharing.
10: Provide Value
Providing values means you’re putting the customer first by making all of your online efforts valuable to them. What does that mean? Think about how often they’re searching for answers, using social media, or reading email messages. The Internet gives us limitless opportunities – especially on social media – to reach target audiences with valuable content. Consider sharing:
- Entertaining, helpful, and useful content
- Specific types of educational content for certain audience segments
- Social advertising strategies to reach those who are ready to buy.
Four Tips for Developing a Content Strategy
Developing a content strategy may seem like a daunting task, but that doesn’t have to be the case. Think of your strategy as a roadmap outlining the original content – and its types – your brand intends to produce and distribute. Below are some tips for developing your strategy.
1: Write a Mission Statement and Outline Goals
Your company’s mission statement helps make aligning your team and discussing products and services easier. After you establish a mission statement, goals and key performance indicators (KPIs) follow naturally. Your message should be clear and outline:
- Your target audience and their pain points
- How you intend to reach them
- Where you intend to share content
- What benefits do you intend to receive because of these efforts?
2: Create and Use an Editorial Calendar
Content strategies must include a framework for publishing and delivering content. You can achieve those goals using an editorial calendar. Use the calendar to schedule content, establish deadlines, plan for themes, assign writers, and more.
3: Define Your Target Audience and Map Their Journey
A successful content strategy hinges on knowing your target audience and how to map their journey. Ask yourself the following questions:
- How can you amplify your content to reach potential customers?
- What problem is your target audience trying to solve, and how can your business address those pain points?
- Where does your target audience like consuming information – for example, do they prefer social media, video, newsletter subscriptions more than other content forms?
4: Use Common Questions to Create an Evergreen Content Plan
When conducting a Google search, you may notice there’s a section reading, “People also ask.” That PAA section is an excellent opportunity to create evergreen content within your strategy. Use tools like Frase or MarketMuse to plan content using PAA questions.
Creating a content strategy is a team effort that takes time to brainstorm, refine, and implement. If you’re unsure where you should start, there are dozens of content strategy templates available online. You can also contact nDash and access our pool of some of the world’s most elite writers to help you create these assets.
What exactly is a content strategy?
A content strategy is an ongoing process involving transforming a brand’s goals and objectives into a written plan whereby content is the primary means for goal achievement. Content strategies are more than developing an editorial calendar and then writing and publishing content. Strategies start with creating a business objective or mission statement that answers the “how” questions.
Why is content important for business?
One of the biggest benefits of content for business is that it allows brands to develop relationships with their target audience. Different forms of content – everything from a blog post to a video – gives brands opportunities to interact with their audience, answer questions, and more.
Why is quality content important?
When sites and social media channels feature quality content that helps attract the right audience, engage them, and encourage them to move through the buyer’s journey with your brand.
Why is content important for social media marketing?
Content plays an integral role in achieving social media objectives, including audience engagement, brand recognition, lead generation, and thought leadership. Content allows brands to cement their position as their target audience’s go-to destination for everything from solving their pain points to entertainment.
Need help with your content strategy?
nDash has helped hundreds of companies create detailed content strategies. To learn more, contact our managed service team.