Before I get into some more hands-on advice in my upcoming posts, I want to lay a bit of ground work for you and share how content strategy and marketing make such a strong couple.
Here’s a little spoiler: by combining those fields you will turn into some kind of interdisciplinary prodigy and be able to connect all the dots you didn’t know existed. Take all the beautiful content strategy approaches you can find and go create something valuable for your users.
What is Content Strategy?
Content strategy is still a rather underrated field – and day by day I’m wondering why. Content is such a powerful tool! If done right, it can help organizations fulfill their goals, it encourages customers to differentiate between brands that offer similar products or lead to purchase decisions. It can also save a lot of resources.
Sounds good? The problem is that many companies and organizations still don’t see the importance of content. That’s also why we are surrounded by a lot of (bad) content. This is what I propose: take your time to stand out and offer content that’s valuable and well thought out!
That’s where content strategy comes into the game. With your company’s goals in mind, it helps you develop repeatable processes for creating content, for producing, reusing or restructuring it. Also, you will be able to define the people who should be involved along the way.
What do I want as a Marketing Manager?
If somebody granted me 3 wishes to fulfill my job as a marketing manager, I would choose the following ones:
- I want people (not just random people, but my target group) to pay attention to my product or service, develop a desire for it and eventually bring them to an action – e.g. buying whatever I’m offering.
- On a higher level, I want to create value for them. I don’t just want to convince them of one single product but the whole brand. They should have a good experience and come back.
- And if possible, I want to reach this without throwing a whole bunch of money out the window.
Surprise! I think I’m not too far off base when I say good content can actually grant those wishes.
What oftentimes gets in the way in real life when working with and for companies, is the lack of knowledge about content solutions and – more likely – the lack of resources. What a pity, since content strategy is supposed to save a lot of resources later.
The perfect match
If you bring content strategy and marketing together, you will have a beautiful outcome. An interdisciplinary match made in heaven. Why is that?
- With a clear strategy you get to create content that makes sense to your target group. Instead of just jumping on all the advertising possibilities that come your way, you can follow a clear path and a goal you want to reach with your content. That will make it much easier to say no to things that in the end won’t have any impact. It will also save you and your team time, money and nerves (and that’s what we want, right?).
- You will be able to think further than just your next piece of content. You will start paying closer attention to how your content is reusable, e.g. on a different channel or as a different content type. Again, saving resources.
- If you know that feeling of relief after decluttering your messy closet, you can imagine what it feels like to declutter your content. My favorite motto here: less is more! Getting rid of content you don’t need anymore or (re-)organizing it will give you a good overview of what you have. It can also be the start of tackling your content in a more structured way. If that sounds good to you, check out my colleague Birgit’s article and learn more about content audits!
- Another really important thing to keep in mind: when producing content there can be many stakeholders involved. They all have different needs or different perceptions on what is important on your website. So, question everything and be aware that not all those “important things” are actually valuable to the user. It is okay to say no and justify your reasons. The priority should be to make the users’ or customers’ lives better and easier. When they are happy, your business will be happy, too.
To sum it up, content strategy can be used easily in a marketing context. The combination of both disciplines will help you reach your target group in a more efficient and effective way. What’s left for me to say at this point: rip off the band-aid and get your content together – better sooner than later!