Business & SuccessMarketing & Media

What is content strategy?

Roll with Rob © Lizzie Everard for Valuable Content

We’re putting the finishing touches to our ‘How to think like a content strategist’workshop for UX Bristol 2013, and have been thinking hard about the best way to explain content strategy.

‘Content strategy’ seems to be everywhere right now. With the phenomenal rise of ‘content marketing’ as a tool for generating inbound leads, ‘content strategy’ is now the phrase on everyone’s lips. But its definition is often unclear.

We’re clear on what content strategy isn’t. It’s not filling in the Lorem Ipsum on your website with some copy. It’s more than just adding a blog. It goes much further than twiddling around on Twitter.

A content strategy is the means by which you make website work for your business. It’s your road map to success. A way of ensuring your website meets your goals, engages your audience and pulls in leads.

A content strategy starts with objectives & ends with results. It’s a plan to get you from A to B using the content on your website and beyond.

So what’s the content strategy process? How do you go about creating one?

Basic content strategy process

Here’s a basic plan to follow:

  1. Understand the business aims and goals
  2. Understand the audience’s needs (really understand, by asking them)
  3. Create story that meets business aims and inspires audience
  4. Decide what to talk about – use story to create valuable content that answers audience’s questions
  5. Build website around content/amend existing website to make sure it’s up to the job.
  6. Pick right tools – a mix of content creation and distribution channels (social media + traditional)
  7. Add and integrate valuable content – useful articles, guides, videos, infographics
  8. Create publishing calendar for the year
  9. Engage, have conversations
  10. Keep up the content creation – measure, refine and learn

Think wide

The key thing to remember is that a content strategy goes far wider than the content on your website. A good content strategy will give you a plan for the blogs, videos and white papers you need to create over the coming months, and plan for who in your team is responsible for creating them.

Because the content strategy process has helped you to understand your audience so well you will be clear on the best places to engage with them.  Your people will know what they should be doing on Twitter, Google+ or Instagram so social media becomes a purposeful and manageable activity. If you’ve got your content strategy right, then content marketing will work for you.

Now we just need to demonstrate the process with a real Bristol business in an hour long workshop on Friday. Wish us luck!

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