March 3, 2020 Why you need a content strategy

By Nick Boylan

clear light bulb on a blackboard

Our director Natalie Khoo describes content strategy as “the choreographer in the background who doesn’t get the recognition, but weaves everything together.” It’s the unsung hero and key player behind the scenes ensuring each performance is perfect.

Research from HubSpot shows that 72 per cent of surveyed marketers felt that a good content strategy was key to their business’ success. Clearly we’re not the only ones who believe a content strategy framework is crucial.

When you create a content strategy, you’re drawing a clear map towards strategic growth and stronger customer relationships. Without one, it’s like going on a road trip without a GPS. You may eventually get there, but you’ll likely waste time and money reaching your destination.

With that analogy in mind, let’s take a deeper dive into the importance of content strategy, how they work, and what benefits an effective one can bring to your business.

A content strategy is your guiding plan

Content strategy encompasses a wide range of elements, but in essence it’s your plan and ongoing management of all your business’ content.

Whether it’s copy for your website, brochure content, marketing videos or social media posts – it’s all part of your content strategy.

A content strategy can bring immense benefits to your business

Your strategy encompasses the ‘why’ of your company and everything you want to achieve with it. If you plan, create, deliver and manage all your content according to your strategy, it can bring a great number of positive outcomes to your business.

It helps to identify your audience

One of the first things a content strategy can help with is identifying your audience. After all, it’s hard to develop successful content if you don’t know who you’re producing it for. Some of the common audience questions a content strategy can help answer are:

  • Do you have multiple audiences?
  • Where do they live?
  • What are their habits, purchase patterns and interests?
  • What appeals to their needs?

With a clearer understanding of who your business needs to target, you’re able to craft your content according to a specific focus.

It helps to clarify your business’ offering

Unpacking the underlying characteristics and motivations of your audience is an important step in your content strategy. Not only does it sharpen your content’s focus, it also uncovers the ways your business solves your users’ problems.

Consumers are becoming increasingly sophisticated with the way they interact with brands and their services. They want to know that you as a business genuinely understand them, and that you have the right product or service to solve their problem.

In doing the initial hard work through your content strategy, you’ve already made great strides to better understand your customer and their needs. When your customer believes in your ability to improve their life, you can start authentically speaking to that positive impact. You can also plan how you communicate this message at different stages of their journey through your content.

It helps define your brand voice and personality

Your brand voice and personality helps your content to stand out from the pack. While your business may offer similar services or products to a competitor, your tone of voice is uniquely yours.

Through your well-executed content strategy, your individual voice has the chance to be heard loud and clear. This isn’t done overnight, finding a distinct tone of voice to suit your brand takes time and planning. Finding the right words, phrases and sentence structure that encompass and represent your brand voice is crucial, especially in an increasingly crowded marketplace.

It helps to strengthen your messaging across platforms

A solid content strategy will also account for how your messaging appears across different platforms.

Crafting engaging copy for each touchpoint with your brand is one thing. It’s equally important to create versatile and curated content that performs optimally across each of your media platforms.

For example, your home page web copy will sound and perform differently to how you represent your brand on Instagram. Where web copy can explore a particular service offering in detail, the same space isn’t available on a primarily visual platform such as Instagram.

Your content strategy will account for these variations in tone and content length. It will guide and direct your efforts, ensuring each piece of content is designed to play to the corresponding platform’s strengths.

Creating a content strategy

Creating a killer content strategy is part art, part science. While there’s no hard and fast rule, there’s a number of crucial first steps and supports you need to grow your business with strategic content.

1. Define your business goals

Before you can start reaping the benefits of a content strategy, you need to define your business goals. Without them, you’re driving your car towards an undefined destination of business success.

Ideally, your business goals shouldn’t be broad (e.g. more subscribers to our newsletter). Rather, all your business, brand and marketing goals should be specific, manageable and time dependent (e.g. By the end of 2020 we will have increased our newsletter subscribers from 1,000 to 2,000. We will do this by offering our customers the chance to win a prize when they subscribe).

By planning and detailing your goals, you’re laying a solid foundation for your content strategy to build upon.

2. Know your audience

A large part of creating a content strategy is recognising your audience and knowing what they want from your business. But, how do you find out this information?

Many larger companies invest huge sums of money into user and customer research. For businesses without endless resources or monster budgets to conduct this exercise, there are other ways to pinpoint your dream target market.

Creating personas is one way to clarify who you’re talking to, and what they want to hear. A detailed persona can clearly identify your target markets’ pain points, underlying motivations and expectations of your brand.

3. Enlist some expert help

Planning and executing a content strategy can be a lengthy and exhausting process, especially if you’re not familiar with the steps involved. That’s where bringing in content strategy experts can make the experience easier, leaving you more time to focus on what you’re great at.

Our team are content strategy experts. We can help you unpack your goals, find your audience and plan your content each step of the way. We can also audit your existing content to find what’s working, what could be re-purposed and what’s not serving your brand.

Let us work our content strategy magic on your business. Contact us today for a chat about all things strategy.