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Part I: What is Content Strategy?

Jun 16, 2015 by Content Marketing Sydney / in Content Marketing

When building up your web presence, the first and foremost thing you need to do is to strategise. Content strategy is often combined into the same category as content marketing and content auditing, however they are three different entities to tackle.

Content strategy is the backbone of the operation, without which you wouldn’t be able to sustain an online presence.

Content strategy is the planning of content to be created and delivered to your users at the right place, and at the right time. In this digital world, getting your content out there isn’t just about marketing and promotion, it’s about looking at why your business is performing the way it is.

It’s about self-reflection. Content strategy often relies on you having to go back to your business values and goals. What is the point of your business? Where do you see it growing in a few years time? It’s virtually impossible to build a content strategy without direction.

Businesses often allocate this task to one staff member, which is recommended, as it’s a bigger task than most assume.

Digital content strategy involves building a scaffold of your digital content. You need to determine the structure of your content flow so you can get it out to readers, users and potential clients.

Create an editorial calendar to keep a track of your work flow. You need to know when you’re publishing and why you’re publishing at that certain time. Perhaps you’ve found that your site traffic is highest at 4pm on a Thursday, therefore you will publish content at 4pm on Thursday.

In saying so, an editorial calendar is a good way to maintain consistency of posting materials. It ensures you have fresh content constantly flowing out, therefore boosting your web presence. If you don’t keep tabs on a regular flow of content, your site becomes stagnant with old information that your users no longer find engaging.

Content strategy isn’t just about the words on the page, it’s also about what comes with it. This includes embedding videos, infographics, animation, illustrations, podcasts, images and links to your content, to make it more engaging for the audience. Have a folder of stock images or infographics ready to use for your scheduled content, or a file with interesting links or videos to embed in your content.

Once you have a clear strategy for your content, you need to create one to inspire action from your readers. This is where content strategy overlaps with content marketing, and we’ll explore that later on in the series.

To recap, here are the three main questions to ask yourself when building your content strategy:

What’s my message?

What do you want your readers to take away with each post? Do you want them to be informed, engaged or entertained? (Or maybe all three?) Content strategy is not only finding what content is published, but also why. You need to find direction with your piece, have an overall theme focused on how you are adding value to the visitors. Understand that as a business you are exchanging knowledge for the reader's attention to be on your website. Be clear and ensure that your readers are not left confused. On that note, your message should align with your business values. It creates a sense of ethos to your company, giving it a voice in a sea of faceless and sites that lack personality.

Who cares?

How much do potential clients and users really care about your content? Make sure you’re writing for the reader, not for yourself. If you’re creating content for your business, your clients are a priority. Clients often care more about the services and the products, rather than the mechanisms and production processes behind them, so think about how you can angle this information so it’s catchy for all your readers, not just industry experts.

Is there anyone else out there?

Just because your competitors are doing it, it doesn’t mean you have to follow suit. Sure, it’s good to get in on the game as well, but at the same time, you need to make sure your content is fresh and unique to others. Explore the uncharted territories of your industry, and always ask yourself why?

For Part II: How to Do A Content Audit, please subscribe to our newsletter for updates, or click here to download top ten tips about managing your website.

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