What is Content Marketing Strategy?

You may be wondering “what is content marketing strategy?”  You probably hear a lot about the importance of content marketing, but what is it really all about?

what is content marketing strategy?

Content Marketing Strategy is the high-level plan that makes sure your content marketing aligns with your business goals.

In a nutshell, content marketing strategy describes how you will use content to meet your business and customer needs.

Content marketing strategy is sometimes also referred to as just “content strategy”. Some people will also use “content plan” or “content marketing plan”, although I consider a plan to be more tactical than a strategy: A content marketing plan lays out the specific items you are going to do in detail to execute on the content strategy.

In this article, I cover what we mean by “content”, what is content marketing strategy and content marketing, the benefits of having a robust content strategy, and give you some examples to make it easier to apply to your own business.

First a definition - what is content marketing strategy?

To fully understand what is content marketing strategy, we first need to cover what is content, and what is content marketing.

Content Definition

What do we mean by “content”?   

In marketing, “content” could be a blog post, social media post, video, white paper, or many other written or visual items. It is information with a purpose: to influence a specific audience in a specific way.

An item of content should include four core elements:

  1. Information - a piece of content is intended to convey a message or other information to a target audience. That information could be serious and factual (eg, a white paper) or simply entertaining (eg, a TikTok video)
  2. Context - a piece of content should have a goal: who is the audience, and what is the content meant to accomplish? Why are you publishing this piece of content?
  3. Medium - what channel are you publishing the content on?
  4. Form - this could be text, graphic, video, audio, interactive, etc

Content Marketing Definition

The Content Marketing Institute defines content marketing as “a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience - and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”

What does that really mean?

Content marketing is not just about creating and distributing content. It also must have a strategy and purpose to the content, in order to help you achieve certain business goals.

What is content marketing in simple words? These are some easy-to-understand definitions:

CONTENT MARKETING is publishing content with the intent to influence your audience in a certain way.

CONTENT MARKETING STRATEGY is the high-level plan that makes sure your content marketing aligns with your business goals.

What is included in a content marketing strategy?

What is in a content strategy?

A content strategy should have four main components:

  1. Your goals,
  2. Your target customer,
  3. Your story,
  4. Your communication strategy.

1. Your Goals

First, you need to outline your content marketing strategy goals: why are you doing content marketing, and how will it benefit your business?

It's important to start your strategy with understanding the “why”. Too many content creators jump into publishing content without a good plan for why they are doing it and what they hope to achieve.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Why are you creating content?
  • Who is your content helping? 
  • How will your content help them in a way no one else can? 
  • What business goal are you hoping to achieve?

Typical business goals often include:

  • increased revenue, 
  • lower costs of customer acquisition, 
  • attract better or more profitable customers,
  • brand awareness, 
  • lead generation,
  • improved conversion rates.

2. Your Target Customer

Who is your audience and what do they need? What are they looking for?

How do you expect your audience to engage with the content, and how does that map to your buyer journey?

You should write a detailed customer persona that describes your ideal customer in as much detail as you can.

3. Your Story

Your content marketing must convey the story that you want to tell to your target audience. You communicate your story not only in the words you use, but also in the imagery, colors, and attitude of your content (professional, casual, playful).

These are a few questions you can ask yourself to help map out your brand story:

  • What key messages and ideas do you want your audience to remember?
  • How is your story different from your competition?
  • What are your brand values and personality?
  • What is your unique selling proposition?
  • What problem does your product or service help solve?

4. Your Communication Strategy

The final component of your content marketing strategy is also the most important, because it ties it all together to make sure that your target customers actually get to see an hear your story.

Your communication strategy describes how you will communicate your story to your target customers:

  • What platforms will you use to tell your story? 
  • What are the key channels to reach your audience? 
  • What are your processes & objectives for each key channel or platform? 
  • How will you create a cohesive story across all platforms that your customers are on?
  • How will you measure success? (in other words, how does this content marketing strategy help you achieve your goals?)

Benefits of having a content marketing strategy

It's important to understand not only what is content marketing strategy, but also why it is so critical to a strong marketing plan. Your content marketing strategy is how your brand is represented to the world. A good content strategy will help you:

  • Increase brand awareness,
  • Own your brand image,
  • Improve your online reputation,
  • Build a community,
  • Grow advocates of your brand.