How Content Marketing and Content Strategy Work Together
Not all of the content you read on the Web has the same value or quality. What sets apart one piece of content from the next? The content that is excellently written and provides what readers want typically is put together using a combination of content marketing and content strategy. It’s easy to get the two misconstrued because they have a lot of similarities. However, content marketing and content strategy are two completely different things. The only related thing is that it involves content. Here’s a look into what the two are and how they can be used together to create great content.
A Deeper Look into Content Strategy
Simply put, a content strategy is a customized plan that lays out what the goals are of the business and how they can be reached using content on their Web site and other mediums. A great definition of it is: a content strategy plans for the delivery, creation and governance of content that is adaptive and valuable. Once a strategy has been formulated, it will address multiple questions about the content that will be used for the company. This includes:
- Why is the content being published?
- How is the content going to be published?
- When will the content be published?
- Where will the content be published?
- How often will the content be published
- What will happen after the content has been published?
These questions are great for building a foundation around a content strategy. Of course, more in depth questions will need to be answered regarding the content’s targeted audience, what the content will do for readers and the business, how the content will be created, how users will find and access the content and so on.
“Often you can be most effective by combining the rifle and the shotgun. Pick a topic laser-focused on your niche, or better yet, on your audience - but find a way to present it that the widest possible audience will say, ‘Hey, I gotta post that on Twitter!'” -David Leonhardt a professional writer from Thgmwriters.com.
Now What is Content Marketing?
Like with any advertising campaign, content marketing revolves around the creation of content with the purpose of attracting and retaining customers. A lot of the time, it will implement soft-selling stories about business culture and customer education, before bringing out the harder selling content with “Buy Now” buttons plastered throughout. You will find the corporate blog of Whole Foods and Starbucks to be great examples of this.
The sole purpose of content marketing is to persuade a particular audience and built loyalty with them, in order to meet conversion goals the business has set. The content is made to engage, influence, inform and/or expand the audience by connecting with them emotionally and appealing to their interests and needs. You can say that content marketing finds the perfect place between business and audience needs.
To have a solid marketing plan, it will need to have information about the target audience, suggestions for published deliverables, recommended channels to publish, promote and distribute the content. A workflow plan will also need to be created for development of deliverables, establishment of KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) and an editorial calendar.
Putting Two and Two Together
When you have a thorough content strategy, it can be used for on-site and off-site venues. For example, the content will be used for:
- Company blog
- Email marketing
- YouTube Videos
- Social media posts (Facebook, Twitter, Vine, etc.)
- Downloadable white papers
With content marketing, you can make your content strategy complete. A lot of businesses make the mistake of relying on content marketing only. This creates a problem where traffic is being driven to their Web site, but isn’t converting to sales because the content isn’t engaging enough. All the hard work renders no fruit to harvest in the end. If you focus too much on one or the other, you will likely end up with issues down the road.
You will find that the roles of the content marketers and content strategists oftentimes overlap, making it ideal for them to work together on projects. Developing a solid strategy together can make plans work out for the company and the customer. The strategist works out the how’s and the marketer’s work out the whys. The marketer will ensure that the content’s story and channels will help to develop the customer’s relationship with the brand and the strategist will put together the story, language and management processes in a way that it will be consistent across all mediums, languages and different teams, so to leverage the brand. When you put the two together, you will have content that delivers results.
If you are building content for your brand, it’s a good idea to get your content marketer and content strategist working together on all projects.
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