To be purposeful, a content marketing strategy must include relevant information about your campaign, like the goals and KPIs. But to be effective, it must also be documented. Not just discussed. Not just a draft. But a written, finalized, and approved content strategy. This seems easy enough, but according to the Content Marketing Institute’s 2015 study, only 35 percent of content marketers have a documented content marketing strategy.
The Importance of a Written Content Strategy
Documenting the strategy makes teams more effective, ultimately making campaigns more successful. In fact, of the content marketers that only verbalized their strategies, 32 percent felt that their organization was effective. On the other hand, 60 percent of those who documented their strategy felt that their agency was effective.
Documenting your campaign strategy forces your team to exert mental due diligence, think through the purpose of the campaign, and plot a physical game plan that you can stick to. A written plan can serve as a roadmap in a way that an ad hoc “understood” plan cannot. Your team can reference it during times of doubt, measurement, content creation, or in the event you that need a mental refresh.
It’s a simple enough practice to start. But, what should you document in your strategy?
What to Include in Your Content Marketing Strategy
Content marketing strategies have many variations, but there are certain basics on which most marketers can agree. We’ve created a checklist for you to use as you document your strategy.
Your strategy should include:
- This portion specifically explains why you are creating your campaign and what you want to accomplish.
- Buyer persona/Target audience:
- This section provides background on who your campaign is targeting and the appropriate way to speak to them.
- The key performance indicators (KPIs) of your strategy come from the goal of the campaign. If your goal is to increase prospect engagement, how will you track that? These specific indicators must be documented to determine whether or not your campaign is successful.
- Content format parameters:
- Your strategy must include the types of content you’re creating and any other details needed to create them.
- Distribution calendar:
- This portion of the strategy outlines when and where you’ll distribute your content. It will also note any holidays/important dates to be aware of, including the beginning and end of the campaign.
Depending on the campaign, client, and content, your strategy could also include a(n):
- Assessment of the client’s existing content
- Assessment of their competitors’ content
- Description of the content gap that the campaign fills
- Overview of the client’s brand, voice, and style
- Analysis of useable SEO information
Content strategy is about providing the right content to the right people at the right times for the right reason. But, without the plan written down, some of these decisions might get blurry, which dampens any success the campaign may have.
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Author: Jenna Ontrop
Jenna is a Content Marketing Strategist. Her passion for storytelling influences the messaging strategies for her clients, ultimately generating them more leads.