Why are we here? No, I don’t mean that in the existential “what’s the meaning of life?” kind of way. I mean it in the “why are we reading this blog?” kind of way. What’s the point? What will I gain from this? Why is this guy asking so many questions? All good questions, dear reader.
We’re here because even though 90 percent of all organizations use content marketing, only 30 percent of them have a documented content strategy. And if you’re reading this, then you’re probably part of the rebellious 70 percent out there just winging it.
Having a strategy doesn’t mean you can’t still be adventurous, it just means that you remembered to pack your parachute before jumping out of the plane.
A content strategy statement lays out the who, what, when, where, why, and how for all of your company’s content creation. It sets the destination and lets everyone know how you’re going to get there. From blogs and tweets to ebooks and emails, it’s a benchmark for you to measure against whenever you create a new piece of content.
Content strategy statements are intended to be flexible–evolving along with your company and your audience–so you should feel empowered to create one for each of your audiences and personas. Regardless of how many content strategy statements you create, they should all include: your goals, your target audience, and their needs.
Your content strategy statement (or statements) should reflect your brand and your goals. They can be hyper-specific or kind of vague. They can use different formats and approaches, or even be written in your brand’s unique voice.
Every piece of content that we create will [goal] by [action]. Our content will be [adjective] to provide [specific audience] with [noun] and generate more [goal] for [company].
Our content gives [who] the [what] they need because it [why/how].
We are ever so delighted to bestow upon you [goods/services] intended to [goal] and provide [need] during your most splendid and magical adventures.
Let’s see how the “hyper-specific” version might look in the wild:
Every piece of content that we create will help us [sell more products] by [highlighting their affordability, abundance, and reliability in desert environments]. Our content will [offer recommendations for hunting road runners] and provide [coyotes] with [the confidence to hatch elaborate schemes] and generate [lasting relationships] for [ACME Industrial].
Whichever path you choose, your content strategy statement should always include a goal, an audience, and reason for each piece of content to exist.
Even with a detailed map, it’s common to run into roadblocks and detours along the way. If your content isn’t resonating with a specific audience, it might not be the content’s fault. Don’t be afraid to modify your content strategy statements or throw them out and completely start over.
Now get your content out there, have fun with it, and let it live a little! Just don’t forget to wear sunscreen.