Content, marketing and strategy don’t always go hand in hand, but they should.

All marketing campaigns start with a marketing strategy, and a piece of content or blog post will most likely have some kind of strategy too.

But if you want to make an impact online, a standalone blog post will no longer cut the mustard. You need to have an overarching content marketing campaign to increase engagement and profits.

And no content marketing campaign can be successful without a proper strategy.

Here, we’ll discuss the value of a detailed content marketing strategy, and how you can create one for your brand.

Valuable content equals valuable engagement

Your content marketing strategy should focus on creating valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract a clearly defined audience and drive profitable action.

If your content is valuable and relevant to your audience, they’ll be encouraged to read and share it. You have to sift through the noise and entice your readers in with something that will benefit them. You have to matter.

But in order to really reap the rewards of content marketing, consistency is key.

Stay true to your content marketing strategy principles: value, relevance, consistency. Once you have a clear strategy, valuable content and a defined audience, the results will follow.

Traditional marketing is becoming less effective by the minute

And it’s content marketing and digital advertising that are replacing it.

Unlike traditional marketing, content marketing is 100% measurable and requires less investment, making it great for brands with tight budgets.

That’s why it’s essential to create a clear strategy that works towards your business objectives and KPIs.

Whether you’re trying to educate, raise awareness or increase sales, the many content marketing tools at your disposal can help you achieve all three and more.

Here are some content marketing formats you could use to improve particular metrics:

·        Use SEO optimized long-form content to answer your customers’ questions and searches: This is a great way to educate your audience and build an authentic connection. If they spend 15 minutes reading and gaining value from your blog posts, they’ll be more likely to invest more of their time in you.

·        Paid digital ads provide an immediate, measurable impact: Facebook, Instagram and Google put your brand in front of millions of people at a fraction of the cost of traditional marketing. Follow your content marketing strategy of value, relevance and consistency to increase awareness and sales with digital ads. And measure the results to see how much you earned from your investment.

Your brand is perceived through its content

Have you ever seen a brand’s social media make an error of judgement? Or read a blog post and noticed spelling mistakes or links that don’t work? It may seem quite trivial, but bad customer experiences through careless content can have a negative impact on a business.

In fact, 30% of decision makers have said they’d remove a business from consideration because of content that disappointed them.

Your brand needs to impress, entertain, educate and add value at every customer touchpoint. A robust and well-defined strategy ensures all your employees are aligned, and sets out clear targets for them to achieve through content marketing.

The old saying ‘measure twice, cut once’ applies to content marketing. Think about how each particular piece fits into your overall marketing strategy before hitting that publish button.

A targeted strategy can attract the shortest attention spans

Your audience is busy. They don’t have time to read everything they see online.

Marketers know attention spans are thinning, which is why it’s doubly important to know your audience and develop a strategy that will attract fleeting attention.

Your content marketing strategy should, therefore, be based on detailed audience profiles and ideas on how to earn their attention.

If you have a clear understanding of your audience, their problems, wants, lifestyle and behaviour, you will have a much greater understanding of their attention and what attracts it.

Attention is like a form of currency, so how do you turn this currency into cash? By making sure your content has clear call to actions that match your overall business objectives.

Why all this matters

The way in which we communicate, advertise and transact has and continues to evolve.

A content marketing strategy doesn’t just ensure you have your proverbial fingers in many pies, but you’re taking pieces of each pie and presenting them to your audience in places and ways that are convenient for them.

Every piece of content should support your overall marketing strategy and business objectives.

Having said that, every piece of content needs to be consistent, relevant and add value to your audience’s lives.

If you can combine the two, you have created a winning content marketing strategy and winning content.