The term “content marketing” in recent years has become one of the most widely used buzzwords in business. Yet there is another concept that is equally important — if not more critical — to your business’s long-term success. And that’s “content strategy”.
On the face of it, you might assume that content strategy and content marketing strategy are the same things. After all, they look alike and sound alike. But the reality is they refer to two different concepts.
Understanding how these two concepts differ – as well as planning ways to make them work for your business – is one of the most effective things you can do to ensure your business’s long-term success in both the real world and online.
So let’s take a look at why these two concepts are unique and how you can put them both to work for your business.
Content Strategy Defined
Content strategy is defined by Wikipedia as: “The planning, development, and management of content – written or in other media.”
Another way to say this is that it’s the master plan you use in every aspect of your business to use the content.
Think of your content strategy as the blueprints for your business’s marketing. In the same way that blueprints for a building will include every detail about its construction before even the first brick is laid, your content strategy lays out exactly what your business will put on its website, in its real world stores, and elsewhere to accomplish your specific business goals. It dovetails with your overall business plan in order to answer the “hows” to the business plan’s “whys”.
What Content Strategy Actually Does
An effective content strategy answers any and all questions regarding content usage, such as where should your content be published, when should it be rolled out to your customers, who are the targeted audience for each specific type of content, and what reaction are you trying to get from your customers by publishing it?
It should then drill down to more specific questions, such as how often will the content be published? What types of content do your multiple audiences want or need? And how are you going to organize and structure your content for maximum impact?
Developing your content strategy requires time, research, consideration, and strategic planning. After you come up with your content strategy, you can then use it as a blueprint for using your content to effectively accomplish your business’s goals.
Content Strategy Evolves
It’s important to note that content strategy evolves in the same way that your business plan does. The goals you had for your business a year ago probably aren’t exactly the same as they are today. The same concept holds true for the way you plan to use your content.
So it’s a good idea to set aside time to reconsider and rework your content strategy each year so you can stay on top of getting the most out of it.
Content Marketing Strategy Defined
Content marketing can best be described as a soft-sell sales approach that attracts new customers and then retains them through creating and delivering relevant, helpful content they can actually use in their everyday lives.
Content marketing basically combines sales techniques and organic marketing into a hybrid strategy that effectively targets customers with specific messages.
With content marketing, you want to identify specific audiences that you can “pitch” your unique messages to. Then, once you make a connection, you can continue to drive profitable customer action by consistently curating the content you think will help push them toward the behavior you want – whether it’s to buy, subscribe, visit your store or website, or whatever outcome you determine.
Examples of content marketing would include blog posts, white papers, case studies, press releases, social media marketing programs, inbound marketing, paid ads, SEO, and more.
The Bottom Line Difference
Content marketing strategy is simply an extension of your business’s overall content strategy because it focuses exclusively on creating, measuring and publishing specific content marketing for specific audiences.
Content marketing addresses the “why” of your overall content strategy and determines how you motivate customers to engage in specific situations.
The best types of content marketing strategy can only achieve their fullest potential if there already is an underlying content strategy in place to support it. Another way of putting it is that your content strategy addresses the “how” of using the content you produce, as well as the “where” it should go and the “what” it should be.
Returning to the blueprint example, you wouldn’t dream of building a skyscraper without having a written plan ahead of time that everybody can reference and understand. The same holds true with content marketing strategy: You first need a strong content strategy blueprint that eventually you can populate with specific content marketing to engage your intended audiences.
Author Bio – This article is a work of Sameer Panjwani, Founder & CEO, Mondovo.com, an all-in-one toolset for tracking your rankings, monitoring your stats and researching your competitors.