Content Strategy 101: The Why

By Eric Evans | Oct 05, 2017

With all the new fancy buzzwords flying at you these days, its probably been difficult to focus on a few key ideas, tactics, and strategies, but there is one you shouldn’t ignore: Content Strategy.

As you might’ve guessed from the title, this post is the first in a series of posts that will dive into the nitty gritty details of a content strategy and even talk about how you can execute your strategy.

First, let’s define what content is. Content is information and the way it is presented to people. It could be a blog post, YouTube video, an infographic, a tweet, or many other forms of communication across the internet. Next, let’s take a look at the different types of content we’re going to be discussing throughout this series and their definitions so we’re all on the same page. Start thinking about a few key pieces of content you have and which type or category they fit into.

Types of Content:

Static content: ( ‘stadik ‘käntent ):
This is the content that doesn’t really change over time. It’s not necessarily unchangeable or forever set in stone, but it is content that remains relatively unchanged through any site changes. A good example of static content is your homepage or about us section.

Dynamic (or churnable) content: ( dīˈnamik ‘käntent ):
This is the content that is posted on a blog or news section of your site. It doesn’t actually change over time, but the topic of your content could change from post-to-post. It may also be content focused around a specific date or event that will be outdated soon.

Social content: ( ˈsōSHəl ‘käntent ):
This is the content that is posted on your social channel. It can be a part of your overall social strategy, but should not compete with it. The content posted can be pulled from your static and dynamic content, but could also be pulled from outside sources.

Ok, ok. Enough of the intro. Take my hand and I’ll show you a world of pure imagination….wait…strike that. Let’s move on. 😉

What is a Content Strategy?

Simply put, a content strategy is the planning, development, creation, delivery and management of various types of content. Well that was easy, right? It’s easier to say rather than do in this case. Take heart my friend. It is very possible to not become overwhelmed with content and to actually see results from your hard work.

Why is a Content Strategy Important?

There are many reasons I could list, but the biggest reason is that great content doesn’t just happen on its own. It has to be planned, created, and distributed. That sounds familiar… Have you ever wanted something to go viral? Tons of people want to be the next YouTube sensation, but few have been able to accomplish that feat simply by happenstance. Planning and careful crafting helps content flourish in today’s overwhelming stream of stuffs.

It’s not all about virility of content, but the vitality of content. Does it resonate with your audience? Does it live on beyond today or this week? Is the piece of content static, dynamic, or social? It could be one or more of these types and that’s not a bad thing. A good exercise for you and your team to start with is collecting a list of all of your content and categorizing it into the different types. This will help you see which type of content you are lacking and which type of content is working well for you.

What is the Purpose of a Content Strategy?

Content doesn’t have to be hard. It’s like an iceberg. Most people don’t see all the hard work you put into a piece of content; however, all the planning, developing, and creating of the content is the bulk of the work. Instead of becoming discouraged by content, take a step back and focus on the whole picture and strategy behind your content.

Questions to ask yourself:

  • Who exactly are you trying to reach?
    • Who is your audience? Can you segment your audience to have more focus?
  • What type of content are you able to produce?
    • Infographics? Blog posts? Videos? Who is available to help you create content?
  • Why is this content important/relevant?
    • Does this content resonate with your audience? Is it fleeting or is it something that has staying power?

Phew…

Now that we’ve gotten the nuts and bolts out of the way, stay tuned for my next post where I’ll dive deeper into ‘The How’ of a content strategy. We’ll be looking at various ways to manage content, topics, and keywords. I’ll also give you a sneak peak into my process and how I help manage content strategies for our clients.

Homework

I’ll leave you with a little bit of homework before reading my next post in the series.

  1. Determine your audience
    1. Who are you trying to target with your strategy? (hint: could be multiple audiences which would result in different strategies)
  2. Collect a list of your current content
    1. Static, dynamic, and social (hint: it doesn’t have to be exhaustive at this point, but make sure you get a good sampling of your content)
  3. Make sure you ask yourself the questions I listed above. They will help get you started down a path to content success.
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