Welcome to the wonderful world of puzzles.
Move the word “content” around to form content marketing, content operations, and content marketing, and you’ll get a picture of how your company uses content.
But the secret to creating a clear picture – content strategy – is that you don’t solve a puzzle. That’s three. However, the best way to solve them is to dump all three boxes of flakes on the table. Then put them all together one by one.
Only then will you be able to see the full picture of the content strategy at your company.
In Volume nine of Marketing Makers , CMI’s series for marketers, I explore what a content strategy is and how you can create one that works. You can watch the full show here or read on for the highlights.
Table of Contents
What is content strategy?
The term has actually caused quite a bit of confusion in the business world for the last 20 years. So many people have defined it, misdefined it and confused it with other activities. A definition that goes too far (or is too general) to describe content strategy is “the act of creating business goals and then using content as a means to achieve those business goals. ”
It’s like saying that my exercise strategy is the act of creating health goals, then using exercise as a means of achieving those health goals. That’s not wrong, but it really isn’t helpful.
Of course, part of the challenge is the word “ content , ” can have multi-industry definitions. Here’s a helpful way I’ve found to define it in the context of a business’s content strategy: Content is communication.
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What is strategy?
Businesses must communicate with a coordinated voice intelligently, affection , and sometimes persuasive. Simply put: Enterprise content strategy is coordinated business communication.
Over time, business communication evolves and so does this idea of content strategy. And there is no shortage of content strategy leaders in the industry who have grown with it. From Ann Rockley in 1980 to Kristina Halvorson, who wrote Content strategy for the web in 2009, stating that content strategy is “creating, publishing, and curating useful, usable content.”
Content strategist Scott Abel says content “is your most valuable business asset. demonstrate effective and efficient management. ”
# Content is your most valuable business asset. #ContentStrategy demonstrates how to effectively and efficiently manage it, @scottabel said via @Robert Rose @CMIContent @semrush. #MarketingMakers Click to Tweet
Erin Kissane’s Elements of a content strategy quote another content strategist, Rachel Lovinger, who has said, “Content strategy is copywriting because information architecture is design.”
One of my favorite views comes from Rahel Bailie : “planning aspects of content management throughout its lifecycle and including content alignment for business goals , analyze and model, and influence the development, production, presentation, evaluation, measurement, and termination of content, including governance. ”
Do we now know what a content strategy is?
Yes and no.
What is content?
We have closed the strategy section. It’s a well-defined approach to content management through a lifecycle, including goals, analysis, structure, measurement, etc.
But it’s not just growth strategy. The nature of how people communicate – content – has changed.
What content do we want to be strategic about?
This is one of the reasons that content strategy descriptions can be so vague. We don’t really define what we’re talking about because, in theory, it could be all the business says. So consider this in an all-too-simple but common application for defining content in a content strategy. Remember, it consists of three puzzles – content marketing, content marketing, and content strategy or operations.
No part of a business communicates more – and needs more coordination – than marketing and sales. You can also include public relations and corporate communications here. The goal of content marketing is to reach a target audience and communicate the benefits and features of our brand, product or service.
At the other end of the spectrum is content marketing . It is the content that we create, publish, and promote that has value in itself. It is valuable to our audience regardless of its relationship to our brand, product or service. It creates value by educating, inspiring, and entertaining audiences to develop greater relationships. Our goal is to attract, build and monetize audiences by showcasing our brand discriminatory value .
Content strategy or operations
In between is the link that connects these two ideas – strategy or content activity . It involves planning and proactively managing content through its lifecycle – directing, balancing, aligning with business goals, modeling, developing structure, measuring, and managing. content.
Together, these three trivia ensure our content strategy – pool of resources, budget, people, technology – works.
RELATED CONTENT TO BE HAND-VIEWED:
Watch one more time Content strategists address “how” communication will be handled.
Together, they work optimally for the “what” and the “how” of the content itself. Drawn Content Marketers story and planning the channels that will be used for development customer relationship with brand. Content strategists ensure that stories, languages, and management processes work consistently and are effectively optimized across multiple groups, languages, and every publication the brand uses.
A great content strategy meticulously planned to not only know what to say – but how, when, where and how often to say it is the key to making content feel good. Humanities. And that is the greatest of all puzzles worth solving.
Cover photo by Joseph Kalinowski / Content Marketing Institute