When I meet potential customers for the first time to talk about Ghostit, I find that they generally fall into one of two categories: those that don’t have any content at all, or those that have content but don’t have a strategy.
By content, I mean any creative material that is published and pushed on the internet by a business or brand. The first group of people are pretty straightforward. I am able to convince them fairly easily that having content produced by their brand is not only important but needed. It’s easy, not because I’m a fabulous salesperson, but rather because at some internal level these people already know that they’re behind the times.
Click here to download our case study on how we went from zero page-views to 20,000 in eight months.
The second group of people are a bit trickier. They already understand that marketing efforts are shifting to be more online – that’s where the people are. They’re on it already with their Facebook pages, Twitter feeds, and LinkedIn profiles.
They have an assigned internal staff ready at the keyboard to report the newest company development as soon as it happens. Maybe they’ve even paid for this staff member to take one of those in-trend social media certifications that are being pushed by what seems like every social media influencer or platform out there. But I’m not here to rant about that.
These people I meet are absolutely gung-ho about content which is awesome. It saves me the trouble of going on about how it’s needed more than ever. What concerns me is how prevalent the notion of “No, I don’t have a content strategy, I don’t really need it” is.
Don't you need a strategy for the content you push? I guess… if you like having random messy tidbits of content floating around on the internet with no plan, goal or purpose but to have random messy tidbits of content floating around.
Not having a strategy for content marketing is as bad as saying advertisers don’t have a strategy for the ads they put out on TV. You’re shooting darts at the board with your eyes closed hoping it’ll hit the target.
Oh those Toys R Us commercials? Let’s air them at 11 pm.
Have a sexy phone line business? Let’s take the 3:30 pm slot on cartoon network.
Timing is just one factor. There are so many factors you can control to optimize the impact of the content you’re pushing. To give that up is… well, foolish.
Here are three reasons why I believe a strategy is needed.
1) Having a Strategy Helps You Build Brand Equity
Brand equity is the positive associations that are affiliated with your brand/business. What people think about when they think of your business. Greater positive associations equals greater loyalty. Businesses are always striving to build their brand equity because brand equity equals predictable outcomes.
Having a content strategy ensures that you are consistently pushing out the right content to attract the right people – the kind that’s going to end up using your business, referring your business and coming back to your business.
A content strategy allows you to be on top of your game. Instead of following a trend, you’re creating it and predicting it. You can curate your content so that your business becomes a source of reliable information for your audience. Be proactive, instead of reactive.
This, in turn, increases impact while controlling for the perfect sweet spot in content diversity.
2) A Strategy Allows for Insight Control
You’re thinking – Rahul what do you mean controlling for insights? Well, I’m glad you asked. When you have a strategy, you know what you’re pushing out ahead of time. This can be a short-term strategy that dictates content for the month, and a separate long-term strategy for goals to hit over the year, which we will talk about more in my next point.
When you know what’s going out, you can put up measures ahead of time to gather data. You have the advantage of mining for data. Not caring about the results of your content is well… idiotic. You’ll never know if your content is working. You won’t know whether you should spend more time or money, you won’t be able to hone in on what’s working.
A strategy allows you to monitor what type of content works for what platform. You can now have insight on how to align content to the right platform.
Overall, your online content presents as a meaningful package rather than a group of unrelated blogs.
3) Drives Marketing Goals
There should be a purpose behind creating and pushing content online. Whether that’s to drive leads or be a place of information for a specific audience. Having a strategy provides you with a competitive advantage because it allows you to at least be one step ahead of what you’re creating and publishing.
A strategy allows you to plan for certain goals you want to meet – both short term and long term. You won’t know whether or not a specific type of content works better than another without having a strategy in place to contrast and compare.
Strategizing your content improves the quality of content published as well. By looking into the insights, you can garner information to help shape what you produce ensuring both consistency and driving your return on investment.
You know the time and money you’re putting into generating content is worth it, because it is delivering the expected outcomes.
You’ll also find during the strategy that some old content can be re-used, and recycled in different ways for specific purposes while making SEO more meaningful
These are just the tip of the iceberg. I can go on and on about why a content strategy is the first and most important step before even creating content. If you’d like to learn more about content strategizing, e-mail us to set up an initial consult at email@example.com or sign up for our newsletter below!