If you’re like most people who are trying to market their business, you’ve probably read a lot about digital content and how vital it is to attracting, engaging, and retaining customers.
You might even be excited to dive in and start creating content right now, to begin building awareness, increasing revenue, and nurturing relationships.
As tempting as it may be to put a content creator to work ASAP, it’s important to first have a strategy in place.
What’s content strategy, anyway?
Marketing terminology can be confusing, even for seasoned professionals. There’s content marketing strategy, which is all about why you are marketing and what motivates and engages customers.
There’s a content plan, which consists of the tactics involved in putting a content marketing strategy into effect. It is very much about specific tasks and who will perform them.
Then there is the overarching content strategy. While the specific elements of the strategy can vary greatly, it’s basically your plan for using content — generally, of the digital variety — to achieve your specific business goals.
This strategy provides the structured approach that a content creator takes to producing meaningful and high-quality content. And it provides a plan for putting your content out into the world, managing that content on an ongoing basis, and measuring how effective it is.
Why is the strategy so important for the content creator?
Having a plan in place is crucial to developing, delivering, promoting, and sustaining your content over the long term. An effective strategy is one that will help your content creator:
- Present a strong, cohesive brand message and voice across all platforms
- Craft a useful and appealing experience for prospects and customers
- Communicate the values of your business AND the value it offers to customers
- Find opportunities to offer new content on an ongoing basis
- Support alignment between your tactics and your end goals
Rather than focusing on campaigns and products, digital content today is all about providing customers with the information they need, when they need it. So, having a strategy in place can also help your content creator:
- Balance the requirements of SEO and search engine ranking — which, after all, are what get people to your virtual door — with the need for quality content that attracts and informs customers
- Provide relevant content that meets the different needs at each stage of the customer journey, from awareness to evaluation to purchase
Why work with a marketing agency for content creation?
You could certainly work with a freelance content writer to create your website and other content that supports your digital marketing strategy.
But with the diversity of tasks and responsibilities involved in developing and implementing a strategy, it can be challenging for a freelancer — or even your internal content creator — to have the time and skill sets to do it all.
A content creation agency will typically offer not only the services of a professional content creator, but also the additional skills, knowledge, and human resources to support all the elements of your marketing strategy.
To start, an agency has the intelligence-gathering and content development expertise to help you create your digital strategy. It’s the first and most important step in content creation.
Once the plan is in place, an agency can provide a website content writer plus a team of experts to handle other important aspects of your strategy, such as the following:
- Buyer persona research, to identify the characteristics of your target audience, uncover patterns, and map out your target’s needs at different stages of the customer journey
- Content planning analysis, to decide what content to create, what formats to use, and which channels will reach your audience and deliver the best user experience
- Audit/Inventory of existing content, to identify where new content is needed and what can be repurposed — plus weed out any content that’s outdated, redundant, or simply not helpful to your target audience
- Analysis of metadata, to determine whether content is getting the response you want and to identify opportunities to expand on topics that are popular AND generating leads
- Brand guidelines, established to help the content creator, the agency, and your internal team make sure all communications are consistent in voice, tone, and brand identity
- Keyword research and SEO guidelines, to optimize rankings while providing a quality experience for the customer
- Content management, providing a solution for storing and managing all content in one place, for better version control and ease of sharing, updating and reusing of assets
Effective strategy: it’s a group effort!
Bringing together the functions of the content creator and the resources of a full-service marketing agency is a great way to keep your digital strategy — and all your marketing efforts — on target.
In addition, an agency can supplement your own, internal marketing team, filling any gaps and helping you develop and execute the best strategy for your business needs.
We are always happy to talk through your situation and goals and discuss the different ways we can help, whether that’s with developing content strategy and content creation, buyer research, website development, or a comprehensive digital marketing service. Feel free to reach out to us with your questions.