image credit: ramiro ramirez via flickr cc
If your organization has a documented content strategy, you're already on the right track.
Only 44% of marketing teams have a recorded strategy. If you've taken the time to write down factors like a publishing schedule, goals, and metrics, you have an advantage.
Content strategies can't be static. Marketing teams must view their content goals as living documents, and continually refine, update and re-work their efforts. If you're considering writing a content strategy for the first time -- or revising your current efforts -- here are ten factors that are commonly omitted from first drafts.
1. Annual Audits
Once you publish your content, it doesn't disappear. It's a long-term asset for your organization, which can continue to drive traffic from organic search results and social media. Annual audits are a little boring and painful, but they're a critically important component of managing your brand's digital assets. Your content strategy should include a schedule for these audits, which can be used to review your SEO optimization and ensure your assets are up-to-date.
2. Brand Voice
How does your company sound? Are you technical, and to-the-point? Or are you conversational and fun-loving? Ideally, your brand's online voice should sound like your buyer personas.
Documenting your brand's voice is an important tool for maintaining brand consistency across platforms. If you expand your content team to include consultants, agencies, or freelance writers in the future, a defined voice can also help with onboarding writers.
Teams of any size can benefit from written policies and workflows. If you use an agency or freelance writers, it may be especially important to document processes. Michael Cunningham recommends including the following:
- Review and Approval Processes
- Legal and Compliance (if applicable)
- Project Ownership
4. Your Mission
- The most research-driven blogs and whitepapers
- Unbiased advice in a no-nonsense tone
- The most practical tutorials available
5. Conversion Pathways
The more landing pages and offers you create, the higher your lead generation results will be. Your content strategy should include documentation on your conversion pathways, by connecting your blogs, landing pages, calls-to-action (CTAs), and offers.
For more information, we recommend The Marketing Manager's Guide to Optimizing Conversion Pathways.
Your content strategy and publishing calendar should reflect campaigns. Your brand's inbound marketing may yield the best results if your blogs, social media posts, offers, and other media are grouped by "concepts" into comprehensive campaigns. Document your procedure and plans for developing and publishing relevant content marketing campaigns.
7. Visual Content
Your brand's content marketing efforts should incorporate high-quality images, videos, infographics, and other forms of visual content marketing. In your content strategy, consider including:
- Guidelines for sourcing images
- Best practices for brand-relevant visual content
- Recommended tools and resources for creating custom visuals
8. Content Promotion
Only 20% of your content’s success is content creation, or quality. The other 80% can be attributed to your promotion efforts. Include goals and methods for distributing your content, included the channels that yield best results and what you've learned from your content promotion efforts.
Your content strategy should include a plan for measuring and applying knowledge from your marketing metrics. Monitoring is absolutely critical to exceeding your team's key performance indicators and goals. In order to set a baseline for continuous improvement, it's critically important to document measurement best practices.
Does your company have a documented content marketing strategy? How has it evolved over time?