Exactly what content marketing actually is, one can argue intensively. On the other hand, it should not be disputed that you need a strategy for good content marketing. Actually.
Again and again, I come across digital content marketing projects in which I can not recognize a strategy from the outside or from the inside. And I’m not talking about strategies that I consider – for whatever reason – to be pointless or missed.
I’m talking about no strategy at all, not even a bad one. Instead, content is simply produced.
Good content marketing needs a strategy
Unfortunately, I do not have the right name for this wrap-up of the network with content. But I know exactly: Content Marketing is not. Even if the authors claim that, of course. Content marketing, which deserves this name, as all exceptionally well-known experts agree, must always be strategic.
This also makes sense, because after all, content marketing is not exactly cheap and therefore should deliver measurable results – even if they are as soft as “traffic” and “awareness”.
Without goals, no strategy
But in terms of goals, actually the core of every strategy, in my experience, there are far too many projects. Even with the question of measurable goals, one sometimes only gets a shrug or vaguely worded statements.
Legendary to this day is for me the disarming and actually written response of a tendering company to the objectives of future content marketing efforts: “It’s just the CEO please.”
Let’s be honest: The fact that the CEO or the CEO like it is certainly an important and sometimes decisive KPI in a form of communication such as content marketing – but you should not build on that strategy. After all, any good CEO will sooner or later ask the question: what does it actually do to me? Where is the return on investment?
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After taxes during the project
Of course, especially in the early days of content marketing, it was very convenient not to get stuck on targets too much. But as you know, content marketing is just about to grow up – and it also means becoming more strategic and less content-driven about content marketing.
Well-selected and strategically formulated goals set the framework of the strategy and the operative action. Measured regularly, they also help us to follow up on operational implementation.
Strategic frameworks ask similar questions
But strategy means more than formulating goals. A strategy also shows how you intend to achieve those goals. To make the strategy process more tangible, many agencies and experts have now developed their own frameworks. Almost all ask basically similar questions, which should lead to the fact that one knows in the end what one has to do.
- What do we want to achieve? (Goals, KPIs)
- Who do we want to reach? (Target groups and personas)
- How and where do we reach these people? (Channels and platforms)
- What do we have to do for it? (Formats and content strategy)
- How and with which resources do we implement this? (Budget, staff, know-how …)
- How do we measure our successes and failures? (Analytics)
- How can we make sure that we are getting better and better?
If you answer these questions, you have at least the approach of a strategy.
The bonus question decides the success
For me personally, there is still a crucial bonus question, which unfortunately too often is not answered: How can integrate content marketing in the overall communicative strategy of the company?
Only if you can answer this simple and complicated question will you prevent content marketing from becoming a silo – in addition to the many other silos that often already exist in the company anyway.
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