“The central message of content strategy is that it’s not enough to think tactically about content. To serve our clients and readers, we have to look beyond individual battles and ensure that the whole array of individual campaigns and choices works together to meet a clearly defined set of overarching goals.” – Erin Kissane
The internet has taken over our lives today – the amount of content available is enormous, almost infinite.
Companies are constantly looking for ways to attract ‘visitors’ to their sites and adopt several strategies and techniques to do so and outrun competition. However, simply writing content does not attract business and neither does it get the popular search engines to rank your company high in the ‘searches’. Even the best and most articulate content will not get people to engage with a company or identify with a brand – that is the role of a content strategy.
Content Strategy is quintessentially the phase where a company plans how to use the great content it puts together for its target audience. Simple?Not really! The strategy around content needs meticulous planning – outlining the content to give it an identity and a focused purpose. Without the ‘attributes’ mentioned, content becomes haphazard and confused information, for which readers would have no use. An effective content strategy encapsulates the company’s ‘character’, defines the target audience, and weaves seamlessly with the company’s marketing strategy, to create a lasting impact on the readers and gaining the ‘attention’ of popular search engines. People are searching for information and useful content all the time – they are attracted to and remain engaged with, content that they can use and benefit from. It is important for a company to produce content in all forms – written, images, videos, and any other form that gains favour with users. Businesses must ensure that their content strategy is robust enough to include all the forms of content, making the content seem unique and distinct, which in turn would keep coming backvisitors for more.
Since there is content everywhere, it would be difficult for search engines to pick out one or another to give it a high ranking unless there be something truly exceptional and ‘rank worthy’. By putting together a content strategy, a company would be able to complement its business goals, and align it with the needs of its target audience. It is important to understand first for whom the content is intended and what is expected from the information that the company sends out. It would be important to carefully think of specific keywords through which the target audience could search for the information and use these ‘words’ intelligently and judiciously. The more relevant your content would be, the higher its ranking on search engines, which in turn would grow the business and improve the company’s visibility and popularity. Companies that underestimate the value of the planning phase of their content, would simply be churning out irrelevant information that would be of no use to anyone.
With the advances in technology, the numbers of channels, through which companies can share content are numerous. There are blogs, emails, social media, videos, and a whole gamut of content that now co-exist, making a content strategy even more necessary. The strategy would tie all the channels together, ensuring that the message a company sends out via one or all of these channels, remain seamless and consistent. In addition, creating a strategy around the content would ensure that the content is interactive and engages readers enough to take action – be it buying, sharing, or ‘re-posting’. If the readers do not respond or take action on the content, there really would be no use of the content. Creating an effective content strategy is not only useful from the reader’s perspective, but would be helping in bringing a lot more positive attention and engagement from a wide audience base.