It is similar with a content marketing strategy. But it also includes a third kind – those who state that they invest in creating a content marketing strategy, but under the pressure of deadlines, crises, different volatile factors, that strategy gets the shape of a jellyfish – it becomes diluted and loses focus.
Results of the latest surveys show that most global companies, around 86 percent, state they use a strategic approach in content marketing. According to a definition of the Content Marketing Institute, a strategic approach includes a “process focused on creating and distribution of valuable, relevant and consistent content, aimed at attracting and retaining a clearly defined audience – and, eventually, stimulate a profitable consumer action”.
The above definition is a “mouth full“, but it best sums up key elements which are of crucial importance for a content marketing strategy. The necessary elements include:
Business plan for content marketing – Includes everything you want to achieve with your content program, objectives, specific value you wish to communicate through the content you create, as well as potential obstacles and opportunities you may encounter.
Definition of target group – Someone calls them personas, consumers, clients, target group, but essentially they are PEOPLE. People with feelings, fears, wishes, aspirations and needs. The better we get to know them, but honestly and without filter, the better we will know how to approach them and which content at what time will be best for them: just like when you want to approach a guy you like – you did research on him, what he likes and what he doesn’t like, and decided to approach him in a way he will like, but you still want to keep your integrity and stay cool.
Good brand story – People have always told stories, expressed themselves through metaphors and illustrative narratives and, in that sense, storytelling is nothing new. Depending on how much a story is strong, tense, humorous, in a word how much it “hits the target”, you build a place in consumers’ heads. A good brand story differs from a common one by a need for key messages very well and precisely designed, relevant to your audience, and which get new or modified forms in various phases of their road to consumers.
Plan of distribution channels – These are not individual channels you will use to tell a good story. A plan of distribution channels represents the entire platform of various combinations of channels, each of which has its objective in correlation with others. The main issue today is actually how to coordinate and communicate meaningfully in the world with such a large number of digital channels and at the same time remain relevant for consumers.
In addition to key elements which each content marketing strategy by definition and theoretically should include, I am free to say that, at the end of a day, things basically come down to:
Healthy psychology. Listen to people, their desires, expectations, and fears and don’t assume that you already know all about them.
Good insight into oneself. The better we know ourselves (our company) and our values, the better we will know how to integrate a story in what people need or feel in a most subtle and effortless manner.
Logic. Be smart enough to connect A and B.
Eventually, you end up with the story with happy ending.