Do you know the difference between content marketing and content strategy? My name is Michael Boezi, and we’re going to get into that in this segment.
Great Content Needs a Great Content Strategy
We hear a lot about content marketing right? It’s the buzzword of the day, folks are trying to get into it, trying to create content, connect with customers, all that is great, really great news. The bad news is: content marketing is not going to work without it being wrapped into a solid content strategy.
What is Content Marketing?
What is content marketing? Content marketing at base is just marketing – using content to form a connection with your customers.
Related: The Origin of Content Marketing
And it’s one facet of content strategy. Content strategy is taking all the content that you might produce, being really efficient about it, making multiple uses of that content, and obviously reaching out and using that content to connect with customers.
What Type of Content Do You Need?
Content, in short, is why the user is here. In a business context, that can take a variety of forms.
One, the most obvious thing, is your website. It could also be a blog or blog posts, it could be videos, it could be presentations, PowerPoints, slide shares, pitch decks, PR pieces. The key thing about content strategy is that you want all of those things working together in support of your business goals.
What is Content Strategy?
Let’s key in just for a moment on the strategy portion of content strategy.
I like to divide these things up into tactics or strategies. Tactics are the things that you do once you have a strategy in place. And this is what I mean when I say that there is a difference between content marketing and content strategy. Too often people say “alright, great, I’m going do content marketing,” and they just set out and start to execute a series of marketing tactics.
But that won’t work! Just like anything in business, you need a strategy before you go forward, you need to focus on a strategy that serves your business goals.
Build Your Content Strategy Goals
I always advise businesses to start off with a set of goals, try to come up with a few different outcomes that you’re working towards, and build your strategy around that. Then, set up some tactics to work within that.
Integrate Your Personality Into Your Content Strategy
Now each piece of content that you produce must be telling a story about your business. Make me feel something! Make me care about your business! You want your content to be so compelling that your audience actually shares it.
You need to bring in your style, your personality, but that has to be situated within your content strategy to work. You really want to get that sort of brand voice down, you really want to understand what it is that you’re trying to convey. You need to understand who your audience is, and what it is that they’ll respond to. Use their language to connect with them.
Get the Most From Your Content
Content strategy, as I promised, makes you more efficient if you do it right. Think about this, how many emails did you send this week? Each one of those is a piece of content. If you have a method, a strategy, a system, to collect and capture that content, it can make you way more efficient.
What you want to do is create your content never for just one use, if you can get away with it.
For example, if you sent that one email or that set of emails that answers a particular question, it can become a blog post. So now, next time you get that customer question, you have a link that you can share to answer that question in your best articulation of that answer. You can use that over and over again.
We want to get a lot more out of each piece of content. And that right there is why content strategy is so important.
About Michael Boezi
Michael Boezi is the owner and managing director of Control Mouse Media, LLC. He works with clients to devise, develop, and deploy a cohesive content strategy to build an online audience. He does whatever it takes to help people create genuine, bi-directional connections with their customers.
He is the creator and host of Marketing Without the Marketing, a podcast that helps people learn the basics of using a content strategy to build an audience. Michael is currently building an online course called CreateBiz, focused on helping writers, musicians, and visual artists use their creative content to build an audience. He is also an instructor at Emerson College, teaching a grad-level course that he designed, called “Fundamentals of Content Strategy.”
Michael is a 17-year publishing veteran who has helped hundreds of writers become authors. Today, many of his clients are non-fiction authors, or at least using a book as a “business card.” He has also helped build two early-stage startups from the ground up, and still mentors young startups in the LearnLaunch accelerator program.