How Do I Plan a Content Strategy?

Strategy. It’s a simple word that makes a lot of marketers want to run and hide.

The most recent CMI/MarketingProfs survey says more than half of marketers don’t have a documented content strategy. Are you guilty? I’ve sometimes felt overwhelmed by strategy too, but I’ve figured out a way to make “content strategy” completely approachable.

Simplify.

Through a lot of trial and error, I’ve learned that a good content strategy IS NOT:

  • Long.
  • Complicated.
  • 15 pages long.
  • Buried in a long list of personas, historical data and vision statements.
  • Full of complicated charts and data points.

A good content strategy IS:

  • Simple.
  • Just a few sentences.
  • Visible to everyone on your team.
  • Flexible enough to evolve with your business and you customers’ needs.

I read Nick Westergaard’s helpful marketing book “Get Scrappy” over the holidays, and he suggests thinking of strategy as a map. When you make your strategy forward-looking and action-oriented, you take some of the stigma out of strategy.

When your strategy is forward-looking and action-oriented, you take some of the stigma out of “strategy.” Click To Tweet

3 Questions for a Simple Content Strategy

Let’s do a quick exercise. If you’re responsible for delivering a content strategy for 2017 and you aren’t sure where to start, try answering these questions from “Get Scrappy”:

  • What are you trying to do?
  • Why are you doing this?
  • Who are you trying to reach?

I answered these three questions to write a simple content strategy for Rep Cap:

Our goal is to grow brand awareness and connect with marketers responsible for content at B2B organizations. We do that by producing helpful, friendly content that answers common content marketing questions. We get our content in front of marketers through marketing events, our blog and on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.

Here’s Westergaard’s test for a good content strategy: It helps you stop creating content inefficiently and further complicating your marketing.

What’s your content strategy? Could you write it in one paragraph? Could you explain it to your parents? If not, you might consider simplifying.

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