Creating content that aligns with a business’s overall strategy is key to content marketing that’s both valuable and engaging. By understanding its goals, audience, and competition, a business can create content that speaks to those needs while also helping drive sales and lead engagement.
A business’s content strategy can’t just be focused on hitting keywords. Getting search engine rankings is all well and good, but it’s people you need to sell to. Just like any form of marketing, your content needs to make you attractive.
It’s also important that your content aligns with your business’s strategy. If you’re focusing on a certain product or service, marketing it makes sense. Content that functions by itself but also draws attention to the business’s priorities is a useful tool in your marketing arsenal.
Content as marketing
Before getting into how to use strategic content, it’s worth exploring how content is used for marketing. Different goals suit different uses of content so will need to be matched to the strategy.
Unlike straight advertising, content should be interesting and informative to read as its first priority. Readers know your blog aims to make money. That doesn’t mean they want it shoved in their face.
Content works by offering something they need that feels tailored to them. It’s there to create awareness of a problem and of your business.
Customers will search for something to learn about it. You want your content to provide a genuinely useful answer to the question they want solved.
Your answer helps build their trust and awareness towards your brand. This gives them the impression that you could be of further use to them if they do pay for what you’re more subtly advertising.
The marketing aspect of content is the Call to Action. At the end of the content, include a direct action the reader can take to solve their problem. That action is some form of interaction with your business, turning the reader into a lead.
Using business wide objectives
The first step to creating strategic content is to know your business’s strategy. This means understanding where you want the whole business to be and how to get there.
Your strategic objectives are the goals you want the business to achieve. This could be diversifying into a new market, creating a new product, or updating to a more digital customer experience.
If your whole business is prioritising something, then it makes sense for your marketing to focus on it too. This will generate a priority list for your content strategy to cover. This list is how you can decide on your brand messaging.
Determine messaging priorities
What is it that needs to be at the centre of your messaging? Your content should be aligning with your overall brand’s message.
Using market development as an example, what messaging is important? If you’re expanding into a new market, the business’s message should be one that’s also attractive to that market.
Again, the customer is looking to solve a problem. If you’re expanding into a market, how can you solve this new set of problems? You want a message that doesn’t interfere with the content being quick and easy to read.
If all of your content so far focuses on your existing market, it won’t be as effective for the people in the new market. Writing for a target audience is a core skill in content writing, so consider how well you’re communicating with the new audience.
You don’t want to alienate your existing customers, though. Return customers are incredibly valuable to a business, and losing them is never a good idea. Phase your new content in, but don’t drop the old.
Your overall messaging should be able to speak to everyone in your share of the market. This doesn’t mean that every article needs to suit everyone. It’s the overall balance that needs to be even.
Explore priority topics
Now you know what your core message is, you need to turn it into usable content. What topics are there to talk about that will help your brand?
Determine what’s important to the people that make up your new market. What are their pain points, aspirations and culture like? This will give you the content ideas you need to start.
Before you launch into a new market, you want your website or blog to be welcoming to them. This means that there’s relatable content already present. This same logic applies no matter what change you’re making.
Your first steps could be considering how you can rephrase your existing branding to match the new market better. Marketing research is key to generating meaningful content.
As an example, Boardroom Advisors provides support for businesses at the strategic level. With the changes to the UK’s visa schemes, Boardroom Advisors diversified into visa endorsement.
The new priority topics focused on how they could help entrepreneurs come to the country. The process they used to support local businesses is similar to how they can help an overseas one, so could be discussed in the same way with little more than a new frame.
This means that visa applicants can find content that is useful for them on the blog. Meanwhile, the continuation of existing blog content means that older readers weren’t alienated. This strategic content helped to smoothly merge the two parts of the business.
Strategise your content
Strategic content is aligned with your business as a whole. Content is an invaluable tool for marketing, so you should be matching it to your overall goals.
When you’re planning your future content, remember what your business actually needs from its marketing. Providing content relevant to your business’s priorities will create awareness that your business now offers whatever it is you’re changing.
To summarise, you can make your content more strategic by following these 5 steps:
- Create a list of priorities for you business as a whole
- Determine what messaging aligns with those priorities
- Research what any new readers need from their content
- Explore topics that uses your messaging to answer the reader’s question
- Plan content that covers both the new topics while continuing to interest existing readers
Article written by John Courtney, Founder & CEO of BoardroomAdvisors.co