Today I was lucky enough to speak at the Content Marketing Show, a flagship digital marketing event from the lovely folks at Rough Agenda, held at the University of London’s Institute of Education and in front of 1,400 eager content marketers. The topic? The gateway-drug elements of content strategy that you should be using in your content marketing efforts – or to put it another way, how we are using a content-strategy led approach to create successful brand publishing.
Content strategy is becoming an increasingly prevalent facet of the digital marketing industry, but it can seem like an extra layer of complexity when we are busy creating marketable content for our clients/bosses. Indeed, according to the CIM, 88% of online marketers are using content marketing in 2014, but only 42% of those have a content strategy in place.
As we have increasingly read up on content strategy we have come to the realisation that we can take certain elements, and use them during the planning stages of branded content creation. Content strategy is about managing your content as an asset – it’s about taking control of your content. It is concerned with the how of your content creation, not the what.
As a result, many of the tools within Halvorson and Rach’s discovery phase of content strategy are perfect for planning great content marketing, because they help us understand what we should be creating.
By utilising these excellent fundamentals, you get a process-led framework that helps you determine the how and why of your next content marketing piece. This is superb at getting you in a position to start generating relevant content ideas, as the groundwork of what you are looking to achieve is in place – we’ve found that simply following this planing process not only keeps us on track, it actually gets the ideas flowing before we start trying to generate them!
At White.net, we’ve long been searching for ways to help our clients’ sites have more effective content, and so have started implementing such a framework for our client work. I thought it was time we shared how useful this was with the industry.
It was a privilege to be able to speak in front of so many content marketing enthusiasts, and I hope some of those there were able to take away a bit of an appreciation of what content strategy can bring to your content marketing. I’m always happy to talk content, in any form, so if you have any questions on the talk, or about using content strategy generally in content marketing or SEO efforts, please leave a comment or ping me a shout on Twitter or Google+.