October 15, 2021
How-To Articles

6 Reasons Why You Need a Content Strategy

Most brands focus on the shiny things, like social media and video.

Photo by <a href="https://unsplash.com/@aaronweiss?utm_source=unsplash&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=creditCopyText">Aaron Weiss</a> on <a href="https://unsplash.com/s/photos/tiktok?utm_source=unsplash&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=creditCopyText">Unsplash</a>

A content strategy can help your company in many ways. You need to be able to answer the questions: what do you want people to know about your company? What stories do you need to tell? What sets you apart from other brands? How often should you post blog posts and how long should they be? What kind of content will work for your target audience? The answers will depend on a variety of factors, including your company size and who are you trying to reach.

Most brands focus on the shiny things, like social media and video. But they're not thinking about how to create a content strategy that will grow their business over time with quality content. It's not enough anymore just to have an online presence or setup a Snapchat account and start posting away.

So, what do brands do? Well, most do nothing and just continue with their same approach and tactics they've always done. Others scramble to hire a new social person or videographer to get their content efforts up to speed. But, a strategy might still be missing.

Whether you already have a blog or are building one for your business, there are 6 reasons every company needs to approach their content strategically.

The "what" and the "how" need to come before the "where" and the "when."

Content strategy answers two major questions you have with your digital strategy. What are we creating and how will we make it? You can't ask, "When are we posting to Twitter?" before you answer the question, "What are we posting to Twitter?"

To answer this question effectively, you need to think about your target audience and your brand pillars. Brainstorm ways to marry the unique things about your brand and the types of content that your audience is most likely to engage with.

You need to know "how" you will be creating this content.

We all have limitations. Depending on the brand that you work for, you might have an army of designers and videographers, or you might be a one-man army. Don't pitch a full-length documentary as a content idea if you don't have the staff or budget to do something so audacious.

As you design your content strategy, resourcing is one of the top factors to consider. The good news for smaller teams is that new resources come out every week that make content production more scalable. Resources like Canva and Pictory make social content creation more attainable.

Post content with purpose every time.

Having a content strategy gives you the foundational "why" for your content every time you hit send on a Tweet.

Most marketers get caught up thinking about whether they "should" post something or not. We're more consumed with the Dolly Parton Challenge than we are with a great SEO-focused blog post most of the time.

For those of us working in an agency setting, you have no doubt encountered a client who wants a post for #MayThe4thBeWithYou day. If you have a solid content strategy, and your brand has nothing to do with spaceships or nerd culture, then you can politely decline the request and show the reasoning behind it.

Paid social media might get you followers, but good content keeps and converts them.

A number of different tactics or spends can get you followers. And as I already said, that's often what we're chasing on social media.

However, great content is what keeps your followers engaged on your channels and converts them into buying customers.

You want your channels to last for a long time.

In April of 2018, an estimated 18 million podcast episodes existed on different platforms like Spotify or Apple Podcasts. In April of 2021, that number exceeded 48 million, with an estimated 2 million podcast channels in existence.

While creating a podcast could make sense for a lot of brands, here's the difficult truth about podcasting: 90% of podcasts don't get past their third episode. That's around 1.8 million podcasts that don't make it to creating 4 episodes. Of those remaining 200,000 podcasts, another 90% don’t make it past 20 episodes. That leaves only approximately 20,000 podcasts in existence that have created more than 20 podcast episodes. Make it to 21 episodes, and you're now in the Top 1% of podcasters when it comes to content.

Hurriedly jumping into creating a podcast without first going through the planning to decide why you're making one, who you're reaching and what exactly you will create will inevitably land you in the 99% of podcasts that don't create more than 20 episodes, or even the 90% that don't make more than 3 episodes. Content strategy is what it makes it possible to last.

Become less dependent on cultural moments for your content.

I've been in plenty of situations early in my career, staring at a content calendar, with no idea of how to fill it out. The brand wasn't that interesting. They didn't have any "specials" or "events" coming up. So, I turned to Google News trying to find something that made a connection to the brand.

If you want to get past these blank stare moments, a content strategy is your life raft. While it's fun to jump onto trends or newsy content, you can't depend on news or culture to fill out your content calendar.

Learn more about how to create a content strategy that makes sense for your brand in Build Your Digital Strategy.

Ryan Sawrie

Digital Leader, Author

Ryan Sawrie is the author of Build Your Digital Strategy and a veteran digital marketer. Ryan shares his insights to creating digital strategies in BYDS and at the digitalstrategybook.com website.

About Ryan

Subscribe to my newsletter

Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum aute irure dolor