What is a Content Strategy, and Why is it Important?
A content strategy is a comprehensive plan used by a business to deliver valuable content to its target audience. It has to do with streamlining the planning, delivery, and promotion of content at various stages of the customer’s journey to improve the customer experience and engagement with a brand. A business can fast-track its goals to attract and convert more customers with a sound content strategy in place.
This post looks at the three main challenges businesses face in crafting a winning content strategy and how they can be tackled.
Challenge 1: Consistency of Content Creation
Creating good content with consistency is a challenge for any creator or company. It is not enough to make high-quality content that fits the brand tone and image. It is equally important to deliver content steadily and regularly to meet audience expectations and grab attention. However, creating content continuously and in bulk is no piece of cake. Here are some ways to overcome the consistency challenge:
Maintain an editorial calendar:
An editorial calendar is a detailed and actionable plan of when to create and publish which type of content on which platforms. Like any other calendar, it requires a business to break down its strategy into tactical components, thus enhancing its effectiveness.
Outsource content creation:
Finding external creators or outsourcing creation is a sure-shot way to ensure volume. One of the pitfalls of outsourcing content for any company would be the risk of losing or diluting the brand image or voice. To avoid this, the brand ensures that the brief presented to the external creators is comprehensive and precise and includes samples, audience personas, and strong editing.
Uniform customer experience:
Consistency is more than the regularity of posting content. It also implies uniformity in the overall customer experience, irrespective of the channel. According to this 2021 report by MoEngage, almost a third (27%) of the respondents said that they found inconsistent brand messaging the most frustrating. Consistency in the tonality across channels can be established by thinking of content production as one whole and not a sum of separate parts. Repurposing ready content for different channels is another way to obtain consistency.
Challenge 2: Staying Current
Another strategic challenge faced by companies is staying current and up-to-date on the different content and digital marketing trends. Did you know that Google reportedly updates its search algorithm about 500-600 times a year? That’s multiple updates in a day!
Not every update has a huge impact, but many do. It seems impossible to keep track of all these changes. Search Engine Optimisation, digital marketing, customer experience, etc., are constantly evolving fields. What should a brand keep in mind to keep abreast of these continually changing scenarios?
Track trends with reliable sources
Use credible sources such as the Google Trends tool or the Google Webmaster Blog to track changes or new information. Keeping ahead of the competition means being aware of the latest trends. From the metaverse to the integration of AI to hashtag challenges and TikTok campaigns, content should match up to what’s the latest popular choice!
Respond to current events and take a stand
In this day and age, people care about brands that show that they care. Gen Z is increasingly looking out for sustainable and socially-conscious brands. It is crucial that a business’s content strategy factors in what is going on globally and showcases the brand’s values.
Prioritise unlearning and feedback
The easiest way to stay current is to prioritise feedback, whether creator or employee feedback and customer feedback, conducted through surveys, polls or interviews. Can your customers contact you directly through social media, forums, chats, or email? Leverage a portion of your content strategy to interact with your audience and design opportunities for them to tell you exactly what they want. Consumer demands and expectations will change with time. The best way to know what’s ‘current’ at any given point is to ask!
Challenge 3: Cost-cutting
Content creation can be a significant drain on the budget. Whether outsourcing your content or employing in-house creators, designers, and editors, from buying the right resources and technology to investing in distribution, creating good content is expensive. A business must conduct a marketing audit to understand its digital marketing expense. Following that, there are several ways to reduce costs without killing quality. Let us explore some of the options –
Just because you’ve put something out there once doesn’t mean that it has exhausted everyone it could reach. A business can repurpose and reuse content posted earlier. This repurposing should target opportunities. Posting the right content at the right time, around a major world event or celebration, can bring more traction, even if recycled. Using the same content across media channels is also a way to reduce costs.
The aim of content creating and marketing should not only be to convert potential customers. Once you find an audience, a brand can make use of its audience to earn referrals, turning the audience itself into quasi-marketers. Apart from retention, if brands focus on empowering their customers themselves as the voice of the brand, they can simulate a word-of-mouth chain to promote their content.
Marketing automation tools
Companies can reduce working hours and costs by automating the customer funnel as much as possible. This includes the use of welcome emails and reminders, to push-notifications, in-app messaging, and so on to give customers a hyper-personalised interaction while reducing the time required to convert customers or make a sale.
This article outlines three challenges in formulating a winning content strategy and the possible solutions. The list provided here is not exhaustive but offers a direction for brands to think and reflect on their budgeting demands. Companies must ensure consistency along with quality when it comes to content creation. Another challenge is affordability, and the first step to achieving cost-cutting is planning and auditing. Finally, it is vital to stay personal and current while building a unique brand identity.