It is important to differentiate between the terms content strategy, content marketing and content creation. They are like different pieces of a puzzle that come together to create a full picture.
Content strategy can be defined as “the ongoing process of transforming business objectives and goals into a plan that uses content as a primary means of achieving those goals” (Gaspar, 2020). Content marketing is “the distribution of your content to increase visibility and audience engagement” (Green, 2015). Content creation is “the content that is valuable and engaging to your audience” (Green, 2015). In order to produce meaning content and connect with your audience, you need to have all three.
To begin the process of posting content, you need to have a direction. This direction is determined by your content strategy. This can tell you a lot of things about your content. Before any marketing or content creation begins, you’re going to want to answer a few questions. Why are you posting this? All of your content should be created to achieve a goal. Next, consider your audience. Who are you reaching and what do they want out of your website, service or product? Content strategy comes with a lot of research to determine what types of content you should you be putting out and how you can track your success. In an article by the Search Engine Journal, they say that “content marketing is good, but without content strategy, it’s like going on a trip without a set destination” (Search Engine Journal, 2020).
Now that you’ve created a goal, it’s time to think about how you’re going to maximize your content. These are the techniques you are going to use to draw your targeted audience in. You never want to feel as though you are forcing your content onto your users, so you need to find ways that feel natural. Some of these may include infographics, webpages, and videos. These different techniques are targeted towards your intended audience. Since you have established your content strategy, you have all the research and knowledge to find your correct target audience. You have to remember that different marketing techniques work for different audiences and not all content marketing will be the same. For example, the content marketing for a trendy coffee shop in LA might be focused on social media posts and engagement with customers through influencer events. The strategy for a local non-profit may include informational pamphlets or fundraisers. It’s also about how to maximize your content and your engagement (Green, 2015). A great way to do this is to link your content. Say you wrote a great blog post, but a lot of your audience is on Instagram. By creating a “swipe up” link to your Instagram story you can share your content with your audience and drive traffic to your website.
Content creation is the next step. You have your goals and our techniques and now we need to put all of that into play. This is where value over volume matters. Many people believe that the more content you create, the more engagement you have. That is not true. How well are you connecting with your audience? Are they interested in what you’re posting? In an article by Ben Green from oktopost.com, he discusses a few key points to creating meaningful content. First, you need to establish your purpose. Whether you are writing to educate or entertain, you have to have an end goal in mind (your content strategy). You should always respond to current trends. This is a fast-pace world and you need to make sure that you’re creating content that is up to date and relevant to your users. It’s important always write in your voice and have your own spin on things, but you need to be covering topics that are new and now by creating new insights on whatever you are talking about. An important aspect in tying together your content strategy, content marketing and content creation is having a content calendar. This way, you can keep track of how your content will align with your goals and strategies. Never go in unprepared. This is content created with a purpose.
As you can see, there are clear differences between content strategy, marketing and creation. While the strategy focuses on creating clear goals, the marketing helps discover which channels it would best be delivered by and the creation is how you make your content meaningful and worthwhile. In order to successfully brand your organization, you need to do all three and make sure that all of their goals align with each other. If you do this, you’ll be able to create content that will have everyone talking.
Gaspar, Camden. “What Is Content Strategy? (With Examples).” MarketMuse, 10 Sept. 2020, blog.marketmuse.com/what-is-content-strategy/.
Green, Ben. “Content Creation & Content Marketing: Key Distinctions.” Oktopost, 23 July 2020, http://www.oktopost.com/blog/content-creation-and-content-marketing/.
McCoy, Julia. “The Difference Between Content Marketing & Content Strategy.” Search Engine Journal, Search Engine Journal, 2 Mar. 2020, http://www.searchenginejournal.com/content-marketing-vs-content-strategy/349392/.
Steimle, Josh. “What Is Content Marketing?” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 28 Jan. 2016, http://www.forbes.com/sites/joshsteimle/2014/09/19/what-is-content-marketing/?sh=3be32d3e10b9.