Cutting Edge

Content Strategy is a Hot Potato

Without strategy, the content is just stuff

Anida Krajina, spreading good vibes from the Balkans
14th April 2017

I keep advocating that having a content strategy is as important as having the strategy in general. It is not easy to imagine that you need a strategy for basically anything that you are dealing with in your business, but to your disappointment- you do. If you are not sure where to start or what to do, you are in the right place. Let me show you that content strategy is indeed a hot potato in your hands, but that you can deal with it.

Content creating dashboard in WordPress
Source: pixabay.com

Now read this aloud:

“I hereby swear never, ever, ever to say the words, ‘I can’t blog or speak at conferences or write articles or give a presentation to my boss or tweet or speak up at meetings because I don’t have anything interesting to say.”

Once more. WITH FEELING.

The best people are the ones that understand content. They’re a pain in the butt to manage, but you put up with it because they are so good.- Steve Jobs

The sentence above was my inspiration and you can originally find it in the book Content Strategy for the Web by Kristina Halvorson & Melissa Rach. Very readable material that guides you through the content marketing DO’s and DON’Ts in a fun way. I highly recommend it. The general message that I took from this book is that content is not about quantity but quality; it is possible to use and modify what you already have; it is important to listen people around you; there should be someone in charge for your content strategy only and you need to start working on it- now.

I give myself a freedom to assume that you have believed by writing down some text in a very nice way, creating some info- graphics or putting photos out there should done your do. Moreover, don’t you think you need to be an artist to do this? If you do, you are wrong (sorry). Creativity is indeed important. But…

Besides creativity, there is a basic skeleton that content marketing strategy should include:

  1. Business case
  2. Business plan
  3. Audience/ personas
  4. Brand story
  5. Channel plan

It is basically the path from the idea to the execution. Sounds like any other strategy, right? Well, more or less.

Every Business Can Create Content Strategy

Graphics are taken from the Trellis Blog

To make your day, I can tell you that this strategy can work like a charm. All you need is a little bit of initiative to learn by doing and use the tremendous source of information that already exists on the internet. I give you here a small bank of content marketing blogs, which you can dig into.

The EAT blog

IntentionalDesign

Content-ment

Grass Fed Content

Richard Ingram

Content-Science

Lucid Plot

Eating Elephant

Sarawb

And to spice it up a bit, if you are coming from the Balkans, then bingo- there is a perfect ultimate guide through anything that you can face in the digital world. Istok Pavlovic is one of the most influential bloggers in Serbia and his blog is a perfect example of creating relevant, appealing and easy- to- read content online. Check out his texts and use it for your inspiration. Maybe it is not an ultimate guide through content marketing, but I am telling you- you can learn a lot from Istok’s writing style.

Taken from pixabay.com

Content is where I expect much of the real money will be made on the Internet, just as it was in broadcasting.– Bill Gates

As a wrap-up, I am going to tell you a short story. It is my favorite content marketing failure of all times. If you think that what I have previously said is just a bunch of talking, maybe this will prove why content strategy is important to think about. Malaysia Airlines got stamped in 2014 by two plane crashes and more than 500 lost lives. In the same year, as an attempt to get out of the crisis, MAS launched a competition in Australia and New Zealand in which it said it was giving away free economy-class tickets and free iPads.

Contestants had to explain “What and where would you like to tick off on your bucket list?” If you are not sure what the mistake was, check out the definition of the “bucket list” at Merriam- Webster.

So, do you get my point now? The airline can at least be grateful that online gaffes can be deleted. But you need to be nimble enough to cancel a bad idea before it plays out. Start thinking about your content now.

Sources:

1. Content Marketing Institute: http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/

About the author:   

Anida-bms-profileAnida Krajina

PhD Student, Lecturer and Researcher at Faculty of Economics and Administration

Masaryk University 

www.econ.muni.cz

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