An Introduction to Content Marketing & Strategy

Marketing content is part of a client’s value journey.

Here’s a marketing secret. Your marketing content should align with your client’s value journey.

For example, do you ask cold prospects for an email address on your website but give nothing in return? Once hired, how do you keep your client connected to your company beyond the work? And how do you stay in touch with previous clients?  

Each piece of your marketing content matters. It should have a purpose. It should talk to your audience according to their stage in the value journey and move them towards the next.

Here is a typical instance of content marketing in the real world. You meet a prospective client at an event. You exchange business cards or contact details. You follow up with an email, and the potential client looks at your website. Now the client is aware of your business. That’s the first step on the value journey.

Here’s another one. A current client refers you to a potential client. The lead looks at your website to validate and research your credentials. Your current client sends an email introduction to connect you to their contact. You reply with an offer to chat and a link to your website and socials. The potential client might revisit your online properties.

This is a simple example, but each touchpoint is content. The business card, the email signature, the email, the website, and your social properties are all part of the value journey. Do they meet your client where they are and help them move ahead?

How is content marketing a strategy?

Content marketing produces material for a specific audience for a particular purpose. With so many digital platforms and properties, it’s essential to be organized and purposeful to be effective.

Like any good strategy, a content strategy will include most of the following.

Inside a Content Marketing Strategy

Business objectives

Marketing objectives

Mission, vision, values

Unique selling point/value proposition

Point of view

Current digital audience analysis

Competitive content analysis

Content performance to date

Content & messaging whitespace

Brand framework

Brand archetype

Detailed personas

The customer value journey

Client/product grid

Definition of content pillars to guide social media marketing

Content inventory

Quick wins

How does the client value journey relate to a content marketing strategy?

The client value journey is a purposeful way to organize your content. It is more detailed than other marketing frameworks because it accounts for digital marketing. Marketing is more like Snakes and Ladders nowadays than moving down a funnel.

However, older models are not obsolete. We can map them to the client value journey and your marketing content. By these models, I mean the marketing funnel with three stages: the top, middle, and bottom. Another example is the AIDA model has four: awareness, interest, desire, and action.

What does content mean in marketing?

The following are pieces of content

  • Images
  • Creative
  • Assets
  • Graphics
  • Copy
  • Emails
  • Webinars
  • Quizzes
  • Blog posts
  • Articles
  • Podcasts
  • Video
  • Banners
  • Ad copy and creative
  • Social media posts
  • Polls
What are some types of content marketing?

At a high level, I put marketing content in these buckets.

  • Social Media
  • Email
  • Website
  • Social Media

Marketing content is supported by

Some Advice: Establish the content objective before selecting a content type.

Businesses frequently make the mistake of choosing a type of content before understanding the point of the content they wish to share. After all, it’s more tangible to say you want the business on TikTok before considering what kind of little videos you could make. Or knowing whether your potential audience will meet a marketing objective or move them along the customer value journey. It all comes back to objectives.

Some Advice: For Website Content Marketing

As I said on the Digital Marketing page about SEO,

On-site SEO helps the people looking for you find you. You achieve this by using the words they use to search and by producing high-quality, lengthy copy.

Use their search words, not yours.

Content Marketing Framework

So, what is a content marketing service? What does a content marketing specialist do?

In my case, I use the following framework. I offer the strategy and plan in my six-month content plan.

Strategy

Business objectives, mission, vision, values, unique selling point/ value proposition, point of view, current digital audience analysis, quick wins, content performance to date, competitive analysis, identifying messaging whitespace, brand framework, brand archetype, detailed target audience personas, the customer value journey, client/product grid, definition of content pillars to guide social media marketing, SEO keywords, content inventory.

Plan

An editorial-level content calendar with objectives and a theme that maps back to the value journey’s stages. The editorial calendar lays out the theme, rationale, and strategy by platform or communications vehicle. A detailed level content plan for each month with a concept for each piece of content.

Execution

Preparing the content. Writing, producing, filming, designing, collecting creative assets, and sending/publishing/scheduling content across email, blogs, social media, and other platforms.

Reporting

Monthly or quarterly reviews reporting against KPIs. Analysis and making recommendations.

Content Marketing Vs. …

Content Marketing Vs. Thought Leadership

Thought leadership is simply a kind of content that you can share. It can take any form, such as a video, a blog post, a whitepaper, a speech, a webinar, or a podcast.

Content Marketing Vs. Storytelling

You can use storytelling techniques in your content.

Content Marketing Vs. Social Media

Social media is a kind of content marketing.

Marketing Content Vs. Collateral

They mean the same thing to me. The word collateral is powerful because your marketing content is an asset.

Content Marketing Vs. Copywriting

Copywriting is writing content.

Content Marketing Vs. SEO

Search engine optimization is a technique to make your digital content search-worthy by the people who want to find it.

Page was last updated on November 11, 2022.