Content strategy is the practice of creating, governing, and measuring content that meets business goals and audience needs. In practice, it encompasses a dizzying array of activities and deliverables, from creative ideation to research to content models and taxonomies. No matter what type you practice, the key word is “strategy”: At its core, it is about ensuring that content is deliberate—that it is created and deployed thoughtfully in service of a greater goal.
Although it has come into its own in the past few years, content strategy is still an emerging discipline, and defining it is an ongoing conversation. Some use it as a synonym for “content marketing strategy” (though there’s a compelling argument that this is incorrect), while others say it’s about planning and creating tools such as content templates, and still others focus on the interpersonal and organizational aspects of getting stakeholders aligned and defining processes for content. Subcategories include website, product, (sometimes known as content design or UX writing), social media, and support content strategy.
Deliverables vary greatly based on the project and the business or client need. In some cases, it results in a strategy framework (sometimes known as a “content strategy document”), which includes a detailed analysis of existing content along with a summary of content goals as they relate to business goals, and a game plan for creation and governance of new content. But deliverables can also include any of the following:
Too often, businesses approach content creation with the goal of churning out as much of it as possible, without regard to quality or value. By contrast, strategy is about taking a step back. A content strategist must think critically, dig deep, and identify the real content need—which might be different from the initial request or what a stakeholder wants. And with the complex information and long sales cycles that accompany a B2B context, thinking strategically is even more crucial to ensuring that content is persuasive and user friendly.
Taking the time to consider your strategy, create a roadmap, and define goals can make a powerful difference in the effectiveness of your B2B marketing content.