Solving the content trap

You’ve probably already fallen into the content trap. You are creating tons of content because you heard and read multiple times of the importance of content marketing. Eventually, you’ve created a lot of click-bait blog posts, Facebook postings, tweets, and a completely redesigned website. However, you end up focusing on short-term success and don’t see any relation between your content and your initial mission.

Connecting the dots

It happened to my clients and to my own projects. We’ve been creating editorial plans, crafting stories for their social media channels and redesigned websites. But we’ve never connected the dots between content and strategy.

So, how can you solve this? How is it possible to align your content with your business goals?

The answer might be a content strategy. You might initially think of content marketing. However, content marketing seems to be a pretty overused term in marketing nowadays, although there is still a massive lack of understanding. Agencies are trying to sell “content marketing” and actually provide copywriting or social media management.

Content marketing vs. content strategy

Although being connected to each other, content marketing and content strategy are two very different practices. Content marketing is mainly about the story and the channels, which are used to develop customer relationships. Content strategy encompasses the creation, publication, and governance of useful, usable content. It’s the planning aspects of managing content throughout its lifecycle. It can also be seen as the management of pretty much any tangible media.

As content strategists, we have to develop a strategy that supports business goals and delivers value.

As you can see, the two approaches are different, but in fact, they could be assigned to one person or a team within an organization. This difference and definition is and was an unsolved mystery for me for a long time. But maybe, we don’t even need a perfect definition for content strategy just like my fellow student Melanie wrote on her blog.

Content Strategists
Content strategists have to think long-term.

The business of content strategists

Now you might ask yourself, what are content strategists actually doing?

Whether content strategists are working in agencies, large enterprises or as freelancers, their daily business seems to be rich in variety just as described on the Open Educational Resources Blog of the Content Strategy Master programme in Graz. They need to see “the full picture” and should be rather multi-talented. Like Rahel Bailie mentioned in one of our webinars at the FH Joanneum Graz, content strategists think about everything – “they are like architects“. The discipline of content strategy will continue to develop and change as our understanding grows. And that’s why content strategy is so exciting for me.

I really like Rahel Bailie’s view that “content strategists are the doctors of the content world. Content strategists are usually reached out to diagnose content problems and to write a “prescription” to solve these problems.

Nevertheless, to successfully solve these problems we need to get the right stakeholders involved.