3 Questions You Must Ask to Build a Strong Content Strategy

3 Questions You Must Ask to Build a Strong Content Strategy

Reader Comments (18)

  1. Question #3 gives you clarity and confidence Lacy. Figuring out how to get there just makes everything so much easier. Focus on a few core strategies guys; master a few versus being a jack of all trades. Rocking post.

  2. This is so true, Lacy. Often clients get bogged down on getting traffic while they wish to make more money from their subscribers and increase their sales. No clear goals, no clear results. It’s as simple as you make it, define a goal, define a KPI, define a path to achieve it.

    The last point, and one of the hardest when it comes to content, is to track the results, especially given content is so damn hard to track. Attribution for content is a PITA, but it’s worth doing if you want to justify your client’s investment. Still, that’s something for another post (that’s an idea for a next post right there!).

    Thanks for the great post!

    • Absolutely! We’ve started building in a 6-month follow up with strategy clients to measure the results — because in our experience, so FEW of our clients were actually tracking. 😉

  3. Such a treat to have you on Copyblogger, Lacy! Loved this post — and it’s a great illustration that there’s no such thing as one single content strategy. It depends so much on the details of who, what, when, and why.

  4. You make great points, but I’d like to suggest that what you’re discussing is a content marketing strategy, not a content strategy, which would have a broader focus.

    Though it may seem like not picking, the terms can sometimes be so vague in our field, it’s worth trying to keep them consistent.

      • “Content strategy is about how you get content created, whether in-house, with the help of freelancers, or by hiring an agency. It also involves how to spread that content once it’s created.

        Content marketing strategy is mapping out the overall plan for what the content creators should be creating and spreading.”

        Me, last year. 🙂

          • I used the terms interchangeably too until Robert Rose set me straight on it. Makes sense, but ultimately most people just need some strategy period, you know? Glad to see you writing here (secret fan).

        • I was a stickler about the difference between content strategy and content marketing strategy after you wrote about it last year, via Robert Rose.

          But then how we talk about strategy seemed to evolve past the distinction, and I didn’t find it as useful anymore.

          Content + strategy (done right) = marketing

  5. I’ve been a fan (and student) of Lacy’s for a while now and I think this post is spot-on. I’m a writer and I built a list using one lead magnet (a collection of short stories) but then tried to launch fantasy novels to that list. Unsurprisingly, people weren’t really interested. But they ARE interested in other things I send them, so I’ll use that to pivot in a new direction! Tracking things makes it so much easier to see the bigger picture.

  6. What you said in the opening about how site owners are complaining that they’ve “tried it all!”. This part rings true for me. And, this is an issue I’m constantly facing. I’ve been a blogger and telecommuter since my daughter was born (about 15 years ago). I don’t depend on an outside job for family income. And, it’s an ideal solution for my family. But the thing that always gets me is when starting a site, there are a lot of little boxes you have to tick, like starting that email list. And, you think this is going to be the solution? And, then to find out (as you said), that such a small percentage of your email list actually care and who knows why the rest signed up. All these places you can use to drive traffic to your site and yet none of them working sometimes other than to just get traffic. But is that actually resulting in conversions? Sales? Is there any real income going on? This is my other constant gripe. So many circuitous routes to get to the money. We build information rich sites and people come there to get that free info and happy to take it, but not wanting to invest in courses, info seminars, etc. I guess the strategy now is different than when I started 15 years ago. Anyway, thanks so much for your insight into this issue.

    • I think you’re right, Beverly — the landscape HAS changed dramatically in the past 15 years.

      I don’t know what your blog is about, but I would suggest a couple of things: First, take a hard look at your lead magnet, and ask yourself if it’s really aligned with what you want to sell. A trick I often use is to ask myself, “What does the customer need right BEFORE they decide to invest with me?” and make THAT my lead magnet.

      Second, I would look at your strategy for what kind of content you’re putting out. I had the problem you seem to be describing where I wrote TONS of how-to content, and then no one was interested in buying a how-to course, because many thought they could get the info for free. But when I started writing more why-to posts, I have found I’m now driving a good deal more of the kinds of leads and traffic I want. (And I think this may be the topic of my next Copyblogger post, so stay tuned.)

      Thanks for your thoughts and comments! You’re not alone.

  7. Hi Lacy,

    This is a wonderful post that applies not only to a content strategy but also to how businesses function.

    Another thing I want to add is about being specific with goals or targets. Many businesses just say “more sales.”

    Is it 1 or 100 more? That could also affect the strategy. Businesses need to be specific so that a content marketer can understand clearly what failure or success means.

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