Why Content Strategy Is Important & How To Create Your Own

Alex Haswell

Alex Haswell

If you’re struggling to understand what a content strategy is and why you need one, we’ve put together this article including 5 reasons why content strategy is more important than ever and 5 actionable steps you can follow to develop your own.

What is a content strategy?

As a business owner with an online presence, you may have asked questions such as ‘how can I leverage my website to increase revenue?’ or ‘how can I connect better with my customers?’. Well, developing an effective content strategy is one of the many tactics that can be employed to achieve these ends.

Content can come in many forms, with some of the most popular being written, video, audio, images and infographics. No matter the type of content you think may be useful in promoting your brand or business, it’s important that you consider how that content should be created and presented to your audience.

Simply put – a content strategy is a plan of action for creating, publishing and improving content in line with some stated goals or objectives.

For many businesses their content strategy amounts to the occasional blog post, which is often written on a topic chosen almost at random. But to those who invest the appropriate resources, a content strategy can be instrumental in building customer trust and long-term traffic growth.

Why content strategy is important?

It’s not often that you’ll find a business these days that’s succeeding online without a concerted effort to publish quality content on a consistent basis. Below, you’ll find 5 of the biggest benefits that can be realised with the implementation of a sound content strategy.

Understanding your customers and their queries

The evolving interests of your market are reflected in the kinds of content your audience is consuming. These interests are likely to change over time, and without a strategy dedicated to understanding them you’re likely to fall behind competitors who do.

A great content strategy not only gives you direction in your content creation mission, but also reveals the interests of your visitors and how they pursue these interests via search engines.

By nailing down which search engine queries are gaining traction and how content engagement trends are changing over time, you’ll be developing a deeper understanding of market shifts and customer desires than those who aren’t developing their own content strategy.

Simplicity

Every business understands the value of simplicity; the less complicated something is, the easier it typically is to complete or accomplish. A dedicated content strategy might be complex to develop initially, but really begins to pay off in the long run by giving you a clear direction of travel.

The last thing you want is a marketing department who are constantly stumped, trying to brainstorm their latest blog post at the eleventh hour. With a strategy in place, clear deadlines can be set, briefs can be generated and targets can be hit. An agreed upon strategy provides clarity which leads to simplicity.

Tracking & progress

As with any business goal, it’s important to regularly review your progress and take stock of how far you’ve moved towards (or away from) what you’re trying to achieve. A content strategy allows you to set realistic KPIs relating to the performance of your content. Without taking the time to understand what metrics you should be tracking and what performance to expect, it’s impossible to use this data for continuous improvement.

Efficiency

Content marketing is a time-consuming effort, especially when you’re trying to guess your way to increased traffic or more leads. By electing to create a detailed content marketing strategy, you’ll have the understanding you need to generate the content that your audience wants to see. Ultimately, you’ll be spending less time and money developing content pieces that are likely to fail in achieving your objectives.

Growing your business – content that converts

Probably the benefit that most businesses are keenest to realise is the increased rate of conversion from your content. Ever wondered why the products or services you link to or promote in your content aren’t seeing any increase in uptake or sales? Without a content marketing strategy that is based on a solid understanding of your audience and sound content creation principles, you’re going to struggle to get it converting into revenue.

Content Strategy in Practise

Here are our top 5 tips for implementing your own content strategy. You can always add additional stages to this process if you think it will add value, but these are the ones that you certainly shouldn’t skip if you want an actionable strategy.

1. Target audience & buyer personas

Every content marketing strategy starts with this crucial question – who do I want to attract to my website?

By pondering this all-important question, you’re trying to understand not only who your core customers are, but what really drives them in their search and content engagement behaviour.

When considering our target audience, we’re taking a bird’s-eye view of the groups of people who may be interested in what we have to offer. Demographics are key here – age, gender, nationality and race are some of the most popular factors to take note of. How might these characteristics impact how they consume or look for content?

We can go further in this audience exploration by creating buyer personas, enabling us to take a slightly closer look at our typical buyer. A buyer persona is distinct from the target audience due to its more focused nature – you can create an imaginary individual including their name, job title, background, goals and challenges.

This process should give you a good understanding of who you are creating your content for, allowing you to use a style that mirrors their preferences and include material that addresses their possible concerns.

2. Content audit

Assessing your current content library is an often-overlooked part of many content strategies. Too frequently do strategies focus on the development of new content, while neglecting existing material.

By performing an audit, you’ll be able to see which content has performed below your expectations and which has performed above. Use this information to guide future content efforts, in addition to drawing up a list of content that can be improved, discarded or even integrated into other content (such as by combining two written pieces into one).

This process will also help outline which topics you’re yet to cover, thus highlighting some useful gaps when it comes to planning content for future campaigns.

3. Production plan

Arguably one of the most prominent elements of your content strategy, this is where you’ll consider how to align your target audience and persona qualities with your content. At this stage, you’re aiming to establish content genre, format and subject matter.

If it’s a written piece of work, this is also where you would use common SEO techniques, such as keyword research, to help inform your production plan.

4. Timeline

Unless you plan on creating and publishing your content all at once, it’s likely that you’ll want to establish an editorial calendar with specific briefs and deadlines. This can be one of the most difficult things to implement properly, as it’s often the case that other work (such as client work) takes priority and briefs begin to get rushed or abandoned. Nothing will hinder the implementation of your content strategy more than this.

5. Channel & distribution plan

With a multitude of platforms available to share every kind of content, you’ll want to consider how best to deploy your content for maximum effect. Popular options include:

  • A webpage or blog
  • Social media
  • Email marketing
  • Video sharing websites
  • Offline – print media, letters, adverts, etc

It’s often most effective to use a single platform to host the original content, with secondary channels used to drive indirect traffic. For example, publishing a YouTube video which can be embedded on a webpage and shared via social media.

Things to keep in mind…

Long-term strategies require long-term dedication

It’s important to remember that implementation of a content strategy occurs over a long period of time. Unless you have an army of writers with unlimited time on their hands, it’s likely that you’ll be creating, publishing and evaluating content according to your strategy over a period of weeks and months. Do not get disappointed when your first few pieces of content fail to see huge traffic numbers or get immediate first page SERP results.

A well-considered content strategy will aim to build a topical authority within a specific niche. Your goal is to offer your readers no reason to leave your site, as they know they can find everything they need in one place – your website. Reaching this point will take a long time.

Be consistent – stick with your editorial calendar

Whether you’ve decided to create 3 pieces per month or 10, it’s important that you keep up with your editorial calendar. Nothing will set you back or derail your content strategy like missed deadlines. It becomes easier to justify skipping pieces when you’re already behind on your planned publishing dates, and nothing will negatively impact you more than an abandoned strategy.

Never sacrifice quality just to publish.

While it’s important to ensure you keep with your editorial calendar, it’s equally as important to ensure you’re not simply publishing for publishing’s sake. We’ve all been there – deadlines are looming and word counts seem daunting; keep quality at the forefront of your mind.

EEAT is a term normally used when discussing written content within the context of SEO and Google’s quality guidelines, but that doesn’t mean you can’t embody these principles within all your work to ensure quality is maintained.

  • Experience – ensure the content reflects the fact that you have first-hand experience with the subject matter.
  • Expertise – display your expertise within the given field. Remember, if your website is dedicated to a particular niche or you’re being paid to work in a particular field, you should be looking to demonstrate that fact through expert knowledge and understanding of the subject matter.
  • Authority – you should be framing yourself as a qualified individual and source whose guidance is accurate and consistently correct.
  • Trustworthiness – search engines and people don’t like websites or content that look like spam or scams. Look to create content that can be trusted by virtue of its quality, sources, and structure.

How can Browndog help with your content strategy? Whether you need help with your blog content, landing pages, corporate video or animations, we can design a content strategy that engages your customers and puts you on a path towards long-term web growth.

You can book a call with us today for a friendly chat with one of our content strategy experts.

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How much does a good website cost to build?

  • A brochure site (a place to share information about your products or services) will cost between £6,000-£12,000 depending on the volume of pages, functional elements and any bespoke design requests you may have.
  • An ecommerce website (a place where you can sell your products or services and visitors can complete their transaction online) will cost from £10,000.
  • If you’re looking for completely bespoke design or just a website refresh, we’ll be happy to chat with you and provide a quote for your requirements.

We’ve developed over 200 websites. You can look at our catalogue of work here and chat with our clients if you’d like to get a feel for what it’s like to work with our team before we become partners in your project.

When you work with us, you’ll get that perfect combination of great design and technical development from our whole team, not just one person.

How long does it take to build a website?

Before we start any work, we’ll share a project plan which will include deadlines for providing content, and we’ll keep you updated if the expected times change.

Writing keyword-rich copy will keep visitors on your website and encourage them to work with you. If writing isn’t for you or you just don’t have time, we can produce a content plan on your behalf.

Why you need a website

Most customers will expect you to have a website and may question your legitimacy as a business if they can’t find you online. When a potential customer does find you, what should their first impression be? You want them to be confident when buying from you and to have a good feeling about your brand.

If growing your business is a goal, then having a website is a great place to gain leads. Using the right mix of keywords and a thorough digital marketing plan, you can become good friends with Google! Google will play a significant role in helping your customers find you online and giving you a positive return on investment for the cost of your website and online strategy.

Even the most basic of websites should serve as an informative tool to answer frequently asked customer questions and offer your first port of call for customer service. Your opening times, address and latest news or offers should be easy to find. Ultimately, the better your website is, the easier it will be to find, and a great website will help you to reach more customers.

Being online helps you to reach a much bigger pool of customers than a bricks and mortar store. Your website can be the key to extended success, with no limits on the scope of your customer geography other than your product/service capabilities.

Working with an agency like Browndog will give you a technically sound, fresh and functional website which is responsively designed, and provides consistent brand messaging for your customers. We’ll also take the guess work out of your online strategy and make sure your website is targeting the right customer segments to increase sales opportunities and raise brand awareness.

How much does it cost?

  • A marketing campaign animation or company/product introduction between 90-120 seconds in length will cost between £2,500 and £3,000. This will depend on the length of the video, the content, and any additional options such as a voice over or music. Don’t worry, we can guide you through best practice and find a plan that fits for you.
  • If you’d like us to produce a logo ident or gif animations for you to use on social media and in smaller campaigns, you can expect to pay between £250-£300. This will be a much smaller brief and will take less time than a campaign animation.
  • We’re more than happy to put together a bespoke package for you to include multiple campaign videos, logo idents, voice overs and photography or videography as needed. We do it all!

You can look at our catalogue of work here and chat with our clients if you’d like to get a feel for what it’s like to work with our team before we become partners in your project. 

How long does it take to produce an animation?

But here’s the kind of time you can expect your animation to take:

  • Marketing campaign animations – this will usually take us about three weeks to prepare. We like to allow a week for content and styling, followed by storyboarding and revisions. Finally, we’ll take another week to animate your work. These things are a work of art, you can’t rush them (and we won’t).
  • Logo idents, gifs and short animations – we estimate that this will take up to two weeks.

Are you ready to get started? Send us your brief today or give us a call to talk through your ideas. We’re a friendly bunch!*

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What kind of animations can we help with?

Ideally, your marketing strategy will include a range of media content to achieve the greatest engagement and response from your audience.

We can help with animations and videos that include company and product introductions, as well as content for specific marketing campaigns. These types of animations can showcase who you are, and what you have to offer. Plus, they are an exciting way to launch a new product or service and get your customers on board.

When you work with us on your branding, why not include a logo ident to add that extra bit of personality to your business and content, setting you apart from your competitors.

Another growing area for animated content is social media and your website. We produce gifs, short video clips and motion graphics for use on web pages and in social posts. This is a great way to captivate the viewers’ attention, share your brand values and advertise your latest campaign or event.

Finally, when you work with us on your website, we highly recommend adding a range of graphics, animations and videos to keep visitors on your site and share your messaging in captivating ways. We’ve provided many website banners and short looping animations for our clients.

We will guide you through each of your animation journey, from assessing the content that will work best for you, to how long your animated content should be and where it should be placed.

Why is animation an important element of your content strategy?

Not only is it effective but using animation can be a cost-saving way to grab the attention of your audience and keep them looking at your content for longer. It’s considerably cheaper than producing recorded video footage because it can be easily edited and updated when needed.

Animation is the fastest growing type of content created by marketers for use on websites and social media, so if you’re not doing it yet, now is the time to start…

We understand that sometimes it can be difficult to explain complex ideas, products or services in text form or with images. That’s why many of our clients work with us to produce animations that take the information off the page and jump out at the audience.

Most importantly, animation has been proven to boost conversion rates on your website. Users are significantly more engaged and more likely to spend longer on your site or complete an action, such as filling in a contact form.

How will animation help my marketing strategy?

Animation is a powerful marketing tool and a great way to show some personality in your brand, making you more memorable (think: the Aldi carrot or the Netflix Tudum).

One of the great benefits of animation is that it can help you to share a lot of information in just a few seconds, because sometimes that’s all the time you have to attract a user’s attention.