12 Feb Is your brand putting the right ideas in front of the right people at the right time?
Meet your audience where they are with content strategy
What makes copy ‘good’ or ‘bad’? Sometimes it’s the word choice – are you talking down to someone or writing over their head? Sometimes it’s the spelling and grammar – did you rush it out without a proofread? More often than not, it’s the flow – is it in an order that makes sense and emphasizes the right pieces of information at the right times?
Copy serves as a conduit between a message and a person. When you see a red octagonal sign on the side of the road, the copy says “STOP” but the message is ‘put your foot on the brake now.’ Content strategy makes sure that not only is your copy working in tandem with your visual, it’s also structured and delivered to maximize effectiveness.
Building (or re-visiting) a content strategy
Content plans, content structures, websites, blogs, apps, social channels, emails, events, presentations, videos, sales tools. That’s a lot of potential vehicles for content. Content strategy does the work of determining which media provide the most effective way for users to have a seamless, engaging, and memorable experience with a brand.
Content strategists work to develop content that reaches the audience where they are, and hones in on the most important channels. They strike the perfect balance between resources for campaigns, for core brand elements, and for owned content like blogs and social media. If customers most often find your brand via search engine, perhaps your strategy should focus on a content-rich website with videos and a blog in order to improve search rankings.
Structure & Flow
Structuring copy is an essential component of content strategy. Even great copy loses its shine when it’s not formatted in a way that readers or viewers can understand instantly. A content strategist works to structure website and app content in the most user-friendly, aesthetically pleasing way. Similarly, content strategy should inform the flow of presentation decks and video scripts.
In addition to the structure of each individual piece of content, content strategy involves the alignment of all marketing materials under the same messaging guidelines. It’s important that customers receive a cohesive experience with your brand, regardless of how they encounter you.
Solid content strategy is not
You know that saying, “It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it?” Copywriting is what you say; content strategy is the plan behind how you say it.
- Copy should always be informed by decisions about media placement, structure and flow, and balance.
- Even exceptional copy won’t draw in your audience if it’s confusing or in the wrong place.
Part of the review process
Content strategy should be the first step in the content creation process, not thrown in during final editing.
- Content strategists form a vision for content that guides the rest of the development process toward your goal.
- Don’t wait until you’ve created all of your deliverables and realize you don’t have a unified strategy. Invest in content strategy early on.
Spelling + Grammar
While spelling and grammar are important, content strategy takes a more high-level, audience-focused look at content.
- Readability is king. Focus your content strategy on user experience – that’s who you’re writing for after all.
- It’s ok to break an old-school grammar rule every so often if it improves the tone or flow of the content. Go ahead, start a sentence with “But,” assuming you have a good reason.
Connecting the dots
Content without content strategy is like a list of ingredients without a recipe. When no one knows more about your brand than you, it can be hard to step back, take a look at the bigger picture, and connect all of the dots. If you’re feeling unsure about how to best deliver your messaging, an outside strategist may give you the outside perspective you need.
A content strategist aligns your copy under one theme to deliver purpose, clarity, and a beautiful final product. If you’re looking for a fresh approach to your content marketing, Modicum has your back. Reach out to us anytime.