Ben Young
Ben Young
March 13, 2023

Content marketing strategy is a marketing strategy that seeks to leverage content marketing to deliver on an organization’s marketing objectives. The plan of action, enables organizations to be more effective in their content marketing efforts and communicate areas that they want to change.

Elements of a content strategy are:

  • Objective, what it is you are trying to achieve.
  • Audience or target market, who you are trying to impact.
  • Insights or intelligence about the audience.
  • The objective of your content, what impact you want to have with your audience.
  • Outcomes, the tangible and measurable outcomes from our efforts.
  • Timing, relevant timings/launch dates.
  • Budget/resources available or required to execute on the plan.
  • Existing assets that can be leveraged. Assets that need to be created.
  • Competitive and/or market landscape.

These help provide an overview of what you are trying to achieve and how you are going to get there. From this, more near-term plans can be crafted.

Often teams will use a collaborative tool, to help bring these projects to life. Like ASANA, Notion or Google Docs.


One Page Content Plan

Starting with a simple content plan is a good idea, to get started with. Then you can use this as a framework to build everything out if you need to go deeper.

There is an example of a Content Strategy here, which you can download, copy or work to.

The best strategy is the one you use.

Relevant reading:


Scale matters with content marketing

In smaller organizations, the content marketing strategy is THE marketing plan. However for larger organizations, it is integrated into the wider marketing plan, and has to balance competing demands.

When evaluating strategies, this needs to be kept in mind. What is going to work best, for the business problem I have and where we are today.


Content marketing plans aren’t always about marketing

Content is a versatile strategy and can be used in many parts of organizations. Some examples of how content is being used to deliver on different business objectives.

  • Investor relations, communicating with our investors effectively.
  • Employer branding, growing an employers brand and attracting high quality applicants.
  • Product education, educating the market about more complex products.
  • Thought leadership, the most popular strategy for content marketing, to build an organization or leaders brand.
  • Upskilling or educating current customers.

These often boil down to a statement like this, We will create content to help our customers do X. Which helps deliver on our marketing objective of Y. Which helps our business move forward by Z.


Helpfulness is a key theme in content marketing strategies

Delivering on being helpful, being in service of the customer is a common theme in content strategies. It is also the predominant thread in the most successful examples, they were helpful at scale.

Being helpful, providing real utility, helps drive word of mouth. Which helps fuel more success in content. Word of mouth marketing is intertwined with content, a prospect is trying to solve a problem, content helps solve it, so they share it.

Relevant reading:




Content Creation Strategies

A content creation strategy, stems from the content marketing strategy. Often it can be intertwined. It is the translation layer, where the rubber meets the road and the strategy gets turned into content, that will have impact.

This includes:

  • Types of content we will create.
  • References of the content we aspire to create.
  • Stylistic parameters or creative guidelines.
  • Templates, brand guidelines and existing assets.
  • Themes, topics or research that can be utilized.

A useful framework for bringing this to life is here.

Going through a process like this, helps deliver content, where achieving the goals will be easy. Too often, the reason a strategy is ineffective, is because of poor content or poor distribution.


Measurement strategies

Any strategy needs content measurement to help understand success, demonstrate transparency and accountability.

This closes the loop, you have created content, and this is how we measured its success.

This can include things like:

  • People, how many people consuming your content
  • Impact on them, how much attention, scroll or engagement they had with the content (i.e. it is working).
  • Downstream actions, leads, sign ups, product views, purchases. To demonstrate the audience is taking the desired action.

On that journey, many use benchmarks or content scorecards, to check that their content is performing as expected to deliver on results.

Relevant reading:



How long should it take to develop a content strategy?

It could be as fast as a few hours, but typically will take longer. 

Developing the plan is often an ongoing exercise, with updates and adjustments made over time. 

How frequently should you update your content strategy?

It should be significantly reviewed each year, in alignment with your business and overarching marketing objectives. Then quarterly with refinements to your tactics and feedback from your measurement.


This is part of Guide to Content Marketing.