Content is not Enough; You Need a Strategy
You know that content is king, right?
It doesn’t matter if you are a fledgling writer spreading your wings in the world of content marketing or a mogul in the field resting on your laurels; you must have heard this mantra one gazillion times: content is king.
Well, yes and no. Content IS king, but a king without wise advisors and a ruling strategy to help rule the kingdom is a failed king.
So, if you are trying to promote your services or products, you should know that content alone is not enough, and you need a compelling strategy to succeed.
Here is what you need to know about a marketing strategy.
What is a Marketing Strategy?
In simple terms, a marketing strategy will define and set your business goals.
These goals include your ideal customers and how you plan to reach them. Which platforms will you use? What is your brand’s voice? How will you attract your customers and grab your audience’s attention?
In other words, your marketing strategy is the blueprint for any current and future marketing activities to achieve your goals, whatever these may be. Increase your clientele? Retain your existing customers? Approach a different population and introduce your products?
If you have a clear set of goals, you need a marketing strategy as a roadmap that will guide you towards these goals. Without a marketing strategy, you can create compelling content, killer blog posts, riveting social media posts, memorable videos, and everything else in between, and yet watch your painstaking efforts amount to nothing.
Think of it this way: without a strategy is like driving an expensive Ferrari to nowhere, while all you want to do is get to the beach and sip a margarita with a side of sunshine. Sure, the Ferrari will get the attention along the way (as stunning content usually does), but it will never get you any closer to that margarita you crave.
So, a marketing strategy consists of, but is not limited to:
The company’s vision and objectives
The brand’s voice
The ideal buyer personas
The position within the marketplace
The platforms that will be used to reach the ideal audience
The timeline for each individual action of the long term marketing plan
If my Ferrari argument was not convincing enough, here are some evidence-based, bulletproof reasons as to why you should invest in a strategy.
A Marketing Strategy Lets You Reach Out to Your Target Audience.
If you do not know who your ideal audience is, there is no way you can reach out to them. Sure, you can create awesome content that lists the excellent pros and attributes of your products and services, but you know what? Your audience does not want to hear any of these. Surprised?
You shouldn’t be. Your audience needs to know how you can alleviate their pain points and how your brand can make their lives easier. So your content should not really be focused on your products.
It should be focused on your audience, which means you need to have accurate buyer personas, which will help you pin down your audience, increasing your chances of selling to them.
Learn more about buyer personas here, here, and here.
A Marketing Strategy Allows You To Spend Money More Wisely.
Without a marketing strategy, you will be spending money here and there and everywhere except when money really needs to be spent. Without a clear plan in place, it is easy to invest money in marketing campaigns that will never get you the results you want. To get back to our Ferrari example, without a roadmap to the beach, you will be spending tons of money on your gas, essentially getting nowhere.
Successful brands are seen as reliable, authentic, and trustworthy. Throwing money into haphazard marketing campaigns (a blog post here, a social media post there, a newsletter once every five months, a magazine advertisement out of nowhere) will really do more harm than good. It will show that your brand does not have a unique voice, and the inconsistent efforts will make you seem as unprofessional and untrustworthy.
On the other hand, a well-defined marketing strategy will make sure that your budget is in the right order and allocated efficiently in marketing campaigns that are designed to reach your target audience and speak to them directly.
A Marketing Strategy Allows You To Set Your Objectives And Measure Your ROI
Without a clear marketing strategy, you will end up spending money on several different marketing campaigns, trying your luck here and there. Admittedly, not all of these attempts will be a failure, and some results may be shown. However, if you do not have clear goals, how will you be able to measure these intermittent successes (however big or small) against your ROI?
A marketing strategy will define your buyer personas and assess the best way to reach them, thereby focusing your campaigns on a more streamlined method. Moreover, a clearly set out strategy will have measurable goals and objectives, which will help you measure your return on investment. Do you want to rank higher in SERPs? Boost your organic traffic? Increase your followers on Facebook and Instagram? Increase your profits? Attract new customers or retain existing ones?
Whatever your goals, having them well defined and incorporated into your strategy will help you assess how close you are to achieving them.
A Marketing Strategy Helps Build Your Brand’s Voice and Stand Out From The Crowd
A marketing strategy helps keep all your marketing efforts consistent and relevant. This, in turn, helps build a recognizable voice for your brand and helps you stand out from the crowd.
From your engaging social media posts to Instagram hashtags, catchy twitter memes, to compelling blog posts, every piece of content you publish should be immediately recognizable as belonging to your brand.
This can only be achieved if you have a strong marketing strategy in place that acts as the blueprint for all your marketing efforts and all your content creations on every platform you choose to utilize.
So, why be everyone else when you can be yourself? Make your brand unique and attract your audience by speaking directly to them in a voice they can easily recognize as your own, no matter where you are speaking to them from.
Marketing Strategies and Margaritas
Content is king, but unfortunately, content is not enough. If you want your brand to be an instant hit with your audience and your marketing efforts to be a success, you need to have a marketing strategy in place.
To get back to our Ferrari example, margaritas are cool and all, but you need to use a roadmap to get to them. Otherwise, you might be stuck in your awesome Ferrari, sipping tap water, on your way to nowhere.