content strategy

What Is Content Strategy? A Working Definition

“All I want is some blog posts to put on my website. That’s it. And now you’re saying I need a content strategy too? This sounds...complicated.”

Have you had thoughts like these when working with a marketing consultant? If so, consider this pointed quote:

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As content creators, we understand that actually producing the content is only one part of the equation. Choosing content channels, adding calls to action, and researching keywords, among many other things--that is, working out the strategic function of the content--is just as important as getting the words on the page.

Which is why we’ve developed a working definition of the phrase “content strategy” that will hopefully provide a very concrete explanation of what we do and in turn, alleviate client concerns and elevate your expertise.

So let’s start there: What exactly is content strategy, and why does it matter?

The content marketing community uses several definitions for content strategy.

“A content strategy gives you the structure to decide what to publish, accounts for the resources you have, and helps you plan for the future.” --James Callan

“A content strategy is the high-level vision that guides future content development to deliver against a specific business objective.” --Hannah Smith and Adria Saracino

“A plan for adding unique, expert, and indexable content to your site on a regular basis.” --Mark O’Brien

“Content strategy is tocopywriting as information architecture is to design.” --Rachel Lovinger

I like that these definitions are very compact. Ours tries to take into account all of the concrete activities that underpin effective content. For us, content strategy is a framework for your content program that maps out your audience, goals, topics, authorship, SEO, timeline, delivery methods, promotion, and ROI. Content strategy tells you at a glance what you're creating, who's creating it, when it will be created, and most importantly, why it needs to be created.

Content strategy matters for both clients and creators because it sets expectations, speaks to larger business goals, and provides measurable benchmarks for success. Content without strategy is just a pile of aimless blog posts, eNewsletters, and promotional videos, barely better than placeholder text.

If you've been putting content out into the world without a clearly defined strategy to guide you, we'd love to help. Contact us today.

Anna Powers

Anna Powers is Co-founder of Orlando Content Marketing. For the past 15 years, Anna’s career has been shaped around content.