People often think that a content marketing strategy and a brand strategy are the same. They aren’t. In fact, the lack of understanding of both is the main reason most people get frustrated and the main reason with their marketing efforts becomes a waste of time and money. So it’s important to understand not just what each is but how they relate to each other.
Brand Strategy vs Content Marketing Strategy
What Is a Brand Strategy?
A brand strategy encapsulates and articulates who you are, why you exist, what you do, and how you communicate. It’s the foundation of your business.
Creating your brand strategy is not a one-day exercise. It requires deep thinking, creative thinking, This includes:
Articulating your brand core (vision, mission, values, and purpose)
Understanding the people you’re trying to reach
Identifying your brand positioning (compared to your competitors)
Crafting brand messaging ( USP, tagline, brand stories, etc.)
Creating your brand identity and guidelines (brand voice, tone, visual identity, etc.)
Creating a content marketing strategy to help you achieve your business goals (this includes your content strategy)
Your brand strategy informs your content strategy, and your content strategy helps execute your brand strategy. Ultimately, they both serve the same goal: to strengthen and grow your brand.
What Is a Content Marketing Strategy?
A content strategy is a way to execute your brand strategy; it’s a marketing tool to communicate who your brand is and what you’re about—through content.
Crafting a content strategy can feel overwhelming, and it does take time. You might have to hit the pause button on your content machine, reallocate some funds for branding or rebranding. But it’s crucial to do so to provide clarity, create a measurable framework, and empower business to work more effectively. And that’s the key to great content marketing.
Additionally, a documented strategy helps you track your own thinking and strategy. The more you test, the smarter you get.
How to Make Sure Your Content Marketing Strategy Supports Your Brand Strategy
The relationship between brand and content marketing can be murky if you’ve jumbled them all together. This makes each ineffective and leads to a lot of frustration. To avoid this, here are a few tips to help keep things clear.
If You Don’t Have A Brand Strategy Get One. It may seem inconvenient to dismantle the house and start from scratch. But if you don’t have a solid brand strategy, you can’t work effectively or efficiently. It’s especially important because your brand strategy should influence everything you do.
Know Who You’re Trying to Reach. Your content can’t make an impact if people don’t care about it. You need to know what will strike a chord with people. That means you need to learn more about the people you’re trying to reach and what they are going through right now. A content strategy fills in the gaps here, pushing you to define (and document) who they are, what motivates them, where they are in the buyer’s journey, and what problems you can help them solve through content. It also helps you identify the right channels to reach them so that you can identify not just the stories to tell but the formats that will resonate best.
Design matters. A well-thought-out strategy is critical, but design is equally important. Creating content that is on-brand, consistent, and easy to navigate is crucial to appeal to people and make content easier to comprehend.
Content Strategy isn’t permanent. Most importantly, as you begin to implement your content strategy, remember to experiment, test, and tweak according to your needs. A good brand strategy provides a foundation, but it’s content strategy, is not set in stone. The more adaptable you are, the more effective you’ll be.
Ask for help if you need it. If you’re stuck with your content strategy or need a fresh pair of eyes, I’m always happy to have a chat about it.