Strategy. It’s a simple word that makes a lot of marketers want to run and hide.

In my team’s 2017 research, we found that 32 percent of organizations that are doing content marketing don’t have a formal strategy. Are you guilty? I’ve sometimes felt overwhelmed by strategy too, but I’ve figured out a way to make “content strategy” completely approachable.

Think Simple

Through a lot of trial and error, I’ve learned that a good content strategy IS NOT:

  • Complicated.
  • 15 pages long.
  • Buried in a long list of personas, historical data and vision statements.
  • Full of complicated charts and data points.

A good content strategy IS:

  • Simple.
  • Just a few sentences.
  • Visible to everyone on your team.
  • Flexible enough to evolve with your business and your customers’ needs.

In his book “Get Scrappy,” marketer Nick Westergaard suggests thinking of strategy as a map. When you make your strategy forward-looking and action-oriented, you take some of the stigma out of strategy.

Answer These Questions to Build a Content Strategy

Let’s do a quick exercise. If you’re responsible for delivering a content strategy and you aren’t sure where to start, try answering these questions:

  • What are our big ideas?
  • Who is the very specific audience we’re trying to reach with those ideas?
  • What channels are we going to use to reach them?
  • What action do we want our audience to take?
  • How will we measure success?

You’ll know you’re going in the right direction if everyone on your team can describe your content strategy in a few sentences. Simplifying your content strategy opens up new opportunities, because it gives your team the freedom to experiment and iterate, grounded in the big ideas you set as the foundation of your strategy.