Content Marketing
Why Documenting Your Content Marketing Strategy Is So Important

Why Documenting Your Content Marketing Strategy Is So Important

April 2, 2024
6 min read

Since you’re reading this post, chances are you’ve got more than a passing interest in content marketing. So, you likely have some sort of game plan for creating and sharing content. But, is your content strategy documented?

If you’re shaking your head at that, don’t worry—you’re in good company. Many marketers find themselves in the same boat, navigating the vast content marketing sea without a documented map. But, these days, a content strategy document isn’t just a nice-to-have—it’s a must-have.

From aligning your team to enhancing your online visibility, the benefits are clear. In this article, you’ll discover how a solid, written-down content strategy can transform your marketing from good to great.

Quick Takeaways

  • Having a documented content strategy is a common trait among successful marketers, with 80% of the most successful ones maintaining a documented strategy.  
  • A documented content strategy enhances your online presence, making it easier for your audience to discover and engage with your content. 
  • Clearly planned content not only attracts more leads but also fosters deeper engagement with your audience, leading to higher conversion opportunities.  
  • Regularly delivering valuable content through a well-documented strategy builds your reputation as an authoritative source in your field. 

Why Have A Content Strategy Document?

You may think it’s enough that you and your team have a clear idea of where you’re going with your content strategy, and you don’t need to put it down on paper. However, you might want to change your opinion on this.

Having a documented content marketing strategy is a key indicator of success. According to Semrush, 80% of the most successful marketers have a documented strategy and 52% of the least successful companies do not.

graphic shows that 80% of the most successful marketers have a documented strategy and 52% of the least successful companies do not

Image Source: Semrush

But why does getting your content strategy down on paper have such a dramatic impact on your marketing performance? There are a few factors at play here.

The Benefits of a Documented Content Strategy

The respondents of the above survey cited several benefits to documenting their content strategy:

graphic highlights benefits of having a b2b content strategy document

Image Source: Semrush

  • Online Visibility: A documented content strategy boosts your presence on the web, making it easier for your audience to find you. When you’re easier to find, more people can learn about what you offer.
  • Leads: With a clear plan, your content attracts more potential customers, increasing your chances of conversions. More leads mean more opportunities to sell your products or services.
  • Authority: Consistently delivering valuable content establishes you as a trusted leader in your field. When people trust you, they’re more likely to listen to what you have to say.
  • Customer Engagement: A strategic approach to content fosters deeper interactions and connections with your audience. Engaged customers are more likely to stick around and recommend you to others.
  • Budget: Demonstrating the success of your content strategy can unlock additional funding to enhance your marketing efforts. With more budget, you can create even better content and reach more people.

It’s well known that writing down your goals can mean the difference between success and failure. Thinking up goals and neglecting to put them down on paper is simply not enough. It’s thought that the process of writing (or typing) your goals helps to cement them in your brain. This ensures you won’t forget them and helps your mind focus on what’s important.

Essentially, documenting your content strategy is key to your eventual success in content marketing. Your strategy forms a roadmap that can guide you toward a successful outcome. Would you try to memorize a map showing a complicated route to your needed destination? Or would you just take the map with you so you could refer to it on your journey and avoid getting lost?

Why Doesn’t Everyone Document Their Content Strategy?

So, if having a documented content strategy is so important, why isn’t everyone doing it? The Content Marketing Institute has carried out research into why so few marketers are documenting their strategy.

By reviewing these common reasons, you might see some familiarity with your own reasons, which can motivate you to overcome these roadblocks.

1. Neglecting to Make Strategy a Priority

It’s understandable that fitting in the time to create yet another document when you’re busy with all the other aspects of successful marketing can seem like a waste of time.

If this sounds like you, you probably see strategy documentation as a sort of “box ticking” exercise that’s intended to fit in with company protocols, rather than actually being a useful tool.

The fact is that it doesn’t have to take long to put together an effective content strategy, and the results it can have on your success are well worth the small amount of time you put in initially.

2. Lack of Ownership

Whose job is it to create the content strategy? If you can’t answer this question, you’re looking at the problem.

When there’s a large team working on marketing activities, it’s likely you don’t have a named person in charge of documenting strategy. This is particularly true for more “traditional” marketing teams, who may not be fully sold on the value of having a strategic approach to content.

The solution to this is simple: give someone the job, or do it yourself. No matter what level you’re working at, if you recognize the value of documenting your strategy, you can put something together and send it to your colleagues and manager.

3. Having Too Many Stakeholders

Likewise, if there are too many people who want to have input into your content strategy, this can prove to be a challenge.

The more people who are involved, the more difficult it is to get them all in agreement.

This problem is easily solved by appointing one person to be in charge of content strategy, and leaving it up to the other stakeholders to participate. If they can’t provide input in the deadlines you set, you’ll have to make executive decisions on their behalf.

But remember that your strategy doesn’t have to be set in stone – you can adapt and update it as you go along. Just make sure you have a single document that everyone is working from, and don’t let indecision or lack of input become barriers.

4. Not Knowing Where to Start

This is another common problem. If you don’t really know how to write a content strategy, it’s easy to just brush the task under the carpet and get on with other stuff you know more about.

However, that’s no excuse. There are plenty of guides out there on creating a content strategy, and all you have to do is sit down and get it done.

Video Source: Ross Simmonds

We all know how easy it is to procrastinate and put off tasks that we perceive as being difficult. The fact is that developing a content strategy really isn’t that difficult, and it’s best just to plan it into your schedule and not to allow yourself to do any more content production until you’ve nailed down your strategy.

5. Thinking a Documented Content Strategy Isn’t Necessary

Hopefully, we’ve already persuaded you that it is if you’ve gotten this far, but this is a common opinion, particularly in small organizations or those with small marketing teams.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking this vital piece of the content marketing puzzle isn’t necessary just because your team is small. Even if you’re solely responsible for content marketing, it’s still vital to document your strategy if you want to be successful.

Future-Proofing Your Content Strategy Document

Future-proofing your content strategy is your ticket to staying relevant. So, how do you ensure your content strategy doesn’t get left in the dust?

1. Stay Ahead of the Curve

Trends come and go, but your content strategy needs to stand the test of time. Did you know that 82% of businesses are already successfully using AI in their content strategies? That’s right, the future isn’t just knocking at our doors; it’s already in the house.

graphic shows that 82% of businesses are now weaving AI into their content strategies

Image Source: Semrush

2. Embrace Flexibility

Your content strategy needs to be adaptable. The digital landscape doesn’t stand still, and neither should your strategy. Being flexible means you can quickly pivot and embrace new opportunities without missing a beat.

3. Regular Reviews and Updates

Set a date with your content strategy document. No, really. Regular reviews are your chance to tweak and tune your strategy, ensuring it’s always aligned with your goals and the latest market dynamics.

4. Incorporate Feedback

Data and feedback aren’t just numbers and words; they’re the compass that guides your content ship. By paying attention to what your audience tells you, you’re not just guessing what works—you’re knowing and acting on it, keeping your content as relevant as tomorrow’s headlines.

5. Ask the Experts

Don’t shy away from reaching out to those who eat, sleep, and breathe content marketing. Teaming up with a content marketing agency can catapult your strategy to new heights.

These pros are not just up to speed with the latest trends; they’re setting them. By collaborating with experts, you ensure your content strategy is not just current but cutting-edge, crafted by those who know the industry inside out.

Need Help With Your Content Strategy Document?

A content strategy document isn’t just another piece of paperwork—it’s your secret weapon in the content game. This document is like your content compass, guiding you through the marketing scene and making sure you’re not just throwing stuff at the wall to see what sticks. It’s about making smart moves, staying organized, and keeping everyone on the same page.

Need help with your content strategy document? Marketing Insider Group can help. Get started today by checking out our weekly blog content service, or schedule a free consultation now to learn more!

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Michael Brenner

Michael Brenner is an international keynote speaker, author of "Mean People Suck" and "The Content Formula", and Founder of Marketing Insider Group. Recognized as a Top Content Marketing expert and Digital Marketing Leader, Michael leverages his experience from roles in sales and marketing for global brands like SAP and Nielsen, as well as his leadership in leading teams and driving growth for thriving startups. Today, Michael delivers empowering keynotes on marketing and leadership, and facilitates actionable workshops on content marketing strategy. Connect with Michael today.

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