The aim of this research was to identify best practice approaches, techniques, challenges and opportunities around digital content strategy.

Research methodology

The methodology involved two main phases:

  • Phase 1: Desk research to identify relevant issues, examples and models.
  • Phase 2: a series of in-depth interviews with a range of senior digital and non-digital marketing practitioners, Heads of Content, UX and Content Strategists. Interviewees for the research covered sectors as diverse as financial services, media, public sector, NGO and FMCG.

What you’ll learn

This best practice guide:

  • outlines some key definitions
  • sets out a core process for content strategy in the digital age
  • defines some key strategic models that enable the smart application of content in the service of achieving marketing objectives.

Included in this report are the following:

The content strategy process

We define the importance of tying back to a solid strategic process that is aligned to answering the fundamental questions of strategy:

  • Where are we now?
  • Where do we want to get to?
  • How do we get there?
  • How do we know when we’ve got there?

Our research has demonstrated this alignment to be critical to effective content strategy implementation.

Insight and persona generation

We discuss the key thinking and methodologies around successful persona generation, how brands are using personas to inform strategy and how relating content to a solid understanding of the customer journey through customer journey mapping can establish a firm foundation for success.

Aligning content with brand strategy

Defining a content marketing mission, and a key model for relating content to brand purpose and essence.

Distribution and format

We set out a key model for building an effective content ecosystem (borrowed from YouTube) – ‘Hero, Hub, Help’, look at an example brand that shows exemplary practice in this context, and consider the best ways of linking format selection with objective.

Optimisation culture

The practitioners interviewed for this report stressed the importance of developing a testing culture to ensure continuous, not just episodic, test and learn. When combined with a structured content calendar, this can bring both alignment and optimisation of resources and impact.

Content and technology

The marketing and content technology landscape is more complex than ever so how might practitioners best navigate through this complexity and make smart decisions about technology? Technology will play an ever-increasing role in the content marketing process and ecosystem, so how can marketers set themselves up for success?