What is content strategy and how does it work with branding?

So you have a solid brand. One with a strong visual identity, voice, values and target audience.

But that’s just the beginning in the big picture of modern storytelling strategies!

Building a strong brand can lay the foundation for a strong content strategy — but you need both to truly build and grow relationships with your target audience.

If branding is the *what* and the *who*, content strategy is the *how.*

Here are three ways content strategy works with branding:

A good content strategy includes communication and engagement plans for different segments of your target audience.

For a small business, that might look like prospective customers and customers segmented by loyalty.

For nonprofits, that might look like major donors, current donors, first-time donors, volunteers and donor prospects.

A good content strategy tells stories that show, not just tell, the value of your brand.

Through using the ‘personality’ of your brand, effective content strategy shows target audiences how your organization solved a problem for a similar customer or brought value to their life.

For mission-driven businesses, good content strategies show results or how a real person’s life was changed by what that organization does.

A good content strategy is dynamic, while a brand can be static.

When goal-setting for the year, content strategies should align and support those goals, adjusting to actual results from projected results.

Content strategy keeps your brand message strong and moving forward to authentically connect with the audience you want to reach.

Ready to take your business from a brand to an effective storyteller? Set up a free 30-minute consultation with Minerva Media Co.!

Content planning roadmap: Learn how to align your goals and content strategy

In this easy-to-implement content planning guide, you’ll work through aligning your business goals and your content plans. 

Inside, you’ll find content strategy worksheets, examples and a checklist so you won’t miss a step.

Ready to jump in?

If you’re in business, you’re in the content business. Content marketing is an effective and authentic way to connect your organization with people — and grow.

Yet often, businesses share or create content that isn’t in line with what they actually do — or where they’re strategically going.

A smart content strategy can be built onto your business strategies. In this free guide, Minerva Media Co. will guide you through examples, worksheets and a helpful checklist.

Free content planning guide

Amazon Alexa skills are open to brands. Here are some content marketing ideas for voice.

A bar cart at a home in Palm Springs
Want to create a content experience for customers at home?

With the rise of voice virtual assistant, Alexa, and hardware Amazon Echo and Dot, you might be wondering what that means for your business. Earlier this year, Amazon opened up building skills to everyone — which means its the perfect time to start experimenting.

First, let’s talk about what storytelling using Amazon Alexa is. It’s not repeating an ad message. It’s serving a function for users as an engaging, modern storytelling strategy.

It’s a prime example of content marketing (which the Content Marketing Institute says produces three times more leads than traditional outbound marketing).

Instead of pushing products to consumers, good storytelling on Alexa develops a trusted, expert voice that develops brand loyalty and converts consumers.

Here’s an example of Alexa Skills storytelling:

Talisker, a scotch brand, is using Amazon’s Alexa to give drinkers a tasting experiencemuch like you might get on a distillery tour and tasting IRL — but this is from the comfort of your home.

The head of tech and innovation said: “Voice is the perfect technology to do just this and provide an enhanced brand experience by putting the consumer, product and brand at the centre of a tasting, in a completely seamless and non-intrusive way.”

How to determine your Alexa skill content strategy: Enhance an experience

While the scotch company might be building digital ambassadors and brand loyalty with their virtual, self-guided tasting, it also smartly considers how it can enhance an experience that’s already happening: People drinking scotch, maybe their product, at home.

Ilker Koksal wrote in Forbes that brands should think about how people are currently engaging with their brand and translate it to voice.

For example: People use Food Network in the kitchen. When their hands are messy, it looks up recipes. Starbucks allows a hands-free ordering service for commuters on the go. “Focus on the experience for similar ideas to translate your brand to voice marketing,” he writes.

Alexa Skills marketing for businesses who sell products and services to consumers:

Some examples that Hubspot mentions in its guide is brand-building efforts by Purina (ask about the best dog breeds for kids) and Tide (whose stain-removal instructions voice storytelling positions them as an expert in removing stains).

Hubspot writes: “Your Alexa Skills plan should complement your company’s existing content strategy and should be a natural extension to the queries your customers are conducting in other formats.”

How to get started with Amazon Alexa Skills

So what does this mean for small to medium local organizations without a fleet of developers? Like with anything, you’ll be investing resources with time or money, but if you have an organizational modern storytelling strategy, you can determine if it’s right for your business by whether or not it fits in as a tool to meet your goals.

If you want to learn more, The Amazon Skills site has resources for marketers, trainings and more.

Decide it’s a yes? These components in a good strategy would help you decide on your Alexa storytelling:

SEO research: What do people look for most in your industry or area?

Website analytics on your site that determine most popular content — and least.

Social media analysis that shows how people engage with your business and brand now.

Audience analysis that looks at your existing customer base.

What customer problems you can solve from the discovery process.

Need help in creating your strategy?

Find more storytelling strategies like this in the Minerva Media Co. newsletter.

What is Minerva Media Company?

Today is the launch of Minerva Media Co., a different kind of local media company whose expertise is modern storytelling strategies.

With the Raleigh Convergence, we’re creating a conversation around ideas, engaging on issues at times Raleighites can take action and sharing stories of creative neighbors.

With Minerva Media Co., we work with local businesses to create authentic connections with potential and existing customers through sustainable content strategy.

On this blog, you’ll find new content strategy ideas for your small or local business! Looking for a blog on journalism? Find us on Medium.

Looking for something else? Send us a note at minervamediaco@gmail.com.