Explained: Content strategy, content marketing and content types

September 15, 2015

This is a follow-up to last week’s blog post “What is content strategy” and is part of a series, “Explained”, digging into content strategy and digital communications for NGOs.

The interest for terms like content strategy, content marketing and branded content has been skyrocketing in the past years. Here we look at some common types of content and take a look at the trendy monikers. Scroll down for some of M4ID’s reading recommendations!

First, what do we mean by content?

An NGO’s content comes in different shapes and forms, for example:

  • articles
  • blogposts
  • social media updates
  • white papers
  • case studies
  • reports
  • ebooks and books
  • FAQs
  • check lists
  • webinars
  • podcasts
  • toolkits
  • photos
  • videos
  • infographics


Content marketing strategy

All the above examples of items of communication that you as an NGO own and distribute yourself. Content strategy, or content marketing strategy, is basically an approach to marketing communications that creates and distributes content to gather a focused audience base – typically towards some positive action. Examples include signing up to a newsletter, donating money towards your cause, or sharing a piece of advocacy forward.

You might have worked with campaigns before. Typically campaigns are communication strategies around a specific theme/topic, and have set goals and pre-defined duration. Content strategy, on the other hand, is more focused on the “everyday” communication and information dissemination activities.

A content strategy is not a panacea

Lastly, a word of caution. Content production and ongoing maintenance should be a part of any content strategy. Like any plan, content strategy’s purpose is to be actionable; it should make content production faster, more streamlined and systematic.

Having a content strategy is just step 1. Content planning, production and coordination is resource-intensive work, and requires organisational commitment to the cause.


Recommended reading

Erin Kissane: The Elements of Content Strategy (A Book Apart, 2011)
Lisa Trager: The Role of Content Strategist (Slideshare, 2011)
Column Five: The ultimate guide to content distribution (Slideshare, 2014)

This blogpost is Part 2 of a series of articles to navigating the process of developing a digital media strategy. Read all articles here.