Last year we conducted an Association Content Marketing Readiness Survey. The bad news was that only one in four associations reported having a content strategy. The really bad news is that after speaking with a couple of the respondents who said they have an organization-wide content strategy, we discovered that most were confusing a strategy of using content as a marketing tool or having content assets with having or being a content strategy.

What is not a content strategy

Coming up with content ideas for various segments of your audience is part of, but not synonymous with, having a content strategy. So, I bet you know quite a bit about your audience from data you have collected, conversations and interactions with them and you have some brilliant content ideas to inform, educate, entertain or just plain get their attention. That doesn’t mean you have a content strategy.

And if you have a list of impressively brilliant content assets, as one association we spoke with did, that also is not a sure sign of having a content strategy. But if that’s you, celebrate… good work!

So, here’s a short and simple self test to make sure you are one of the few that does have a content strategy.

Y N We have data-driven customer profiles (personas).
Y N Our personas specifically uncover the path to buying from us.
Y N We have a document that defines our tone and voice.
Y N We have a lexicon of terms and phrases that we use.
Y N Our lexicon identifies which terms are appropriate for which of our personas.
Y N We have a document to guide decisions like what buttons should be on the homepage, what color our overview brochure should use the most and what type of images are best.
Y N We have data about where our personas are in the socialsphere.


Any ‘Nos?’ If so, you have some gaps or you are missing out on what a content strategy can do for you.

Content strategy is the difference between achieving greatness with your content vs. creating and delivering content, no matter how great it is.