What's a Content Vision and Why Does My School Need One?February 28, 2020
As marketers, we're in on a little secret when it comes to company vision statements. While other teams might not always be able to see it (we're not pointing any fingers here), we know just how important they really are for driving the overall strategy. This is why we're always surprised to hear that many marketers don't have a solid content vision in place to drive their content strategy.
But, what's a 'content vision' you ask? And how does it differ from a 'content strategy'? Don’t worry, in this post, we’ll define the two, show you why having a well-defined content vision is so important, and give you the tools to get started on yours.
What is a content vision?
Let's kick things off by getting one very important fact out of the way: developing a content strategy is not the same as creating a content vision. Although these two terms are often used interchangeably, they couldn't be more different. Take a moment to think about what we mean when we say 'strategy.' Typically, it's the 'what'– what specific marketing tactics and activities will take place in order to achieve a certain objective?
If you're beginning to realize that up until this moment, you fell into the category of using 'strategy' instead 'vision' when describing your content's purpose, you're not alone. In fact, this is one area of content marketing that many marketers struggle with. So, now that we know what a content vision isn't, let's talk about what it is. Just like your school's vision, your content vision is your 'higher purpose' – it's the 'why' to your 'what.' A content vision wants to know why you're creating a piece of content and what you're aiming to achieve with it.
Your content vision is your 'higher purpose' – it's the 'why' to your 'what.'
Why developing a content vision is essential
You might have noticed that there's a LOT of digital content available online, we're talking over 4.4 million blogs published every day. With that said, according to a recent Havas Brand Survey, 84% of people expect brands to produce content, but, 58% of that content is also perceived as 'clutter' (now that's a bit awkward). So, it appears that we have an abundance of digital content that doesn't add value or resonate with audiences.
You don't want to be what the 58% are talking about, rather, it's important to ensure that your content is meaningful, engaging, inspiring, and educational for your target audience – this is where a content vision can help! Creating a well-defined content vision can help to determine what content you will and will absolutely not create (think of it as your content gatekeeper).
Aside from protecting your content from negative perceptions, a content vision can also improve your overall content marketing efforts by:
- Providing extra clarity and purpose to your content team
- Boosting your content's overall integrity
- Rejecting ideas that don't align with your content vision
- Adding substance to your overall content strategy
Steps to getting started
Now that you know what a content vision is and why you need one, let's talk about how to actually go about creating one. Below is a fantastic example from The Content Marketing Institute that's super easy to follow. Start crafting your school's content vision by playing a little 'content marketing Mad Libs' and finish these four statements:
- [School Name]'s brand vision is to:
- So, our content aims to:
- Through our content we will:
- And create conversations with:
Once you've got your answers, you can pull it all together to form a clear and concise statement that your team is able to easily access and recite. Of course, your new content vision will guide all future pieces of content, but let's not forget about what's already on your blog or school website. The start of a new year is the perfect time to perform a content audit – check out our guide Content Audits: A Simple Guide for Schools to get started.