I recently came across this question posted by a fellow online marketer; which is actually a really good question: “Which do you think comes first? The content strategy or the digital strategy?”
Here’s what someone who works at a Digital Marketing Company in Asia might say: Neither.
They should come together. It’s no different from offline marketing. If you have the marketing materials but no marketing strategy, then the materials become useless. If you have a superb marketing strategy but no materials, then the marketing strategy becomes useless as well.
Some might say if the digital material (content) is great already, it will take off on its own. This isn’t quite true. A digital marketing strategy is needed for initial discover-ability, be it via PPC, social networks or advertorials. Now if you step over to the strategy side of things and design a great geo-targeting strategy for PPC, you would expect the results to be as great right? But what if the ads aren’t as powerful? No call-to-actions? Doesn’t stand out from the crowd?
Ideally, the content strategy and the digital strategy should work together in parallel. Teamwork.
As the strategist designs regional targeting, the content person needs to know how the strategy develops while they prepare the ad material. Vice versa, while the content person prepare the ads, there are some terms and phrases that might be more common for some countries and not for others, hence the strategist would need to accommodate these keywords and map them to the right countries well.
The right content that reaches the right target audience at the right time; is actually fairly easy to achieve. All you need is close collaboration between the content and digital strategists, for all areas of digital marketing.