In today’s multi-channel, multi-tasking, multi-screen world not having a content strategy is tantamount to failure. Ok thats a little extreme, but content strategy is the planning, production, dissemination and governance of content.
If you have your own website, you buy media on ad networks and are active in public relations and social media you are likely to be producing content in the form of copy, images, video, memes, apps, info-graphics, webinars, whitepapers,coupons, emails etc, etc. Disseminating that content without a plan and governance could mean that content does not achieve its goal to its maximum potential.
What is that goal? The goal for the content is to be engaging and meaningful enough for your audience to share it. Ultimately, the goal of your content strategy also needs to drive growth and revenue, otherwise why create it? If the content does not drive ROI in the consumer lifecycle to some extent then a decision needs to be made if its the right content to be created and if it should be culled.
There is no coincidence that images and video are very popular at the moment. Images and videos have advantages:
• Common Language: Pictures really do speak a 1000 words. Images can be understood by anyone.
• Quick and Simple: Its a lot easier to look at a picture or YouTube video than it is to read a 500 word blog article.
• Spontaneity and Creativity: Everyone appreciates creativity and visuals foster that creativeness in people.
• Ecommerce as Entertainment: Visual content conjoined with deep data mining and analytics leads to increased conversions. Look at any television shopping channel!
That’s not to say the written word is losing value. Blogs are a valuable source of research in the consumer purchase journey, not to mention the value to search marketing and search engine optimisation. Tweets and social media status updates need to be very carefully crafted due to the very public domains they are shared on. Words can be ambiguous to many and one wrongly placed word can have disastrous consequences to PR. Essentially, every business is now a publisher.
The goal of content at a newspaper is to drive readership and sell papers and subsequently sell advertising and subscriptions. You need to determine what the role of content in your organisation is. Goals can be business focused or brand related but whats the bottom line? Who is the content for? How will content be managed, maintained and produced? By whom? How often? With so many channels to speak on, an editorial calendar is critical. Content guidelines for content creators is also crucial i.e. tone of voice, brand guidelines and so forth. Content Strategy & Content Management can differ greatly by which platform you are using to publish.
Content Management Platforms
We are familiar with many content management suites like – Adobe CQ, Drupal, WordPress, Magento but the core of a content plan is create, manage, and deliver personalized online / digital experiences. Bearing in mind that an organisation needs to publish content for commerce, social media, mobile, TV and more and with the complexity of content management platforms its important to remember that certain “technical” considerations also need to be planned for.
The content needs to be optimised for social media so that it is easily shareable via one click. Each content management platform can be optimised via modification of the underlying code so that it works harder to gain credit for you when that content is shared and disseminated. If you do outsource your content strategy, creation and management we recommend you measure the proposal against the below.