Content is King?
Content strategy is Queen!
One way or another, lots of brands, companies and organisations have already discovered the power of content. Encouraged by all the content marketing hype lots of marketers have written content into their plans. Still others nurture vague plans to do ‘something with content’.
Content in abundance?
Nice! But isn’t there a heck of a lot of content in the meantime? And the more companies discover the power of content the more content there is. Won’t this be counterproductive in the long run? Isn’t content losing its power because there’s so much of it? And how do we differentiate ourselves in the midst of it all?
More than ever now, it is worth making the effort to think carefully about your content strategy before you spring into action. Make a plan in which you state clearly what you want to do with content, how you want to do it and what you want to achieve with it. What is your strategy? Behind every king there’s a queen.
To be or not to be
Every content marketing plan is part of a wider marketing plan. Although if your organisation is really into content marketing, your content marketing plan will de facto be the marketing plan.
You start with (answers to) questions like:
- Who are we?
- Why do we do what we do?
- What do we do that’s different from the others?
- What do we actually have to say about it?
- How does this story fit into our brand?
Next come questions like:
- Who are our (future) customers?
- How do we segment our customers?
- What problems do our customers have?
- What are their challenges? Their worries and wishes?
- How do our products or services provide an answer to them?
- How does our content help them with these issues?
- Where do our customers and prospects look for/find this content now?
- Is our whole organisation convinced of the importance of (supportive) content?
- Who delivers the strongest content in our organisation?
- How much added value is there in the content that we’re thinking of?
‘What role does content play in your plan? Is it a tactic, a solution, a strategy or what?’
Only when the basics are clear, you can define what you want to achieve with your content. You can’t have a king without a people. Perhaps you want to use content so that you can be found more easily. In that case you create content that stands out for its reliability and usefulness, relating directly to the purchasing process of your clients. Your focus is mainly on search engine optimisation, shareability and volume.
Or is your main aim to go a step further and use your content to create thought leadership as well? In that case show that you are a reliable, leading player in your customers’ business by producing well-made content that goes beyond the specific product or service level and deals with the whole field in which you and your clients are active. Research, neutral content by experts in the sector, testimonials, etc. highlight your reliability and market leadership.
You may want to go even further and use your content as part of your marketing strategy. You consider that creating and publishing relevant and inspiring content that motivates people to take action is a fundamental element in your customer relations. The relations with your clients are, as it were, determined by the content that you distribute. In this case a brand works as a publisher or media proprietor. Your content draws attention and creates interest, attracts new customers and makes existing customers brand ambassadors. Your content makes you premium. Regal, n’est-ce pas?
Open the right doors
Obviously having and distributing content is ‘fun’ and ‘nice’. It opens doors, creates all sorts of types of ‘likes’ and facilitates the sales process.
But is that enough to justify the investment in time and money? Do the king and queen have clothes on? In your plan you have to be clear about what you want to achieve and how you plan to measure it. You can achieve a lot with content. Nonetheless it is important to know what you want from the start:
- Sales leads?
- Store traffic?
- Website traffic?
- Higher conversion rates?
- Top of mind-position?
Some regal advice: define where you want to go and how you want to measure that progress. The effort you put into thinking about that in advance will ensure that you not only make ‘the right’ content, but that your content has ‘maximum added value’ and sticks out from the mass of content being let loose on the world. That way you’ll open the right doors.
Michel Libens Managing partner – CEO Propaganda
PS. This article has already appeared in the magazine Content Talk. For more information and/or a copy of this magazine mail email@example.com
PS2. A few more tips:
- Remember (and communicate it internally) that an investment in good content is an investment in something tangible. It is valuable and reusable. Think of your content as an ‘asset’ and not purely as a ‘cost’.
- Think up your own return on investment in content ratio in which you sum up what you want to achieve and how you will measure it.
- Summarize your approach and your objectives in a content marketing mission statement. That makes it clear, internally and externally, where you want to go.