BABY STEPS TOWARDS A CONTENT STRATEGY
The most successful brands in content marketing are the ones who use their expertise to help consumersin their daily lives – feeding their interests and solving their problems. In today’s always-on world, thatmeans sharing the right content at the right moment. But that’s easier said than done. For a lot of brands,the most useful content is often hidden or not built to share. For others, they simply don’t have theresources to communicate in the new ways that consumers now expect.The good news is that a lot of brands realize this and are embarking on content strategy projects. Butbuilding a good content strategy can be time-consuming, expensive, and intense – and people can windup getting caught in what I call “analysis paralysis.” That said, there are some simple steps that yourbrand can take. Here are some tactical pointers that allow for a quicker, less expensive process to helpget started.
Getting Ready for a CMS
A big step for a lot of brands is to develop a modern, dynamic Content Management System (CMS) – atool that allows them to keep track of their content, analyze performance, publish across channels, andcustomize personalize delivery – all in real-time. But waiting for the budget or resources to set up thatkind of system shouldn’t stop you from taking some immediate and useful steps. Even if you can’t investin a CMS tool yet, every brand should still have an easily-found set of information around what’s going onwith their content.Get in the habit of collecting and recording data about your content. Make a complete list of all theinformation that will be useful to know about your content in the long-term. Categorize certain topics andthemes that align best with your brand. Figure out which specific keywords and tags will boost your SEO.Customize different versions of content for different kinds of consumers. Take note of how differentpieces of content are interconnected.Recording this kind of information will prove extremely useful should there be any changes or disruptionsin your content team down the road. Finding and updating content that’s suddenly out-of-date will becomeeasier. Alerting staff when digital rights are set to expire can save money. All of these steps will help youto analyze and reflect on what’s working (and what’s not), as well as figure out ways to develop anddeploy new content more efficiently.
Using Media Partners for Insights
Many companies use their own websites to collect data on what kinds of content resonate with theirconsumers. However, this subset of information only reflects consumer expectations about what type ofcontent is available on your site. It doesn’t show you what kind of content people are interested in whenthey’re on social channels, lifestyle channels or any other potentially relevant but alternate space.By contrast, an outside media partner can give you data about search, stickiness and sharing of contentthat’s relevant to your brand. A lot of brands typically already have these partnerships through theirregular media buying activity, which is a good start. But while these partnerships produce reports that aredetailed and informative, they usually just stick to click-throughs and other traditional key performanceindicators. Ask for more – work with your media partner to get holistic insights around how consumers arefinding different types of content, how much time they’re spending on it, which types or formats appearmost useful or shareable, and so forth. In doing so, you’ll get the meaningful information you need tosource and create content that your consumers find helpful.