OK, so you get that developing an online presence for your businesses is important. So where’s the content strategy to guide your tactics and hone your message?
You know about the tools out there that allow you to develop conversations and relationships with both existing and potential customers. You know that social media is not going away any time soon (even if its ROI is falling off a cliff) and that eBooks, Facebook pages, Twitter accounts, and web content can become key content distribution vehicles to help your organization communicate, engage and inform.
So what do you do now? What’s your brand message, it’s story, it’s voice? More importantly: What are the informational requirements of your customers, and what’s your plan to address them?
Think “Relevance” Before “Content”
In order to maintain their relevance and develop a valuable online experience for their customers, any organization developing an online marketing presence (or indeed any marketing presence) needs to have what is called a content strategy. Key to developing your brand’s online reputation lies in the ability for your company to produce relevant and valuable content. Without interesting content, why should your target audience keep coming back for more?
The danger of just kicking-out stuff you think customers may like, rather than planning content from a strategic standpoint, is that you don’t know why your winning.
Without a vision of knowing the direction and best execution, you’re running around with your head cut off.
A well-developed content strategy gives you that True North to guide and direct your efforts. Not only are you then creating content that aligns with the needs and expectations of your audience. You’re also ensuring the words, images, sounds, and/or video band language is in alignment with the goals and expectations of your own organization.
Content Strategy: A Way Of Thinking
There’s a great article by PR and social media observer Brian Solis on the Mashable website called Why Brands Are Becoming Media. Brian talks about companies developing publishing calendars, performance analyses and so on as part of their content strategy planning.
“New media necessitates a collaboration between all teams involved in creating and distributing content, including advertising, interactive, communications, brand, and marketing — with an editorial role connecting the dots. We are competing for attention and our success is dependent on our ability to not compete against each other. Producing content and lobbing it over the firewall to an “audience” will only confuse communities. Therefore, we are obligated to build pipelines that carry strategic communications, each with calculated intents, targets and outcomes.”
In its most basic terms, content strategy is about a way of thinking. It’s about developing a clear, company-wide plan on how to create, deliver, manage and govern content.
Today, content has become one of a company’s most valuable assets. Don’t underestimate it.