Creating and project managing a content strategy for a large, complex brand is not straightforward. You need to understand not just what content to make, but also how to make it.
Why is content so important?
You need to give your customers unique reasons to visit your online channels and to keep coming back. In a recent Nielsen study, when asked what influences purchase decisions, advertising was not listed in the top 5 responses. Key influencing factors are:
- People I know (92%)
- People’s opinions published online (70%)
- Editorial (58%)
- Branded websites (58%)
- Emails I signed up for (50%)
We have entered a post-advertising age. People only hear and see the messages they choose to hear and see, anything that is not interesting or relevant will be ignored. In this opt-in culture the brands that tell the best stories win. Good content gives you a means of communicating with your customers and prospective customers without selling. Content needs to be authentic and embody your brand. Content must be informative, newsworthy, topical, exclusive, sticky, add-value, exciting, tell a story, be shareable and be actionable to be effective. Good content also drives trust in the brand, SEO and results in customers taking positive action (i.e buying).
If you are able to create the right content, at the right price, and through the right channels – you win. How?
Right content. How to understand what truly engaging content is and how to deliver it?
- What does world class content look like?
- What do you need to create to deliver against the measures you have identified?
- What are the stories that you should ‘own’?
- What are the best content formats for your audience?
Set your benchmark for ‘what great looks like’. Look outside your category for inspiration. Use a Content Calendar to plan out what content you need and for when. Plan your Content Calendar on the consumers’ life, not your trading schedule! This will drive the ‘shopping list’ of content and deadlines; copy, pictures, infographics, tweets, videos, print… and in what formats, lengths, sizes, etc… The more you are able to plan in advance the more effective and efficient your content strategy will be. Remember, this content is what will feed all your channels for the year so you are going to need a lot!
If you work with agencies, you will also need to get their Content Calendars and their shopping lists for better control and cost management. If you have, say, four internal departments and five external agencies commissioning content, you are really going to need one central Content Calendar that everyone contributes towards to be able to project manage it effectively.
Right price. How to produce content in the most efficient way?
- How to get more for your money?
- How to ensure you do not duplicate content, but do re-use and slice and dice content to maximise efficiency?
- How to ensure all channels and requirements are considered upfront and in advance of production?
The better you plan ahead, the better your plan will work and the more time and money you can save.
Once you have your Content Calendar and your shopping list of content, formats and deadlines, you can look at how you will produce it all at the best price, we call this a Content Factory.
If your departments and agencies all project manage the production of content separately it can quickly become a very expensive process. Production decoupling, or using only one specialised resource for all of your production needs can lower production times, production costs, project management fees from agencies, increasing consistency and quality.
Right Channels. Content optimisation.
- What channels should you use?
- What content should be used on what channels?
- How will you learn what content works best, where?
By testing the content before and after publishing it, constantly reviewing it and learning how your customers interact and behave towards it, you can learn what works best for what type of content. With the right Content Envelopes, or distribution systems, you will arrive at an optimised channel mix.
We know that traditional advertising works less well than referrals, emails, etc. and earned media is becoming more and more important, so make sure you tailor your content and create the right stories for your brand and products. You can only do this if you have a sound content strategy and sophisticated project management in place. Otherwise it is just like shooting in the dark.
If you would like to know how Flock can help you create a content strategy for your company and learn how to make it happen through outstanding project management, contact us here.
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