5 Essential Elements In Creating An Effective Content Strategy
Developing effective, on-going, successful content strategy isn’t as difficult as it sounds — if you do it in the right way! It’s going to take some research and a clear vision as to what you hope to accomplish – new customers, enhanced corporate reputation, and introduction of new products/concepts. Whatever it is you want to do, first define it, and then go after it.
Here are five strategies to get you where you want to go.
Take an honest look at your business
And take off the rose-colored glasses. Be objective: What are your strengths in the marketplace? What are your weaknesses vis-à-vis your competitors? What opportunities do you have to promote your company, gain market share, and sell more goods/services? And finally, what internal/external problems could arise and pull you and you best-laid plans, down into a marketing quagmire? Be honest, now!
Determine who it is you want to reach
Now, this really sounds quite simple, but if you don’t know who your audience is (really know!), you’re whistling past that proverbial graveyard. Let’s say, for example, that your target audience is bank presidents. Can you sell this audience the way you did five years ago? Or even five months ago? The answer in the vast majority of cases is no. Target audiences have an irritating proclivity to shift around. The bank president, who a few months ago was very interested in tracking international futures, has now hired an Executive VP to handle that. So, while you’re still sending the president information on the French stock market, your competitor has signed up the Executive VP to get their newsletter. See?
This might seem sophomoric, but you’d be amazed how many firms go barreling ahead without having much of a clue where they want to go. The general objective is usually – let’s sell a lot more of what we make! Always a noble objective, but how are you going to meet that goal? And if that’s the destination, how do you get there in the most efficient and effective manner? Strategy! If you know your audience, you have to determine the best way to reach them to reach your goals. Email campaigns? Social media? Heavier website presence? Tie-ins and cross-overs? Do the research and you can meet your goals. Don’t do your research, fine… but then, don’t expect too much to happen.
Check and recheck your content and target audiences
When was the last time your sanitized your email list to eliminate deadwood? Or how about checking new sources to add potential clients/customers? You could have the world’s-greatest-best-written email campaigns, but if they’re only reaching a fraction of the audience you want to reach – well, what’s the point? And what about content? When was the last time you took a good look at your website? Do you still have blogs on there from 2011, and new product announcements from 2012? You have to keep both your audience and your content fresh. Anything else and you’re wasting a lot of money!
Measure, measure, measure!
Once everything is up and running, it’s time to measure how successful you’ve been. Are you getting new customers, are you selling more products/services, and which is doing better for you – your website, your email campaigns, social media? If one is doing better than the others, why? And if something is underperforming your expectations, why is that, and what can be done to improve performance? These are the things you have to determine to keep your marketing running smoothly – and profitably!
This isn’t rocket science
For the most part it’s nothing more than common sense, put in an organized manner. Your company is out there in the digital world, you’re competing against millions and millions of images and messages. You have to be tough, thorough, and always thinking ahead. Do it, adopt these five elements, and you’ll have a great digital strategy for today, and the future!