Digital Content (Strategy)
When you think about the term “digital content” and how to make yours smarter and more profitable, immediately add the word “strategy” at the end.
Why? Because you’re planning for a larger marketing context than simply content creation, however brilliant that content may be. You want to get your brand out there and ideally, entice consumers to come to you.
A digital content strategy is goal-oriented and requires certain general as well as particular steps to reach specific objectives. Prepare to evaluate, refine, or rethink your approach when and where necessary for optimal results.
Key Goals in a Content Strategy
What’s involved in considering a content strategy?
- Engage your current audience in terms of retention and brand advocacy.
- Reach new consumers by spreading brand awareness
- Convey a consistent tone in existing content that. acknowledges consumer desires as well as establishing a memorable brand voice.
Content Marketing in Relation to Digital Content
Content marketing is a verifiably productive way to generate brand awareness.
Why generate brand awareness at all? If people don’t realize your business exists, understandably they can’t become customers.
If people recognize the business logo and/or slogan now, isn’t that enough? Consumers have to become acquainted with your brand and what it represents before trusting you with their business.
What is an essential element of content in content marketing? It’s shareable. The content engages readers enough to share it via social media, email, word-of-mouth, etc.
What else does content marketing accomplish? Content marketing has proven to be one of the most effective methods in creating an accessible, unique, and appealing online presence.
There are three main categories of content: published, reactive,and proactive
Be sure to mix the sort of content you create.
- Published – A direct message from the company, whether in the form of an article on the official website to a social media post by the company’s account.
- Proactive – Promote your business via other networks.
- Reactive – Answering questions, addressing concerns, and otherwise touching base with customers.
Concentrating only on one will trigger adverse reactions because your company potentially comes across as:
- Callously uncaring of customer needs in the face of profits
- Unflatteringly opportunistic in using other people and businesses
- Overly focused on PR while not giving sufficient attention to quality products.
Be able to answer some major questions:
1. What outcomes are you aiming for?
What audience response are you looking to elicit? What kind of impression do you want to make on prospective customers? For example, do you want to entertain, educate, persuade, or convert?
2. What does success mean in this case?
More traffic? Increased brand awareness? Sales?
3. Have you done extensive quantifiable research on the media consumption habits and preferences of your target consumer audience?
Who are you hoping to communicate with? How will you interact with them?
4. What is your strategy?
What does it entail in terms of budget, manpower, etc? How will you execute your strategy, step by step?
5. Does your marketing plan correlate with the steps of the buyer’s journey?
The end of the marketing plan and the buyer’s journey intersect in that the company makes a sale and obtains a loyal customer.
6. How will you produce content that is relevant and informative?
If you’re considering outsourcing, look up the pros and cons as outlined by other reliable sources.
Repackage, Reuse, and Create Templates for Content
Do you always have to come up with brand new content? Not necessarily.
In fact, you might want to revisit old ideas that worked in the past, or could work in the present if reframed somewhat.
A blog post could adapted into a podcast, for example, or a product review made into a short video.
Some topics never die or even seem to get old. Think sex-related articles, celebrity news, and human interest stories—their shelf-life is daunting.
With a template model (check out Buzzfeed), you can rapidly create and publish content, maintaining near real-time updates as they trend and go viral.
Actions to Take in Assessing Strategy
How will you determine the efficacy of your digital content strategy?
- Quantify/Define – Align performance indicators with marketing goals
- Optimize/Identify – Make your content SEO compatible from beginning to end.
- Adapt/Adjust – If an approach isn’t working, find out why and decide what to do with the material.
Types of Digital Content
Below I list a few options you have for the delivery of digital content to your audience.
Remember to adapt your digital content presentation to a presentation mode appropriate for the (i.e. mobile) device, demographic (i.e. Millennials), social platform (i.e. Pinterest), et cetera, all of which serve to achieve established, clearly defined, and measurable marketing goals.
As with the related concept of content marketing, return to the stage of creating buyer personas. What kinds of digital content, or digital content subject matter, are they most receptive to?
- User Generated Content – Unpaid contributors, or fans of the brand, can promote your business to an immense and certainly inexpensive degree. Because this content comes from an outside perspective, your product gains authentic value that most artificial advertisements can’t aspire to.
- Product Reviews – Besides spreading the word about your product through user reviews, official reviews by experts through reputable sources can be useful in assisting consumers doing research to come to a conclusion as to what they’re going to purchase.
- Memes – If you go back to the #1 of the major questions to ask yourself (about the outcomes you’re aiming for) you can see you hit not only the entertainment factor but another very important element—you’ve caused people to feel a connection, whether to your brand or to others for liking your brand.
- Websites – As the introductory gateway to your brand, make the website part of your online image look awesome while providing a good user experience. Here you can present useful information to potential customers through FAQs, screenshots, How to Guides, etc.
- Blogs – You can offer insights and provide opinions in a blog article, blogging being a social platform that allows for more length than Twitter but less than a website.
- Mobile Apps – Increasing numbers of consumers rely heavily on smartphones and tablets, resulting in a proliferation of mobile-friendly websites. However, a mobile app gives your business the ability to personalize the experience according to your brand by offering dedicated content and greater interaction.
To reiterate the moral of the day for content marketing as it is also applicable to digital content: create and consistently distribute content that is valuable and relevant to audience interests.
Lastly, digital content should also include the following elements:
- Personalize content so that consumers feel that they are treated as individuals with particular interests and viewpoints, not faceless credit cards carriers.
- Integrate supporting visuals such as infographics into your digital content to appeal to audiences while succinctly showing them the message.
- Inform the consumer of the benefits of doing business with your company and offer solutions to their problems.