Content Strategy is a very confusing topic in business and marketing circles.
There are plenty of folks out there trying to define content strategy and differentiate it from traditional marketing, content marketing, digital marketing, social media and search engine optimization.
But exactly how do you execute it once you have defined it, sold it in and been handed the mandate to get it done?
Here are 6 steps that any organization can take to tackle the challenges of executing an enterprise-wide content strategy.
6 Steps To Executing A Content Strategy
- Set Content Strategy Objectives – Start by defining exactly what you want to accomplish with your content strategy and most importantly why you want to accomplish it. Your content strategy should include a content marketing mission statement to grab a certain percentage share of the conversations happening online in your topic areas. Or to become a thought leader on a certain topic. Use search, social and web analytics to determine your current share of the conversations in your space. Whatever it is, you need to define that content strategy mission and also how that will translate into business results.
- Identify Content Resources and Planning – First, conduct an inventory of the roles and responsibility for creating content in your organization today. Next, measure how much of that content is utilized in any external activity and how well it performs. Map the content to your customer buying cycle. Look at how much content you create that is gated vs un-gated, customer-focused or product-centric. Identify and recruit the influencers, evangelists and subject-matter experts both within your organization and outside. Then deploy resources to fill the content gaps you identified.
- Define Your Content Marketing Plan – Identify how far your own resources can take you without having to “buy” content from other sources. Next, look at hiring writers or outsourcing some components of your content creation such as videos and graphics that require specialized skills. Next, you need to identify how to execute a solid content curation strategy. You can help to deliver value to your audience through other people’s content, as long as it is appropriately attributed and transformed to protect their copyright. Request the permission to utilize content from key influencers and thought leaders, or ask if you can interview them.
- Build Reach – No matter how great your content is or how much authority your website has, it is not going to reach every possible audience type. This is where paid and unpaid content syndication can help you. The simplest form is to share your content through your own social channels. On the more complex end of the spectrum, you can pay to syndicate your content to other sites through paid content syndication, banners or social advertising. You should seek to build reach in the most efficient manner possible for the lowest possible cost.
- Optimize for Engagement and Conversion – Measuring and analyzing all the sources of your traffic isn’t enough. You have to define which content and tactics are driving the highest levels of engagement and conversion to your defined business goals. Identify which authors, evangelists and influencers are helping you reach your goals through their own efforts. Then optimize towards that content and those tactics, authors and influencers. Look at who is regularly commenting on your content and seek to reciprocate. Follow the people who follow you on Twitter. Reward those who are helping you with these kinds of social gifts.
- Report and Refine – Share your results widely to build additional support for your programs. Remember that every employee is a possible content producer and seek to recruit as many as you can. Show how your activities are generating real business results and calculate the return on the investment. Then re-visit your objectives and start the process all over again.