In its simplest definition, content strategy is giving direction to the content you are creating. You are thoroughly thinking through the whole process. You are intentional about the content you are creating. In other words, you are not just producing content and throwing it all over the place with the hope that somehow it will reach the right people. Content strategy is knowing who your content is targeted at, the format to be used, timing/scheduling/frequency, tone/language, channels for distribution etc.
Building and managing a brand is multi-faceted and layered in a lot of ways, especially, in the cluttered world we are in today.
Yes, there is the democratization of the media which gives everyone a voice, but that democratization has brought along great content shock! Everyone is talking. Clutter everywhere. And if you don’t thoroughly think through the content you are putting out, you will be lost in the crowd. So an effective content strategy will help your brand stand out and reach the right people. Because, frankly speaking, you are not meant to be talking to everybody.
Developing a content strategy will also help give a brand a distinct personality. Having a brand personality is very critical in the brand building process.
And when that personality is fully formed, you need to be consistent with it.
Your customers/prospects/audience should be at the heart of your content. You have got to take the time to research the type of content they will like. Is it textual, visual, video, audio…. A large part of developing the right content type is about testing. You have got to test different content types to see which one catches on. And sometimes you have got to give it a bit of time before you dump a content type. Because it might take a minute before a particular content type catches on. We are not saying that is the case across board. Of course, you might put out content and straight up it registers with your audience. But sometimes you might have other things hindering that content from performing optimally. Might be the time of posting, language or something.
Even more so, content isn’t enough anymore. That’s the reality. We mentioned “content shock” earlier on. In addition to producing quality content you have got to pay attention to optimizing that content. SEO, User Experience, Hashtags, Tags etc.
For social channels for example, we always admonish that you don’t need to be on every channel. It is best to focus on those channels where you find the most of your target customers. Especially if you are not some big corporation that have the funds to maintain a healthy presence on those channels. It is best to have a robust presence on a few channels than to have a skeletal presence on many.
Entertainment is a really big word today. So in developing even your corporate content, it has got to be entertaining is some sort of way.
In addition, columnization of your content is another thing you might want to consider in your strategy. Create fun and exciting themes for specific days. It could be new word Monday, wacky Wednesday….It makes content creation fairly easier and structured. But please stay away from the already over labored and popular themes. Give your brand unique and new themes.
An effective strategy should aim for three things:
We know you have heard that word a zillion times. Everyone is talking about engagement but it is what it is. Good content starts conversations – comments, shares, likes or even arguments.
But here is the thing; this wouldn’t happen just like that. It takes time to achieve great engagement. Building a loyal audience is hard work.
We like this analogy.
“In real life, when the word engagement is used it is usually because two people have committed to each other overtime. The same thing applies online.”
You have got to build trust overtime to get engagement.
And like we tell people, marketing, whether digital or offline is a marathon not a sprint. So you shouldn’t be all hot and loud this month and the next month nothing is coming from you.
Today, it is quite easy to reach people but even harder to engage them.
Another thing an effective content strategy should aim for is diversification. You might explore with two or three. It could be video and textual, visual and audio….Whatever you do, just have in mind that more people are open to consuming visual and video content today. That’s the reason Instagram is the fastest growing social channel.
Brands also need to start creating a proper content strategy for messaging Apps. There’s been quite an uptake in that space and brands can leverage on a lot with a proper content strategy suited for channels like WhatsApp, Wechat etc.
We are IYAM Media: Content. Branding. Advertising. Print Production. Digital Market
(Image Credit: Optimized 360)