In this post, we introduce a top-down view of content strategy. In the second part, we will look at the bottoms-up approach to content strategy, addressing content measurement, efficacy improvement, content processes, governance, and technology.
While every marketer knows the value of good content, the concept of “content strategy” can be elusive and nebulous. Simply put, content strategy is the way the organization will generate and manage various assets to provide each customer or prospect with the most relevant messaging and experiences possible. The strategy must take into account the needs and value of each addressable customer and prospect, the channels and platforms they will interact with, and the enabling processes and technologies to power the effort.
One common misconception is that the creation and delivery of content is simply the responsibility of the marketing department. The reality is anything the consumer interacts with from product packaging to billing notices to mobile apps all require content and a content strategy. A content strategy is meant to align and standardize the content delivery efforts of the entire organization in order to tell a cohesive brand story and influence customer behavior. The following are some key considerations in creating your own content strategy:
1. Engage Leadership And Management With Financial Value Of Content Strategy
Getting leadership buy-in is the most difficult part of any strategic initiative. It is essential to clearly define the value drivers, benefits and costs of having a robust content strategy through a business case. Typical value drivers include lift from better targeting, timing, and content; cost savings by shifting resources to lower cost channels; and efficiencies created by focusing resources on more valuable customers and prospects.
2. Align Your Content Strategy With Your Overall Customer-Centric Model
Content strategy should be designed around a universally accepted customer strategy. A customer strategy is a documented, data-driven approach to maximizing the financial value of individuals or firms by combining an understanding of customer needs, behaviors, and value with the ability to engage specific customers in the optimal way at various touchpoints over time. Simply put, ensure that your content and value propositions are fully aligned to the needs and motivations of your most important segments.
3. Target Through All Marketing Platforms
The content strategy should be informed by an understanding of unique segments that can be identified and targeted at the individual level through various marketing channels. This includes an understanding of each audience profile, typical behavior across online and offline channels, and their motivators. Once this has been laid out, illustrative consumer journeys that provide clear content guidance for each segment, channel, and lifecycle stage can be developed.
4. Ensure That You Have The Right Tools For Platform Execution
Delivering your content to the right person at the right time and in the right channel is the crucial last step. Without the means to execute content delivery effectively, all of the aforementioned concepts are merely a collection of expensive thought exercises. No matter what type of content we are talking about, it is important that the execution platform have three core capabilities: audience selection, creative optimization, and robust measurement.