What could possibly be the main reason sales within your company have plummeted? What’s not working and how can you fix this situation? Is it maybe because the content strategy is missing something important?
I honestly cannot say that I am a marketer. In college, I never even took a marketing class. In some cases, I cannot really understand the charts we see during periodically revenue meetings. Still, if I really decide I am going to do something and put a lot of effort into doing it, I know I would be able to drive a great marketing initiative. Yes, I would have to spend some money in the process, analyze some spreadsheets and everything will work out just as I’ve planned.
It baffles me to see marketers that create content for the first time and adopt the “It’s not all that hard” attitude toward content strategy. 2015 is surely going to be a make-or-break year for brand publishing. However, brands are not rushing into creating smart and strong content strategies and ultimately this will lead to their demise.
Having this in mind, in order to solve the content related problems, you need to take into account some all-important aspects. In a normal situation, how do you prepare so that you will avoid any content strategy related errors. In our current highly competitive world, marketing travels at the speed of light.
Each and every one of us wants to tell a great story, right? And perhaps you want to tell yours and you probably have lots of them. Great! However, creating amazing content will take a lot of time and effort, especially if your company does not have a strong team in place in order to handle the content creation demands. And you’ll soon find yourself feeling overwhelmed and panicking.
Others prefer to focus their attention on things such as copywriting and writing facets. Still, what do you consider of the utmost importance? Correcting typos or providing meaningful and relevant content? So why waste time criticizing the word choices of someone instead of pinpointing effective communication channels? And while style guides are quite important in their own right, they cannot be deemed as content strategy. I’ll go out on a limb and say this: if you are most of the time focused on term choice, you are a copy editor and not a content strategist.
Some content strategies prefer technology over strategy. Instead of talking about how higher-quality content is able to help your business, they prefer to focus on DITA specialization. Don’t get me wrong, it’s awesome and all and it will enable better semantics, but is that really what they should be looking for?
A lot of companies seem to believe that promoting their content only by using social media platforms is more than enough to get some good publicity and notoriety. However, the reality is that the field of publishing has become too crowded, meaning that investing in distribution is definitely a necessity.
According to an article I read a while ago on Forbes, only 1 in 4 marketers invest in content distribution, although more than half of them consider they need to. This is why you absolutely must put aside a couple of thousand dollars per month to ensure you have a budget in place for an outstanding distribution service. Come to think about it, how can content be useful if no one sees it?
This is where having a content strategy comes into play. You have two options. Either plan or fail. You will absolutely need a strategy that combines the best practices within the industry with the unique aspects pertaining to your company. You will need to come up with a plan that actually makes sense for you. On the other hand, too much planning could potentially lead to failure. While you create your plan, you find that inevitably it will change. You will need to show a significant amount of flexibility. The first plan is required to be good enough so that it gets approved. The moment you realize and accept that one simply can’t really create the perfect content plan, the better off you’ll be.
And while you spend countless hours trying to create the best possible content strategy, by having an editorial calendar and awesome sales copy, the perfect search engine optimization (SEO) keywords and phrases and much more, you might still be making some huge errors that can definitely damage the results of all the efforts you’ve put into creating a foolproof content strategy. Before you actually send your content out there into the world, make sure you add some other things to the strategy to enhance the chances of success:
Always be on top of all marketing messages. Can you honestly say that you know everything that moves within your entire company? Each and every message should have a sense of uniformity across all departments, events, social media and all environments where your company is present. Moreover, make sure to check with your team-members for both timeliness and cohesiveness before any content goes out into the world.
Check for errors. You need to proofread all of your company’s content before it is posted. If you cannot find the time to do this, hire a proofreader. While this may sound simple, it’s extremely important. Check for grammatical errors, potential syntax-related issues, misspellings and other things. When it’s all said and done, you need to make a great first impression every single time.
What are you posting about? Did something extremely important just occur in the world that everyone is raving about? What’s currently happening in your industry or city? You need to get your facts straight. That’s why you must check for facts before you publish content. If you share something regarding death, a natural disaster or any sensitive issue at the wrong time, your copy could prove to be a public relations nightmare.
In order for a person to come up with great content, he or she will have to know that it takes a lot of work and effort. Often times publishers simply cannot understand how many hours it takes to create just one story. The research you have to do, writing the story and even obtaining an interview source, along with the selection of photographs, editing, checking the facts, web production and promotion can mean hours of work for each particular element.
If you happen to publish the wrong type of message at an inappropriate time, you could potentially lose countless dollars in sales while also wasting time and effort having to deal with negative publicity and client complaints.
Thus, you need to pay close attention to the content of your messages, the timing and the content strategy before you start publishing.
What do you plan on doing that will improve your content strategy?