I may have been called out a few times for over-complicating projects and I’m OK with it because sometimes addition plus addition equals subtraction. That may sound like my mind has derailed and I should be off to the loony bin, but let me explain.
Marketing strategies can become wildly inefficient from both the production and evaluation side if they aren’t developed as multi-channel, integrated strategies.
The nuances and methodology required to master each channel individually has always been the bread-and-butter of channel-specific experts. Today some of that mastery and many of those best practices have been honed into readily-available and well-priced web software solutions.
Whether its email marketing or social media or online banners, the tech is there to simplify your life. The sooner you let go of that control-freak angst about preferring to do things your way you’ll see what is missing however is the heart and soul that each and every off-the-shelf software solution cannot provide: powerful content.
How to build a powerful content strategy and why
Powerful content is equal parts:
- Ability (data) and desire to connect and understand your customers
- Granting yourself allowance to experiment with content that falls within and outside what you believe is good or bad
- Mastering the delivery of content based on the strengths and weakness of each channel
Why? Here’s the best reasons your company should invest in a content strategy:
- Because sales, database size, likes, and follows give no true insight into the level of engagement with your company
- Because paid advertising is becoming insanely expensive and even when it is working, will work better when backed by strong content on landing pages and everything related to zero moment of truth
- Because if you work with affiliates they are more successful than you are at selling you own service because they focused on content earlier
- Because it’s easy
How to build a content strategy that works
That last point “because it’s easy” probably irks you a lot. Here’s how I came to it…
I’ve been involved with two companies now where I’ve pitched and built an integrated content strategy and content product/website from the ground up. Both of these had success within a year and are paying dividends by simplifying processes for email and social content, as well as customer service talking points.
The latter of these projects has now reached 200,000 pageviews this month, 7 months after launch, with zero paid ads. It’s also become a part of the value props for the company and part of the PR strategy thanks to being featured in Huffington Post, Grantland, and more.
Now back to how you make it happen:
- Give your brand a personality that customers would enjoy having a beer with, it’s how sharing and referrals happen
- Be both playful with your topics as well as cater to your experts and stats-obsessed, all while never ever creating filler/useless content
- Pump out as much of these pieces as possible and always ensure that the content is being used in social, email, direct mail, customer service briefings, or whatever is applicable
- Bring the content to the prospective customers by initiating conversations, targeting hot-topic keywords when the buzz is on fire, and making it a conversation starter
- Have an impeccable SEO team who are not just an arm of content but in fact the biggest champions of it possible so they feel free to experiment as much as possible with their tactics and keyword planning
OK, it might not be that easy but the truth is that given buy-in from you executives and patience both with the experimentation in the early stages and with the variety of content, you will get plenty of eye balls reading it. The engagement will be a function of the quality of your topics/writers, and how much you focus on proper distribution.
We got to 200,000 pageviews pretty quick and you can too, particularly if where you want to go is based on the conversations your customers want to have and not the ones you force to create.