What is someone talking about when they talk about content? What does that word mean, especially from a marketing perspective?
We hear so much about it and how it’s more important now than ever. But why do we even need this different kind of marketing? Isn’t just plain old marketing good enough?
It’s probably one of the most confusing terms in marketing right now? What is content strategy? What does that get me? What are all the different functions, disciplines and skills involved with content strategy?
While there actually is plenty of crossover, there are some key things that differentiate advertising from content, and most of it involves what kind of experience you’re giving customers and prospects, and how you’re trying to motivate them to take an action.
Everyone thinks they know the difference between good content and content that’s just “meh.” But do you? Do you have the real world trial and error experience in entertainment and journalism to know how to put on a good show? Even if you don’t, it’s still possible to know what to look for when content is brought to you for approval.
Does this sound familiar? Different departments are making things they think they need in an ad hoc, campaign driven manner. Everyone’s just doing the content tasks their boss tells them to and checking the box. Nothing is connected to a larger brand narrative or identity. That’s called content chaos. And it’s time to start building a workable content operating system.
Combined with the challenge of everyone having their own idea and definition of what content strategy is, is the challenge of weeding out the people and agencies who say they do content strategy from the ones who actually know how to do it and have done it successfully for previous employers and clients. Here’s what to look for.
Anyone can write. Right? You’d be amazed at what the readers think about that. It’s not enough to just collect a bunch of words and arrange them in reasonably sensible phrases on a page. Learn why writing is the core professional creative skill that will literally make or break any content asset you create.
There are many stages on which you can put on your show. And you need to know what stage and audience you’re making the content for before you make it. Learn the many options you have for getting your content out into the world.
Guess what. If you build it, they won’t necessarily come. It’s not enough to make great content. It will be worth absolutely nothing if the audience you made it for never sees it. You can’t make anyone watch or read your stuff, but find out how to put yourself in the best for people to want to get it.
Every once in awhile the question comes up, why are we making this? Good. It should. That’s a key piece of content strategy. Find out how to set the success metrics for the content you make and know for sure your content is accomplishing what you made it to do.
Wait, what? Content and creativity isn’t free? We thought artists just want to make things for the exposure and to express themselves. Dream on. Makers are professionals and should be regarded and paid that way. And then there are the costs of content leadership within your org, content strategy and dollars to promote content. It doesn’t have to break your bank, but you should know how much or little content marketing you can afford.
Once you’ve gone through the series and feel like you’re ready to talk about what sensible next steps can be taken, we’d love to talk shop with you, no commitment. Just fill out the easy form, or email Stiles, or we hear sometimes people still actually use the phone! Feel free to do that to.