5 Recommendations to Build an Iron-Clad Content Strategy

A relevant content strategy - design © Roxana Brongo

Content strategy development is a must for brands in 2017. Still, many struggle to make it happen. A recent conference by Infopresse provided me the opportunity to take stock and reflect on what the challenges are, and how brands can overcome them.

Here are my top 5 recommendations:

Develop clear and measurable objectives

When you’re starting out, it’s important to align your strategy with clear, measurable, and financial business goals that will help you demonstrate the true value of your content. For example, if your goal is to generate customer opportunities, determine your performance indicators (KPIs), such as:

  • The number of subscriptions to your newsletter
  • The level of engagement with your content
  • The amount of new leads your content has generated

Collecting and analyzing metrics to form your KPIs will help you continuously optimize the relevance of your content as you develop your editorial plan.

Create authentic content

Your brand should not be the only topic you write about! Remember that most audiences are drowning in information. According to the Meaningful Brands® 2017 report conducted by Havas, 60% of all content produced by brands is declared as poor, irrelevant or failing to deliver. To succeed in engaging your community, focus on developing quality content that offers valuable information.
Get inspired by Beside, a new magazine by Abitibi & Co. devoted to outdoor enthusiasts that features no “traditional” advertising. Notice how they use content to educate and inspire — not to sell. The key to creating good content is to stay true to your brand’s DNA and to convey your personality and values ​​first. You’ll save both time and money by identifying and betting on content that sets you apart and positions your brand as an expert on a topic.

Offer an original and personalized experience

Pay attention to industry trends, and learn how to detach from them in order to avoid creating content that has already been done by others, or that doesn’t interest potential consumers.
General Electric (GE) recently inspired me with original and personalized editorial content such as 5 Coolest Things On Earth This Week. They are also delivering content in powerful new formats (listen to The Message and LifeAfter, their latest science fiction podcast series). GE also just integrated new technology to their website including a 360-degree video and a chatbot. The GE brand has succeeded in offering an innovative and relevant experience on each one of its digital platforms.

It’s not about copying what your competition is doing, it’s about observing what works for them, and innovating to figure out what will work for your brand.

Create a strategy for each platform

Mapping your digital ecosystem and defining the mission of each of your platforms will help you effectively distribute your content to where your customers will find it. For example, engage your brand in Facebook conversations, position yourself as an expert on LinkedIn or develop a lifestyle feed on Instagram.
To maintain your commitment to your content, you need to continually adapt to ensure you are communicating the right message to the right people on the right channel.

Montreal food blogger Marilou never mentions her brand Trois fois par jour (3 Times a Day) in social media. On Facebook, Marilou generously shares recipes. On Instagram, photos of daily life are posted, life at home with the family, and so on; life in the kitchen is secondary.

Become part of the woodwork in your industry

Instagram and Snapchat play a strong role in marketing. Instagram reports that 75% of its users take action (research and shopping online, sharing with friends) after getting inspired on their platform.

Collaborate with an ambassador that shares your values, and have them create content for your brand. This will help you broaden your visibility and reach your target audience faster, with more credibility.

Letting go and letting content creators be authentic is essential. Give them “carte blanche”. David’s Tea is a good example of this. This tea company gives users prominence on its content channels, and has succeeded in winning over the hearts of its community, and fostering a long lasting attachment to the brand.

Breathe in deeply, now breathe out! Yes, building a content strategy is hard work. You need to be armed with patience, the drive to continually test and improve, work tirelessly on your SEO, and get busy on Facebook to maximize your visibility. Courage! You’re on the right track.

— Emmanuelle Michaud, Digital Strategist at Valtech Canada

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