We’re all familiar with the buzzwords, the exhilaration and the wave of change that is slowly making its way through the industry. We chat about it in meetings, we excite our clients about its existence and, subsequently, spend hours brainstorming ideas – all in an effort to formulate an exciting and effective content strategy.
The basic strategy behind content marketing is rather simple, yet proves increasingly tough to execute. Creating a new strategy that initiates a two-way conversation while also providing useful and relevant information seems like an inherently modest task, yet the lack of perfect implementation has left the industry in a bit of a funk. This further proves that content marketing, although simple, is certainly not easy.
The question remains – what is an effective content strategy? Simply put, your strategy should not merely outline the creation and amplification of content, but rather include details on how to harvest fresh and unique content that is shareable and that triggers discussion. The ultimate goal is to ensure that your client gives you the thumbs up to action your ideas, with the condition that they receive a substantial (read, dramatic) increase in their traffic – this is not only applicable to site views but also to shares and likes. Take a step back from the reception of your target audience, and focus on Google – ultimately, your new strategy also needs to create linking opportunities – a sure-fire method to ensure that the search engine recognises the new content as authoritative.
It is also important to remember that an effective content strategy does not include the type of content that glorifies the product but rather the type of content that gets people talking about the brand. This is the type of content that tells a story and strikes an emotional cord with the audience, or the type that provides truly useful and objective information. What’s important to remember is that the two don’t have to be mutually exclusive and that some of the best content out there makes use of both of these elements.
During the ideation process, it is important to note that you want to create brand visibility through content that keeps people engaged. Forcing product-related content down the throats of consumers has become a thing of the past, and is frowned upon by many savvy customers who are not afraid to initiate some kind of negative attention towards the brand. This, of course, is easily achieved, thanks to social media. The golden rule is to always remember that a content strategy needs to reflect consumer engagement – it is the decisive purpose behind a strategy and should be reflected in the tone and approach of your content.
Think of your content strategy as a new way in which to brand a business – it needs to be truly remarkable to garner the attention of consumers. When in doubt, simply think about what it takes to create a meaningful relationship with someone, and apply that to your strategy. The more interesting and relatable the content is, the higher the chances are that the relationship will strengthen – a strong relationship between a brand and its loyal consumers will prove your strategy effective. Also remember that you don’t just want people to consume your content. You want them to interact with it (Share it, Like it and Comment on it), and so start a conversation between the brand and its consumers.
An effective content strategy plays a pivotal role in moving your brand forward, and if consumers are not already talking about you, you better start thinking of ways in which to get them talking!