On 25 and 26 June, London’s Olympia Grand hosted the Marketing Week Live 2014 conference. This year’s event focused on the new era of marketing and the major challenges modern marketers need to face. Needless to say, the importance of the digital channel is constantly growing, highlighting the necessity for companies to implement an efficient content strategy.
For those who missed it, Mediavision’s team was there to bring back the best tips and advice on creating and managing a successful content strategy!
A quick reflection on content strategy before getting to the heart of the matter
Before starting to discuss the main challenges of content strategy, we should first investigate why it is so important for a business. It appears that a good content marketing strategy enables companies to accomplish two critical goals:
– To achieve short-run sales objectives by creating a brand personality in order to increase brand awareness and consequently to attract more customers (moreover at a lower cost comparing to traditional marketing practices)
– To make sure long-term performance will be maintained by generating customer engagement and by creating customer loyalty thanks to relevant and attractive content.
Content strategy is more than worth it, even though it can be painful when there is no proper organisation for this channel.
The Marketing Week Live 14 conference really reminded us that companies need to take their digital identity and the content that they are releasing seriously. None of this can be improvised and Amy Nicholson for Econsultancy, Head of Editorial Client Services at Sticky Content, presented an informative talk about the problems content management is raising within companies.
The MediaVision team noted down all the advice and tips given during this really busy day in order to sort out the mystery of a successful content strategy.
1. Prepare and think about a content strategy – avoid improvisation
For all strategy planning, most of us run through the same processes: making an inventory of our resources, defining where we want to go and how long it should take, and then planning a detailed strategy. Why should it be different for content marketing?
It seems pretty simple; however, too many companies go straight to the content production without assessing what they really want to do and above all, what they really can do.
During the talk about content issues, Amy brought up an important point: what are the parameters that we really need to set before starting the content marketing journey?
– First define a target audience; we need to know who we will be talking to, on which channels they are most active (Is it Facebook? Pinterest?), and what they like.
– Then create an inventory of all the resources available; how many people will be part of the content team? How much time can they allocate to the content management? Do they have IT skills? Do we have software to create infographics? Etc.
– Ready to start planning! We can start to think about long term goals and day to day actions.
2. Useful tips that can save you time
– Make an excel inventory of every single piece of content which has been created in order to know where it is located, as well as all the relevant information (content owner, which channel it was published on, when it was published, etc.)
– Make a super editorial calendar. It is critical to keep really organized and clear in order to avoid confusion and poor quality content. We found the following idea really useful: create an excel book with as many pages as you have on your website, for example, and also for the different social media platforms, in order to know what needs to be updated or created and where it is supposed to appear online.
– Implement real processes. This point is vitally important.
3. Manage your content like a project
The conference repeatedly focused on the fact that organisation is vital for a good content strategy. Anybody involved in content has already faced this situation: This must be the worst problem that the content team needs to deal with.
– Reduce the number of people involved and name a leader within the content team.
Hierarchy is definitely a major obstacle to responsive content production; in order to succeed, it is crucial to reduce the number of people who need to sign off and to only involve the best people in terms of content quality and feedback.
– Create departments for each channel when it is possible,
– Set deadlines and limit rounds of amends,
– Limit to certain types of content,
– Create standard templates in order to make the creation of upcoming content easier and faster.
4. Measure the content success and adjust the strategy
Measuring the relative success of the content you produce will help you to define success models and to refine your strategy. Google Analytics and the analytics services provided by social media can help you to monitor your content strategy performance. However, we discovered some new tools that may be also useful.
– Klout gives you a score based on the amount other people interact with your social media content.
– Social crawlytics learns from your competitors’ content success stories. It can help you identify your competitors’ most shared content stories and create a more competitive content strategy, and it is entirely free.
– Five Second Test is a quick and cheap way to get feedback on your content design ideas.
5. Use online tools to schedule your content release
– With Buffer, you can schedule and plan your content. Buffer is a Twitter app that allows you to add tweets to be published on a schedule. Buffer allows you to have a free account to manage one Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn account with up to 10 updates in your scheduler. There are more features if you decide to choose the paid package.
– Buzzsumo identifies the most shared content and key influencers on topics. It also allows you to monitor your content’s success, and it is completely free.
– Bluenod is a visual web-based app that visualises the interactions around hashtags. It lets you search and explore interesting Twitter users and hashtags. You also have the ability to follow them, and visualize their own community. The free version offers results based on the last 300 Tweets. The pro version has a few more features.
What we remembered
Remember that organisation and dedication are the keys to success in content marketing; spending a bit of time to plan your strategy will save you hours later.
We really hope you have found our insights from Marketing Week Live 14 valuable. The Mediavision team had a wonderful time and learnt a lot – we can’t wait for the 2015 edition.