It’s that time of year again when most of us reflect on the things for which we are thankful, such as our family, health and home. But from a business perspective, indulge me for a moment and consider this: Are you thankful for the key elements that make your content strategy successful? I’m referring to the social conversation and messaging that communicate your expertise and credibility – the very reasons why your customers engage you in business.
As a content and new media strategist for countless B2B focused campaigns, there are three key things that help to ensure my success for my clients and for which I’m intensely grateful:
1) Genuine experts in my client companies who like to share knowledge. This allows me to build strong, effective content.
2) Their commitment to the challenge of meeting frequent content deadlines (despite many other high-priority business needs distracting them daily!).
3) Analysis capabilities, including relevant metrics related to target audiences, which confirm that the content we’re delivering is having an impact.
If you’re someone working on your own content strategy and realizing you don’t quite yet have a plan worthy of being thankful for, here are a few quick tips to put you on the right path:
1) Empower and incentivize your internal experts to share their knowledge by making it rewarding and valuable to them. This may include delegating some of their work to another resource in order to free up their time for developing content, or giving extra compensation or other perks to those who take the time to share their knowledge.
2) View content deadlines as mission-critical activities. Yes, it can be tempting to postpone writing a blog post or moderating a LinkedIn discussion to answer a ringing telephone or check an overstuffed email inbox. But every time you delay, know that you’re not delivering on a key business activity that the majority of your peers are increasingly planning to spend on in the year ahead. A recent Content Marketing Institute report found that 58 percent of B2B marketers plan to increase their content marketing budget over the next 12 months, up from 54 percent last year.
3) Before you develop content, think about what you’re really trying to achieve. This will help ensure that your time and monetary investment will have been worthwhile. Not every tweet will result in a dollar added to your bottom line, but being a trusted expert in your field with published content and an original voice in the conversations that matter is invaluable for convincing people why they should do business with you. Analysis of your content strategy’s value should be long-term in view while also confirming that what you’re putting out there is delivering on immediate goals. Evaluation metrics should look at current criteria like engagement, interest and response from your audience. But content goals, especially with regard to social media, should also be part of a years-in-the-making foundational plan. And finally, remember that targeted content works best. A new Twitter follower today can just as easily be an unfollower tomorrow…so look to engage a core group that appreciates and stands to directly benefit from what you offer, instead of working to go viral with content that reaches an expansive but irrelevant mass audience. They’ll sign on for the gimmick and lose interest quickly. Conversely, a follower that desires your expertise and needs your solution will be with you for the long haul.
What parts of your content strategy are you thankful for?