Content production is an important component of the marketing machine behind your brand. With the amount of digital content published daily on the rise, brands can find themselves with the need to work harder, to stand out from the crowd.
In recent research about the state of branding prepared by Bynder, the majority, or 53% of marketing decision-makers, responded that increasing customer engagement and loyalty is their number one motivation for investing in emerging marketing technologies.
A clearly defined content strategy can help a brand effectively distribute the right content to a target audience, which will increase engagement and loyalty on their part. So, what are some vital elements that can help you develop a succesful content strategy?
*Success is defined as achieving your organization’s desired results by following the content strategy that you have in place.
The features that I will talk about can relate to any type of organization, no matter the size. The three most important factors when it comes to content distribution are: your team, your audience, and the technology being used. Each of these features ties back to at least one factor.
1) Brand Identity Guidelines
The core of your strategy comes from your brand identity first, and that is what you should base the main purpose and message of your content. There are two sides to your brand identity that are relevant in this case: the visual and the vocational.
The visual identity of your brand should always be incorporated in the content you produce, telling the user that the style is an extension of your content. A well-designed identity can help your audience differentiate your brand from others.
Going beyond the visuals, your vocational identity conveys the purpose and the mission of your brand, and it should also be present in the content in some way. This serves both the brand and the consumer of the content, sharing this common purpose is what connects you two.
2) Target Audience Profiles
The first step was about knowing your brand, and understanding your audience is the follow up that can make or break a content strategy. Relationship building is crucial when it comes to creating the right content for the right people.
Understanding your audience can help you align your content strategy goals with those of the audience. Go beyond the typical audience profile, and design rich personalities by doing market research, analyzing your existing audience and other types of social listening.
Connecting to fewer of the right people can have a much bigger impact on your brand than reaching more of people that are not as relevant. That will help you tailor posts to fit the needs of your specific audience.
3) Documented Goals
It is easy to lose track of the messaging behind the content your brand produces, especially if you consistently produce large amounts of content. Documenting the strategy you have in place for the given period can help you stay in touch with the big picture.
A documented route establishes your brands’ commitment to producing quality content, it is also expected to yield greater success, and as time goes by it will contribute to the maturity level of your content ecosystem.
It is a smart way to align your team behind a common mission, and it makes it easy for you to keep track of priorities. It should account for things like budget allocation, performance indicators, and other resources needed.
4) A Content Calendar
Even though the content you create is made for the audience first in mind, your team should be able to keep track of everything behind the scenes. A great way to have everyone in the loop is to manage a joint content calendar.
Consistency is essential when building a digital presence, and the calendar will help you plan and stick to a consistent schedule of publishing content. It can include detailed information about the content format, time of posting, channels, and so on.
When there are other important events that will affect your marketing strategy like holidays, company organized events, or other global happenings, make sure you mark them in the calendar and plan for specific content around them.
5) Performance Reports
The content marketing process does not stop at the moment of publishing. Measuring content performance and collecting feedback can help you form a better strategy for the future. When you have more insight about the performance, it is easier to optimize your future strategy efforts.
There can be a few layers to measuring the overall performance of your content. Periodical content audits, recent content analytics, and measuring the return of investment, are all great ways to collect data that can help you shape your strategy.
Tracking and measuring performance will help you understand where you’ve been, where you are now, and it will help you decide where you should be heading next.
Exceptional content is always supported by a well-thought-out strategy. It sets the direction in which the brand will move, to ultimately improve its positioning. Think of your brands’ content strategy as a game plan — make moves, experiment, learn, and pivot as needed.