How to fix a content marketing strategy problem
To address content strategy, the first step is of course to understand that you have a content problem.
Odds are that your content presents several challenges:
- It’s often underutilised
- It isn’t always easy to access
- The time from creation to consumption is too long
- Creating and maintaining it costs too much and therefore it’s neglected, out of date, and out of sync, so its quality drops with time
- It isn’t developed in a way that lends it to working across different media types and channels
Within your organisation you might hear phrases like: 'why does it take us so long to publish content? It’s already out of date by the time it gets to our customers,' or: 'our customers are asking for an optimised mobile experience. PDF just isn’t good enough'.
Digital is revolutionising the way content is consumed because it empowers your audience. Specifically, you need to enable your audience to get the right content, at the right place, at the right time (the 3 'rs').
That means changing elements of your current content strategy in ways that include moving from print-centric to digital-first, from monolithic documents to creating reusable content components, and from time-consuming manual processes to automated process.
It’s important to connect any investment in re-engineering your content processes to strategic objectives.
The most effective way to implement a new content automation platform is crawl, walk, run
Recent research from InfoTrends found that more than 55% of organisations agree that increasing customer satisfaction is their most important business initiative related to content strategy in the next 12 months.
Customer satisfaction is followed by increasing revenue, reducing costs and improving compliance. So understand why you are changing and connect this to the overall objectives of the business.
Where to start?
Regardless of industry, the first step is always understanding your content. Content automation is most appropriate for business-critical content which is defined as content that you sell, that helps you sell or that helps you run your business.
It’s content that is generally produced in large volumes, through repeated processes and has to scale to address a wide variety of audiences, geographies and purposes.
Examples of business critical content include product information, sales collateral, research reports, fund marketing materials, policies and procedures, and training manuals to name but a few.
The best way to understand your content is to conduct a content audit. It is fundamental to modern content creation and management and will determine the success of your content and business goals.
After you complete the audit, you can identify, quantify, and qualify the requirements for your content automation solution and where to start. The most effective way to implement a new content automation platform is crawl, walk, run.
Implement and learn
Start with a small step, such as implementing a single document type or channel. Learn from any mistakes that occur, improve the process and then add more documents, users, locations and channels.
Technology may have changed but that doesn’t mean the old ways of understanding your customers necessarily have. So don’t rule out customer surveys and actually speaking with your customers!
However, one of the key benefits of digital content delivery is clearly the ability to use analytics to track consumption habits. Tools like Google Analytics can give you this data for your websites and even embedded within apps for consolidated reporting. It can be as simple as how long a customer segment spends on specific content through to video plays and social engagement metrics.
In addition, marketing automation tools like Marketo and Eloqua can provide deep insights on downloads of content marketing assets and content recommendation engines can dynamically serve up more of the content that a prospective customer is interested in.
In a B2B environment where an organisation might have a more tightly managed customer base, some companies are even connecting content analytics to their CRM system to connect content to customers.
One of the significant benefits of content automation is when you move to creating reusable content components, you can start to track content consumption at an even more granular level to fully understand what your audience wants, when and where.
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