To get quality content out to customers wherever they are, and whatever medium or device they’re using, organisations need to take a smarter approach to content marketing. Most organisations will quite rightly turn to content management systems to solve the problem. However, technology is only part of the story.
You’ll need to develop a multi-channel content strategy that’s aligned with your business goals, and ends with an effective system of measurement so that you can assess the impact of what you publish. You’ll also need to produce your content more efficiently. To that end, you need to break down the barriers between channels, and take a cross-silo approach to content creation.
You need a content architecture that allows you to make content just the once, which is then free to flow within the company, and can be adapted to each channel as required. And just like any other business asset, the content you create must be regularly reviewed and maintained to deliver full ROI.
This can all sound quite daunting so we’ve simplified it into a ‘framework for freedom’ which illustrates the 5 areas that you’ll need to focus on to ensure that your organisation is ready to deliver a coherent and consistent story to customers everywhere and on every channel.
Content strategy: the ‘why’
You don’t have to draw up a complex content strategy, but you do need to be sure it’s closely related to your business goals. Start by asking yourself some basic questions: What’s important in your business? What do you want to achieve? How will content help you get there?
Content operations: the ‘what’
A content strategy is important but isn’t enough on its own to help you make and create content quickly and at scale. You’ll need to think about changing how you work, to make content creation more efficient. Developing a content operating model will help you work out where to place your resources, what you’ll need and how to manage the transition.
Content governance: the ‘who’
Yes, governance sounds like a dull word - but without governance, content has no manager to ensure its effectiveness. You run the risk of publishing content that hasn’t been approved; or of struggling to meet your time-to-market deadline as content gets stuck in a convoluted approval process. Establish clear responsibilities for your sign-off process and you’ll see two immediate benefits: a brand universe full of your most valuable and up-to-date content and no zombie content clogging the airwaves.
Content architecture: the ‘where’
Without an effective content architecture, it’s a challenge to stay relevant on multiple platforms and channels - even with a content management system. You need to develop structured - or intelligent - content, which can be read by machines as easily as by people; and can flow easily from one system to another with no need for additional human intervention.
You need to create relationships between pieces of content using techniques such as taxomonies and ontologies. With effective tags, links and rules in place, your content will be truly free to move to where your customers are.
Content measurement: the ‘how’
Producing a piece of content may feel like the end point, but it’s not. You need to understand its impact. Did it communicate the right message? Did it raise your brand or business profile? Did it drive the desired reaction? Measuring the impact of each piece of content will help you understand what’s working and where you need to make changes.
Create appropriate metrics for your content. Having objective data is the only way to measure ROI. Sometimes you’ll discover that something didn’t work. That’s fine - it will save you making the same mistakes again. And whatever you do find out, you’ll be able to work the data back into the next iteration of your content strategy.
If you recognise that your organisation could do with making improvements in any of the areas outlined, get in touch. We’ll also be at Confab, the content strategy conference, in Seattle in September talking about content modelling for personalisation. In fact, we’re running a workshop that looks at how to approach personalisation conversations around content. Register now to join us there.
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