Tuesday, September 10, 2019

8 content strategies marketing leaders need to master | Advertising Age

Content strategy forms the basis of most of our modern-day marketing techniques. It isn't just a plan that a business puts into place to get noticed. It's a carefully crafted ideal that embodies the brand of a company and delivers a promise to the consumer.

Below, eight members of Ad Age Collective share a few key aspects of content strategy and explain why these principles matter for an organization’s success.

1. Crowdsource the answer. 

I find so many leaders panic at the idea of creating content. Co-workers often think they have to write 600 words by themselves, but a very simple way is to crowdsource the answer. I recently used this technique and in 24 hours, I had a great piece of thought leadership. I just started a Google Doc and posed a real-world challenge to a handful of people. Their passion translated into content as they riffed on the subject. This technique means you get the opinions of several folks, avoiding narrow thinking. The collaboration makes it fun for everyone. We've now turned this piece into thought leadership and made it part of our sales training. When it publishes, we will share with the sales team and on social. Plus, the authors will be extremely excited to see their name in lights and be eager to write the next byline, which helps keep our content pipeline full. - Holly Pavlika, Collective Bias

2. Keep your messaging consistent.

A principle that isn’t always front of mind is the need to create and maintain a consistent messaging drumbeat, helping the market understand and move toward the “art of the possible.” Sharing differing levels of thought leadership, insights and trends that help educate clients and bring light to new opportunities reinforces our position as experienced experts who can help achieve their goals. - Cathy Oh, Samsung Ads

3. Be authentic.

That may seem like a simple answer, but when you see and read much of the content out there today, it's just "stuff." Great content needs to connect with customers and be relevant and engaging. But above all else, it needs to be authentic to who you are and what the brand is. Start there and the rest will fall into place. - Rich Honiball, Navy Exchange Service Command

4. Optimize around search terms.

The incredible content that you labored to create is not valuable if no one can find it. Too many of us try to create clever headlines and unique tags that create barriers to people finding your content. You need to see the actual search terms people are using to find content and optimize around them. Originality has its place, but not in the world of content search. - Brian Kardon, Fuze

5. Get scrappy.

Relying on paid media and budget can sometimes be a crutch. And oftentimes, you end up casting a wider net than necessary, which could also muddy your final results. It pays to be scrappy, pushing you to think more creatively on how to get "found" organically by the right audience. - Vinita Kochhar, JPMorgan Chase and Co

6. Know what not to create.

Deciding what content to not create is just as important as deciding what content you do create. Think of your brand as a person, what does your brand like, what is its personality, what does it stand for, what is its style, and contrast that with the opposite. By understanding your brand at a deeper level it will be more clear what content you shouldn't create and what content you should create. - Samantha Jahnke, OMD

7. Do your keyword research. 

The fundamental, underlying aspect of content strategy that gets you consistent, evergreen and organic traffic is keyword research. If you want to build organic traffic to your site, you must be intimately involved in your team’s keyword research so you can understand what keywords your core avatars are searching for, what the competition is for those keywords, and how you can create 10x content on that keyword compared to any other top 10 rankings on the first page of the search engines. Once you identify the right keywords, the content creation is easier. Then, once you create 10x content for that particular keyword, you need to invest in legitimate link-building to get your content to take the #1 spot in the search engines. In summary, here’s the formula: 1) Conduct keyword research, 2) decide which keywords matter to your core avatars, 3) write 10x content on those keywords, 4) invest in quality link-building to your content. - Andy Mackensen, SnackNation

8. Make it relatable.

No one cares about your brand or company unless you make it relevant to them. Too many marketers take off their "consumer hat" and place on a "marketing hat" when they begin to draft content. If your content is relatable, people will naturally gravitate toward it. Listen to the feedback from your readers -- if they're saying, "I feel like you wrote this just for me," you're on the right track. - Patrick Ward, High Speed Expert


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