Content Strategy – At the Intersection between Brand Activation and Communications ExecutionDecember 2, 2015
Anyone working to get the attention of audiences is likely bombarded by the array of media to consider. From traditional advertising outlets to the range of social media, the pressure to do it all affects everyone from sole proprietors to big corporations. In an effort to be sure that organizations have a presence in all media, too often marketers overlook the value of a solid, consistent and coherent content strategy.
Content strategy is at the intersection between a media plan and a commitment to brand activation. Decisions about media placement – whether your offer should be on Facebook, supported by a consistent Twitter presence, part of conference presentations or pushed out to potential customers in a direct mailing – should be made strategically based on an understanding of the sources your audience values. Correspondingly, what you post on Facebook or choose to Tweet about should reflect your brand identity – in the same way you think about the content of your direct mail piece.
As you develop and maintain your organization’s brand platform, be sure that you’ve thoroughly considered the implications for your content strategy. Once you’ve arrived at your vision, it is good practice to list the topics that you and your team can write about that associate your organization with the content of that vision. By developing thought leadership around strategically-identified and brand-coherent content, you advance a brand identity and reinforce your valued point-of-view.
Here are some thoughts on how to get started with a coherent content strategy:
- It all begins with understanding your most important audiences. Knowing who you want to engage and what they value is the foundation of the conversation you hope to begin.
- The centerpiece of your strategy is a firm articulation of your organization’s brand identity. A solid brand platform includes not only language presenting your organization’s competitive distinctiveness, values and point-of-view but should state specific topics that your organization and its representatives can “own.”
- Only then is it time to get tactical. Built on a great content strategy you’re ready to answer questions about how to get the word out. What media will best reach that desired audience? Who can best speak to the topics that define your organization? If that’s your president or executive director, will she write for publication or will someone be responsible for authoring blog posts and comments?
Having a good content strategy isn’t a new idea but does take on renewed importance in the age of digital media and its constant barrage of messages.