Storytelling isn’t new. In fact, it has been part of human life for as long as we’ve been communicating with one another. Storytelling is one of the earliest forms of entertainment, a way of connecting with others, sharing experiences and values and building relationships.
In a nutshell a content strategy is a detailed plan for the year (or in some cases, longer) which sets out exactly what you are going to say about yourself, where and when. The theme of this content will be set by the marketing strategy and the content strategy is the most detailed layer of thought to support your marketing activity.
A content strategy will include copy for social posts by day, blog articles, the website, any planned exhibitions, talks, brochures and more. It should also detail photos, video and graphic content to support each piece, ensuring a coherent and consistent approach through all communication channels across the year.
In marketing terms, a website falls under the title of ‘owned media’ that is a channel owned and managed by your organisation. It should be clear through your content what you want to encourage a user to do and take away from a visit to your website. For example, you may want visitors to click onto a particular section, undertake a certain task, leave their information or return for something else. Your content strategy should detail how this will happen and be supported by the navigational path.
Your website can be the jewel in your communication channel crown if you use it to its full advantage. Content wise, it can play a unique role in extending and evolving content and imagery from other channels such as printed material; bringing them to life through animation, movement and sound. Further content layers can be added to include signposting a navigational path a user takes through inviting certain actions and the presentation of specific messages that will benefit them along the way. The end result can be a rich and rewarding experience for the user and one where you start to build a meaningful relationship with them.
The long-term content plan is important and paves a solid a strategically led path through the year, but it’s important to be able to also tap into the here and now. Has something happened or about to happen that is significant in your industry sector or in your business? Is something afoot in wider society? Is there a shared feeling or mood that you need to pick up on? Is there a trend about to launch, or already in full flow that is relevant to you? Keeping yourself in touch and agile enough to align yourself with the here and now will ensure that you remain relevant to your audience and your website can play a key role in carrying such messages and provide a landing spot from social media and other communication channels.
As with all activity, the performance of a content strategy is something that you should measure and refine as necessary. Perhaps a particular message didn’t have the desired effect through a particular channel or across the whole range of channels? Do you know why? Can you amend it? Was it timing, creative execution or something else? Establishing a process of analysing your content can help you to refine and evolve to ensure that you are getting the best from all of your channels including your website.
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We work with many of our clients as an ongoing technical partner, but we also offer a consultancy service to solve a specific strategic challenge.
Websites are the major strand in any integrated marketing plan, performing a role of ‘landing’ from other channels to provide more information and/or to provide a platform for the user to undertake a particular action. However, it’s difficult to regularly keep things fresh if you don’t have a specific campaign or activity running and especially difficult to generate content if your industry sector isn’t naturally flush with news and views.