X Marks the spot

X Marks the spot

The topic of content is now a natural phenomenon for clients and agencies. There is a greater ease with which the subject is discussed, there is an appetite to learn about and understand its potential and proponents now have formal titles containing the word content. A positive inevitability perhaps. Content is the narrative of the brand. It is a brand’s email, blog, video, app, infographic and meme. It is the means through which existing and new customer engagement is enabled.

But make and they will come? Sadly not…

There is an awful lot of content floating around that delivers practically nil engagement. We hear it all the time with prospect clients when they are describing what has gone before. The exasperation at the lack of likes, shares, views, opens and downloads. The questioning of the merits of this brave new world where content is apparently king. Doubtless the poor performance is partly due to lack of quality but more often than not there is a word missing. Context.

No-one should expect to post a new video on a You Tube channel and watch the hordes flood in. Or create a blog that suddenly opens the gates to a mass of followers. Context needs to sit at the heart of the planning process. This means firstly understanding the persona of your audience and then delivering content outreach strategies that deliver content in the right place at the right time. In summary it is about good old fashioned personalisation.

Making context the centrepiece of your content strategy requires planning. A simple 7 point plan will take you a long way….

  1. Define your customer persona – who are you looking to reach, how do they behave and where are they to be found? – by individual day part/week part.
  2. Be in tune with the role of different platforms and devices – consumer relationship with differing devices and channels is varied by time of day and week. Listen, analyse data and seed the most appropriate forms of engagement by device/platform according to consumer mood and need state.
  3. Be dynamic – whether it is your landing page or your email, be relevant to those who visit and those who open. Varying interests will prevail. Some visitors will be up for buying, others are still in the consideration mode. Use data and use tagging to ensure relevance
  4. Make those around you influence in your favour and spread the word – reach out to key influencers and motivate them to be involved in and champion your content.
  5. Be culturally contextual – theme your content ideas around topics that are hot and engaging. Listen hard and be consumer led, not product led.
  6. Optimise – SEO, the lifeblood of strong content strategies. Use keyword analysis and make natural link building the focal point of your planning.
  7. Pay to play – be prepared to use paid media to deliver outreach and traffic to content.

Just as in the Field of Dreams if you’ve built it, deliver the plans to make sure they come.

And the sure fire way to achieve that is to put ‘X’ into the word content.