June 2010: Effective Content Strategy Explained
“Set it and forget it?”
When it comes to website development, the days of “set it and forget it” have long passed us by. In the Internet’s infancy, you could get by with an “if we build it, they will come” approach. No longer. Getting to site launch, while relevant, is no longer seen as the beginning of the end. It’s really the end of the beginning. If you truly want to use your site as a business development tool, launch is just the beginning. Success comes from an effective, do-able and sustainable content deployment strategy.
What is a content deployment strategy?
In the simplest terms, a content deployment strategy is a plan for the creation, delivery and monitoring of customer-focused information that leads to meaningful, interactive viewer experiences. Let’s break it down . . .
This is the first part and, for many, the hardest part. What do we say? What do we start with? How do we say it? Writer’s block sets in, other priorities emerge, and any well-meaning intentions of content building are laid to rest. Two thoughts about getting over this initial hump: 1) Think about your customers. What’s a recent question that came up in a meeting? What’s a recent client problem that you were able to solve? Have you read or seen something recently that would benefit one (or several) of your customers? Once you have an idea, 2) Jump in. Just get started. Write in a conversational tone as though you were talking with a customer right now. Take yourself out of the equation, and freely offer ideas, solutions, recommendations. Remember, there will never be a perfect time to do this. There will never be the ideal subject. Just go for it, because you can’t improve until you start.
People often ask, “What’s the best form of communicating a message? Blogs? Online PR, e-News, Video? My best answer is: “As many formats as you can realistically manage.” Today, people are accustomed to receiving and interacting with content information in a myriad of ways. There is no “one size fits all.” Once you have a body of content, the key is to be effective at repurposing it for the various types of delivery. For instance, if your initial content creation was in the format of an e-newsletter, consider repurposing it as a white paper or article, a series of PowerPoint frames, a blog entry, and a brief video or demonstration. Once repurposed, you can now deliver the content to the various and appropriate social media channels (YouTube, SlideShare, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn).
Build a keyword-focused landing page featuring the newly created content. The landing page will reside in your site, containing additional information and access to some of the newly repurposed resources (article, video, slide presentation, etc.). Most important, the landing page will easily take the viewer to a “Contact” or “Inquiry” page. In this manner, with each deployment of content, you can monitor and measure outcomes to continuously optimize and improve.
I’ll leave you with this final thought. . .
Advertising = Buying Attention
Public Relations = Begging for Attention
Sales = Bugging for Attention
Effective Content Deployment = EARNING Attention.
EARN their attention, and you are now in a position to also earn their respect and their business.