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How to Build a Long-Term Strategy in a Real-Time World

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Learn how to create a long-term content strategy that provides a solid foundation and built-in flexibility to help you achieve your long-term goals—even when they change. 

Publicado en: Empresariales, Marketing
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How to Build a Long-Term Strategy in a Real-Time World

  1. HOW TO BUILD A LONG-TERM STRATEGY IN A REAL-TIME WORLD
  2. WHY LONG TERM? Content marketing can be chaos. When brands like Oreo and Airbnb are the content marketing masters of real-time relevance and your consumer conversation changes minute by minute, it’s difficult to think beyond the latest headlines and hashtags. Yet your content marketing success relies on a steady stream of consistent, quality material that can’t just be produced overnight. How do you satisfy everyone from your sales team to your social following? And can you do it with your sanity intact? With the right long-term strategy, it is possible. The best strategy provides a solid foundation to serve your business goals, while remaining flexible enough to let you capitalize on the latest cat meme. It’s a blueprint to keep you moving in the right direction, even when a delayed product launch or news story forces you to take a detour. In short, a long-term strategy is more control over the chaos. Ready to start? 1
  3. Content marketing is like investing, in that it requires a consistent and sustained effort to yield the best results. The reality is that you can’t always predict what will be most successful, but planning ahead helps you work smarter. A long-term content strategy doesn’t mean you have every single piece of content mapped out for a year; it means you have established parameters and guideposts to help you stay close to your larger goals as you go. Improve Quality: Whether it’s a seasonal infographic or a major foundational piece for your brand, a long-term strategy lets you focus your energy on creating strong content ideas and adapting in real time. Increase Impact: A solid strategy ensures you’re creating a steady flow of content— not sinking all your resources into one “viral” effort that may end up flopping. BENEFITS OF A LONG-TERM STRATEGY Improve ROI: Instead of investing in one-off pieces or scattered efforts, a long-term strategy lets you take a more holistic approach to content creation and publishing, helping you get more bang for your buck. Save Time: A solid strategy gives you a map to follow, making it easier to streamline production and plan ahead. 2
  4. Before you brainstorm a single piece of content, you need a strategy to make sure that content is aligned with your goals. Luckily, there’s no need to get overwhelmed. Take this step-by-step approach to crafting a content strategy that works. DON’T BE AFRAID OF COMMITMENT 3
  5. The first step is the most important: deciding what it is you’re trying to achieve. Your core objectives will inform everything going forward, from the message you communicate, to the platforms you use, to the types of content you create. Are you looking to increase conversions? Build brand awareness? Build trust? Clearly identify your objectives to form the foundation of your strategy. 1) IDENTIFY YOUR OBJECTIVES Who is the audience you want to reach? What message do you want to send to the world? What content will be valuable for your audience? What response should your audience have, or what action do you want them to take? These questions can help inform your objectives. 4 QUESTIONS TO ASK 4
  6. Build brand awareness Create eye-catching content that stands out from the crowd. Build trust Increase conversions Create content that showcases expertise and provides value to the audience. Create robust content that targets sales-qualified leads. Once you know what you’re working toward, you can focus on identifying content initiatives. If your objectives are “what” you’re trying to achieve, your initiatives are “how” you’re going to do it. Note: This isn’t the time to identify specific creative yet. Content initiatives are more like content pillars for you to ideate within later. They provide guideposts for your strategy—even when you need to replace an objective or shift focus. As you craft your strategy, focus on outlining a flexible framework that you can continue to refine or adjust as needs arise, without derailing your overall goals. 2) CREATE YOUR INITIATIVES OBJECTIVE INITIATIVE 5
  7. For each initiative, you will want to identify the type of content that will most effectively achieve your objective. (You’re still not delving into actual creative ideas yet.) Again, things may change. The goal here is to provide a blueprint to reference as you go. In general, your content will fall into three buckets. 1) Core Content: These are foundational pieces that are directly tied to your content initiatives. They may be evergreen or crafted around a specific event, such as a new product launch, but they are robust pieces that provide tremendous value. SlideshowsE-books Motion Graphics Videos Interactive infographics 3) BUILD CONTENT CLUSTERS White Papers Case Studies 6
  8. 2) Divisible Content: This is lean content that is repurposed from your core content; it is meant to extend the reach of your core pieces and allow for a steady stream of publishing. For example, information from a white paper can be turned into several mini graphics to be spread through social media or posted on your blog. (Check out this infographic for more.) 3) Newsworthy Content: This is any timely content that capitalizes on news, trends, or industry events. Scheduling this in enables you to be proactive instead of reactive, which is especially vital to stay ahead of the curve. MICRO- CONTENT INFOGRAPHIC BLOG POST SLIDESHOW CORE CONTENT BLOG CONTENT 7
  9. What channels are best to reach your audience? How can you optimize distribution to get your content in front of the right eyes? Check out “How to Determine the Best Distribution Channels for Your Content” to help you decide. Distribution Channels As you decide what content would work best for each initiative, consider the following: Any creative you produce will need to align with your audience and your objectives. Check out “5 Ways to Know if Your Content Idea Will Work” once you’re ready to brainstorm. Creative What type of content is most effective to communicate your message? For example, if you are trying to prove your expertise, a white paper or e-book may be the right format. For brand awareness, infographics or social content might be the right choice. Formats 8
  10. Create content clusters for each initiative, and map them accordingly. Build brand awareness OBJECTIVE INITIATIVE Create eye-catching content that stands out from the crowd. Behind-the-scenes blog post, quote cards, GIFS DIVISIBLE CONTENT Video CORE CONTENT NEWSWORTHY CONTENT Mini graphics, social memes 9
  11. 4) FILL IN YOUR EDITORIAL CALENDAR Now, you are ready to create your editorial calendar and fill in your initiatives. Consider which initiatives might be more effective throughout the year, according to seasonal, social, or industry events. Depending on how many initiatives you have, you may want to map things monthly or quarterly. Download our 2015 Editorial Calendar to help you plan. 1 2 3 8 9 1054 6 7 15 16 171211 13 14 22 23 241918 20 21 29 30 312625 27 28 Video Launch Graphic 1 Blog Post News Piece Social Post GIF 1 Blog Post Graphic 2 Meme News Piece Social Post GIF 2 Social Post Blog Post News Piece Graphic 3 JANUARY 10
  12. You will likely need outside help with your content. When looking for a new vendor, choosing a creative partner who intimately understands your brand is important. Switching vendors from project to project is inefficient, as each vendor must learn your brand. Building a relationship with a vendor who can provide your services is the key to producing quality creative at scale. Creating your content is the most exciting and challenging part of this process. Once you have your strategy and content types outlined, you must decide how you are going to execute your creative. Consider each project’s needs to determine whether you can accomplish what you need internally or if you need significant external support. Depending on your creative, you may need: 5) ASSESS YOUR RESOURCES Editors DesignersCopywriters Art Directors PR/DistributionProducers/Project Managers 11
  13. info@columnfive.com 949.614.0759 @columnfive For more help with your content strategy or creation, contact us.

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