As a PR and social executive, content really is at the heart of everything we do. From press releases to social posts, it is everywhere! It is the key ingredient to convey information, to engage, and to drive action in our audiences.
We all know the struggle of ensuring we have fresh, new content and how time consuming this process can be, so it was at the top of priorities list to change that for myself and the rest of the team.
Over the past few months I have been working to expand my knowledge on this by taking a course in Content Management Strategy. This included learning about the tools and tactics required to produce a content strategy as well as why it is so important – which it really really is, in case you were wondering.
Having a content strategy optimises the efficiency and consistency of content by making it reusable. Take an image for example, if you are using an image for screen content, why not use the same image on social and across the website. This optimises the use of the content, streamlines all marketing channels, as well as being highly efficient. You can tweak the content to make messages more personal and relevant depending on the channel you are posting to… same content different copy.
When looking at any content there are a multitude of requirements including making sure any content is engaging, reusable and effective which can be a lot to consider when you are planning ahead – this is where focusing on a content strategy comes into play.
Content strategy is all about planning for the optimal use of content to serve the business’s needs efficiently. A content strategy is built to define the basic tenets of content including how content can be presented, when the content is available and who the intended users are.
When applying to clients and putting a content strategy into action there are four separate phases that must be covered; Planning, definition, execution and maintenance.
Planning is the backbone of the entire content strategy that I have found to be valuable when dealing with social accounts and client content. Looking at existing content already provided by the client/company and analysing it is essential when it comes to understanding the businesses goals and what they are aiming to produce.
By analysing and researching the previous content this allows you to be able to define what is needed next. By creating a roadmap for content, visualising what lies ahead and how this can be created, it allows content creators like ourselves to work towards the end goal, success.
Once any piece of content has been designed, edited and made live, another key task is maintaining the content, which includes tracking all the stats, monitoring traffic and gathering an array of learnings to put to use on future projects or campaigns.
Why is this so important and beneficial to businesses you may ask? Content strategy proven to have a number of benefits that can lead to a more efficient, consistent and reusable content plan.
A successful content strategy helps businesses communicate a consistent brand image. It is difficult when managing a collection of different channels to ensure that the brand messaging isn’t being lost along the way. By creating a content strategy there is no risk of this and the content can be specifically designed to meet the business goals.
As I have taken this knowledge onboard and used it to the best of my ability with clients, I have become more aware of my content planning and how to use each and every piece of material to its full potential as well as ensure that we have a well structured strategy in place for our clients when working on campaigns, social media posts and more.