As a digital agency there are many challenges which we face when working with our clients. However, the main blockade that we always come up against is focused around the topic of content.
So Why Is Content So Important?
Content has become central to everything we do when it comes to marketing in any format, on or offline. However, it is still a (basically) free tool and skill which many companies fail to utilise. Content can be used by business for so many applications including:
- Communicating new products or services
- Communicating promotions, special and seasonal offers
- Creating interest in existing products and services and brand awareness
- Building relationships with existing consumers
- Educating and informing existing and potential consumers about industry information and trends
This content can then be distributed across a wide range of media including:
- direct marketing (such as leaflets, mail drops and letters)
- press releases
- case studies/white papers/ebooks
- social media
Although content is considered a 'free' tool, what many companies greatly underestimate is the time, effort and planning that has to go into any form of content to make it beneficial for the company.
So What Do I Need To Consider When Creating Content?
The most important thing that you must consider when it comes to creating any content is allowing for the appropriate amount of time and effort in order to create an effective content plan. This is something that many companies fail to do, often choosing to 'wing it' instead. However, this approach often leads to inconsistent and ineffective content basically wasting your time and effort. So what do you need to consider when creating a content plan?
What medium is it going to be? Channels such as blogs and social media require a lot of time and dedication; are you able to give this project the time it needs to make it successful!?
Who is going to write the content? Can you outsource or share it? If you take one point away from this post it should be this; DELEGATE, especially when it comes to time intensive projects like blogs and social media. Often these channels will benefit from more than one person working on them, allowing for a more rounded range of content. If you are doing this, it can be useful to create a guide for those involved to ensure continuity in your online branding.
Plan ahead. Content plans should always cover a reasonable period of time, typically at least a few months, to effectively communicate a marketing strategy. Try and plan ahead what topics you are going to write about, who are you targeting, what media are you using, who is writing the content and what the desired outcome is.
Don't Be The Roadblock. It is very common on projects such as websites and other content driven marketing activities that the implementation of the project is held up due to the need for (or lack of) content. Naturally this holds up your project and ultimately will cost you money. So If you know you are taking on this sort of project go into the initial discussion meetings with a plan of what you want your website to do, look and feel like and what sort of content you want on the site. Preferably, have a written site structure outlining what content you want on your site, who is writing it (remember to delegate) and start writing this as soon as possible to prevent any hold ups.
So What Now?
Moving forward, here is a quick summary of everything you need to have to be prepared. Aim to go into every meeting with:
- A written site structure plan (when creating websites)
- A content plan or schedule (with deadline due dates) which outlines what content you are creating, whether it's written or not, who is responsible for writing that content and for what deadline.
- Some form of brand or image guidelines if anyone else is helping to create the content, in order to ensure consistency
With a strong plan of action in place, you will be able to make sure that you get the utmost out of your great quality content, time and effort.