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Organizations often use the terms “content strategy” and “content marketing” interchangeably, when in fact there’s a distinct difference. A content strategy is a plan for how a company will use content to fulfill a need, or solve a problem for its customer, while simultaneously helping it achieve a business goal. Two executional arms, content development and content marketing then implement that content strategy. Content development is tasked with creating, sourcing and curating content, while content marketing is responsible for delivering that content to the right audience, on the right channel, at the right time. This presentation shares findings from Altimeter’s latest report which helps companies decide which content archetype is best suited to help them deliver on a customer need, while meeting a business goal as well. Omar Akhtar, analyst at Altimeter and Mat Zucker, Partner at Prophet will walk through the sequence of steps that build upon this archetype to create a formalized content strategy that minimizes content waste, aligns multiple teams around a common vision, and helps them deliver on a unified customer experience.
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[WEBINAR] Key Elements for Building A Content Strategy Omar Akhtar Managing Editor/Analyst Altimeter, a Prophet Company @obakhtar Mat Zucker Partner Prophet @matzucker How To Select The Tools and Technologies for Delivering A Unified Customer Experience
What is A Content Strategy? • A plan for serving a customer need through the use of content, which also delivers on business requirements • It needs to be repeatable, governable and scalable • It applies to an organization, not a department • Content Strategy is executed by content marketing and content development “You basically want to know what content you should produce, and where and when you should use it. Doesn’t matter if it’s a marketing program, or a website, that premise still holds true. You have to see what your goals are, and how you can dovetail them with your audience needs.” - Mina Seetharaman, Global Director of Content Strategy at The Economist
Content Strategy vs. Content Marketing Content Strategy Content Marketing • It is the plan for content • Strategy applies to the multiple teams and departments • Set by executive leadership • Measured year-over-year • It is the execution of the plan for content • Marketing plan applies to marketing department • Plan set by head of the department • Measured month-over-month “It’s not about creating only marketing content, it’s about having a strategy for everything you do which cannot be manifested in the world in a form other than content.” – Hilary Marsh, CEO of Content Company
Step 1: Start With The Customer “I don’t need 17 different personas with hyper-granularity on what coffee they drink and what music they listen to, instead I just need to know the things that keep them up at night.” – Rich Schwerin, Digital Content Strategist, VMware
Step 3: Pick A Content Strategy Archetype • Identify a single, target audience • What is their biggest need? (that your company can solve) • Choose the archetype that you are best positioned to deliver on, and will solve the customer need • Choose only one primary archetype, and possibly a secondary
Archetype 1: Content as Presence Customer need: “I need to be informed and entertained in order to consider this brand” Content Types: Engaging, entertaining content delivered on a large scale to create brand awareness or relevance. Content Formats: Social media posts, advertising, contests, sponsorships. What it’s good for: Companies trying to stay relevant in digital conversations, maintaining brand health, or creating awareness for new or transforming brands. Brand examples: Red Bull, Coca-Cola, Taco Bell What Red Bull stands for is that it "gives you wings…," which means that it provides skills, abilities, power etc. to achieve whatever you want to. It is an invitation as well as a request to be active, performance-oriented, alert, and to take challenges. When you work or study, do your very best. When you do sports, go for your limits. When you have fun or just relax, be aware of it and appreciate it. – Dietrich Metschitz, CEO Red Bull
Archetype 2: Content as a Window Customer need: “I need to trust this company and its products/practices” Content Types: Inward, transparency focused content including customer/employee stories, case studies and explanations. Content Formats: Behind-the-scenes videos, images, interviews with leadership. What it’s good for: Companies that sell services or products considered risky, or brands that need to rebuild trust and loyalty. Brand examples: Piedmont Health, Novartis, McDonald’s “Instead of doing what advertising tends to do - which is tell people what’s great about you, I felt that it was important that we should show people what’s great about us. We had to figure out, ‘How do we use our stories to create and build loyalty, or activate preference in a customer?” – Matt Gove, Chief Consumer Officer Piedmont Healthcare.
Archetype 3: Content as Currency Customer need: “I need high value information to help make better decisions” Content Types: High-value content that contains unique, proprietary information that helps customer in making personal or professional decisions. Content Formats: Research reports, webinars, whitepapers, niche blogs. What it’s good for: Service companies, agencies, companies trying to establish subject matter expertise for consideration. Brand examples: Charles Schwab, Dun & Bradstreet “To create something truly valuable, it should be high quality and scarce.” - Steve Rubel, Chief Content Strategist, Edelman
Archetype 4: Content as Community Customer need: “I need peer support and knowledge to pursue my passion/hobby/lifestyle” Content Types: Content that serves the community, promotes discussion and encourages user-generated activity on owned platforms. Content Formats: Tips and tricks, community websites and forums, niche publications What it’s good for: Brands with niche audiences that want to establish credibility within a community. Brand examples: REI, Playstation, AMEX “We’re not just thinking about associating ourselves with the content people put out in the world, we’re asking people to create content with us in a collaborative way,” – Paolo Mottola, Content Marketing Manager, REI
Archetype 5: Content as Support Customer need: “I need fast, accurate information that helps me use and make decisions about the product” Content Types: Consistent, accurate product and support focused material that helps customers to make pre and post purchase decisions. Content Formats: How-to/Demo videos, FAQs, user manuals, spec sheets What it’s good for: Brands with high-end, luxury products, or products that require technical knowledge, investment and service in order to be used optimally. Brand examples: General Motors, Comcast “Our overall strategy focuses on making our content as easy to access and as consistent and accurate as possible,” - Michael McCormack, Customer and Dealer Experience Lead, GM
Step 4: Set The Content Criteria • Create guidelines/tests for whether content gets produced or not. • Must take into consideration factors such as customer need, value, timeliness, relevance. • De-prioritize or eliminate content that does not meet criteria. • Enables multiple teams to independently produce content, with common guidelines. • Examples from REI below:
Step 5: Map Content Along The Customer Journey • What does the customer journey look like? • What is the end of the journey? Awareness? Consideration? • Identify points along journey where content plays a part in moving customer • Identify which stakeholders will be involved at each point
Step 6: Create Content Initiatives • Identify gaps in content development, content delivery and content governance • Establish what is needed to fill those gaps. People? Process? Technology? • Create content initiatives • Prioritize initiatives by placing them along a time vs. difficulty chart
Step 7: Define How To Measure Success • Base success measure on chosen archetype • Strategy is measured year-over-year, marketing is measured month-over-month • Regular check in with content stakeholders to see if plan is working
Thank you! Download the report for free at http://www2.prophet.com/buildingacontentstrategy Omar Akhtar Managing Editor, Altimeter @obakhtar firstname.lastname@example.org Mat Zucker Partner, Prophet @matzucker email@example.com How To Select The Tools and Technologies for Delivering A Unified Customer Experience Altimeter, a Prophet company, provides research and advisory for companies challenged by business disruptions, enabling them to pursue new opportunities and business models www.altimetergroup.com www.prophet.com