The Essence of Content Strategy
Jan 17, 2012
In case you’d rather read, the gist is this:
Perhaps the greatest benefit of a well-formed content strategy is that it saves you from trying to say everything at once.
So often when organizations have come up with a new product or offering, they start their marketing efforts by thinking “what is the one piece we can create that will tell someone everything there is to know about this product, how it fits in the marketplace, how it is unique… and motivate them to purchase.” It’s an aim at one perfect shot. And that’s nearly impossible. Mostly because that’s not the way people absorb information. And, frankly, whether video, interactive or billboard, that one piece is likely to be over-stuffed and boring rather than effective.
Instead, if you start with an understanding of your target market — what their underlying needs are, how this new offering meets that need, and, perhaps most important, where that audience already lives and operates (online and off) — then you can start to map your message to the way people actually consume information.
Think of that map in a literal sense: landmarks on the way to destination… each one giving the viewer a new piece of the whole story.
That’s the essence of a content strategy. It allows you to match particular messages and calls-to-actions to particular mediums. It lets you focus on putting the most important chunks of the whole lot of info about your offering into your potential customers hands naturally… without overwhelming them. It’s a crafted process of discovery which is easier to consume and much more compelling.
Watching TV as a kid, I used to run to the bathroom during the shows so I could make it back for the commercials. Those days launched me down a path that included layout and writing for the college paper; communications strategy for political campaigns; marketing strategy and graphic design for Gensler (a global design and architecture firm); and the implementation of new programming, animation and design techniques for Centerline. Today I specialize in content marketing strategy and building digital deliverables to execute those strategies. But it’s about more than just creating killer digital content. At Centerline, we help clients succeed in the digital marketplace using a three-pronged approach: strategic (message creation, brand strategy), tactical (design, development), and analytical (measurement and adaptation). This experience-tested approach allows me to build campaigns that are both well-designed and effective for clients like IBM, GE and National Instruments.