5 Rules of Thumb for an Effective Content Strategy

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We live in an ever-changing world where information forms a critical social currency. According to a study, an average person today consumes more than 5 times the content in a day that she may have consumed 25 years ago. With the coming of the internet era and its multiple digital delivery mechanisms, we can consume content anywhere and anytime. How do you stand out in this massive surge of information? How do you break the clutter and let your stories be heard to your audience?
Here are few simple steps through which organisations, small businesses and even individuals can craft a watertight content strategy-

Master the Art of Storytelling

Human brains have evolved to memorize information in form of stories. We find it tough to recall discrete sets of information. But if they are connected seamlessly in form of a compelling story,  the idea probably stays with us forever. So find out what story you have to tell to the audience, how will it complement your brand/organisational concept, and then put it across in the most cohesive and simplest fashion.
Here’s how Apple thinks differently in its content strategy.

Get to know your Audience better

Geographic and demographic profiling of your audience is probably the easiest way to define a target group, but it is also ineffective in most cases. Go deeper than this. Separate your audience into psychographic profiles. Focus on a sample size and get to know their interests and hobbies, their lifestyle, their aspirational and self-actualization needs and then extend it to a larger group.
Here’s how marketers at Nike ‘Just Do It’ the best.

Be Omnipresent

As near as 20 years ago, newspapers, televisions and radio were the only channels available to marketers to communicate their stories. Now, brands and businesses are already competing with each other for ‘screen-time’. Your target audience reads the newspaper and watches the morning news. Then scans through their Facebook newsfeed on mobile while on the way to work. They are tweeting and surfing the web during the course of the day. And then going off to sleep while reading blog posts on their tablet. You need to make sure that your message finds visibility on all these channels with a holistic content strategy.
Coke believes in sharing happiness in much the same manner.

Give something back to the Audience

Unlike in the past, audiences can choose from a thousand different sources to obtain information. Therefore, an important question that should linger in every marketer’s mind while crafting content strategy is that ‘what’s in it for the Audience?’ If your content is making people smarter, motivating them and giving them something to talk about at water cooler chats, then they’ll not only heed you once but keep coming back for more.

Love your Data

The shift to digital has opened avenues for marketers to procure solid numbers for their campaigns. Facebook, Twitter and Youtube all have their own Insights dashboard while Google Analytics still provides data on your website’s hits and misses. Content Strategists can now find a detailed analysis of their online clicks, mentions and the sentiment (positive or negative) for their brand by using free tools such as Alltop, Social Mention, Bitly and Hootsuite. A robust content strategy is built on detailed analytics. It paves the way for re-examining and re-inventing the message in order to have value driven engagement with the Audience.

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