How to ensure your digital content strategy sets you up for success
When it comes to crafting a digital content strategy for your business, think about these 7 rules.
Rule #1: Focus on your Customer First
Whether it’s your digital content strategy or your business strategy, this rule should always be #1. From a content perspective, knowing who your target customers are and what they need will set you in the right direction. Give them what they are looking for and delight them every step of the way. A customer-focused digital content strategy should be at the heart of your marketing plan. Think like your customers, write for your customers, engage with your customers and above all… do right for your customers.
Rule #2: Be Consistent
Consistency is key for establishing loyalty. Train your customers to expect great content from you and they will keep coming back for more… and will probably encourage others to come to you as well. A comprehensive publishing calendar is invaluable for a successful digital content strategy. It ensures you stay on top of your content and that you establish a regular drumbeat.
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Rule #3: Get Out of Your Comfort Zone – Be Creative
While consistency in publishing is critical, the method of delivery can vary. Facebook updates, white papers and monthly contests are all great. But mix things up every now and then and create a funny video or utilize eye-catching imagery to convey your message to your target audience. Think of different ways to repurpose content to extend it’s reach. Be creative in your approach to set yourself apart.
Rule #4: Communicate
Talk with your customers… not at them. Engage them in interesting dialogue and make them feel acknowledged and appreciated. Companies with strong community managers truly set themselves apart from those who simply push content. Social media provides a huge opportunity to get closer to your target customer… take advantage of this whenever possible. You will learn more about your customers as well as how they perceive your company, products and/or services. Don’t forget the most important aspect of communication… be human. Unless of course, you are bacon… then, well… be bacon (definitely take a look at the excellent community management on the Baconator Facebook page).
Rule #5: Create Unique Content
What will keep your customers coming back to you for more? Giving them something that they can’t get anywhere else. Make sure you are providing unique, relevant and valuable content that your customers actually want or need. HubSpot does a remarkable job at this, consistently offering white papers, guides and templates that their target audience loves… which allows them to track inbound leads and market to them more personally based on their interests.
Rule #6: Curate Select Content
Fill the gaps between your original content with curated content. Be selective about what you share and make sure it fits your overall business and content strategy. When done correctly, content curation can be very beneficial. “A curated site that mixes created, contributed and gathered content sends a powerful message of inclusion to customers,” says Steve Rosenbaum, author of Curation Nation and CEO of Magnify.net.
Rule #7: Collaborate with Customers
User generated content can be extremely powerful in your overall digital content strategy. The best way to show the benefits and advantages of your product or service is through the voice of your customers. Whether it is via a picture of a customer using your product or a comment about your product on a social network – it provides validity that is often needed for a prospect to make the jump to being a customer. Lululemon provides an excellent example of this with their #thesweatlife campaign – which encourages customers to share photographs of them sweating it out in their Lululemon gear. Just take a look at all the amazing photo’s they have received.
Crafting the optimal digital content strategy for your business will take on its own unique character and form – taking into consideration your resources, capabilities, intent and passion. Keeping these 7 simple rules in mind will keep you on the path to success. As with any strategy, continuous monitoring, measuring and adjusting are necessary to ensure you are always at your best.
Thanks for reading! What other rules do you think are crucial in ensuring a successful digital content strategy? I’d love to hear your thoughts.