Choosing the right social media channels for a target audience is just one step in creating an effective content strategy. It’s equally important to determine what content is best for each channel and when and how to tweak messages for each channel. Most important is quality.
From blogs, podcasts, tweets and LinkedIn postings to videos, still photos, case studies, white papers and traditional advertisements, the types of content and their interconnections are as varied — and growing as quickly — as digital platforms.
Underscoring the complexity of today’s multiformat marketing challenge is a recent story by The New York Times on the Anheuser-Busch InBev’s Super Bowl marketing strategy, which included a $5 million television commercial plus millions more to market the commercial itself.
Mary Scott, president of sports & experiential at United Entertainment Group, told The Times that brands eager to get the full value of their Super Bowl commercials may spend anywhere from 25 to 100 percent of the cost of commercials to promote them across social and other digital media before and after the big game.
While Super Bowl commercials are a field unto themselves, the secondary marketing strategies show the impact of a well-thought-out strategy for taking content and maximizing its potential across much broader platforms and audiences.
The Content Marketing Institute offers a host of resources develop an effective plan to leverage content across multiple channels, from a basic tutorial on the importance of — and the subtle differences between — developing a content strategy and a content marketing strategy, to a five-step tutorial on developing a content map.
A content strategy, the institute says, is used to “draw and develop the larger story that an organization tells.” The strategy should “focus on ways to engage an audience, using content to drive profitable behaviors.” The strategy involves managing content as a business asset.
To maximize a strategy’s effectiveness, the institute advises creating a “content map” that lists the components and their interconnections, from simple posts of headlines and links on Twitter and LinkedIn to infographics on Facebook and videos and podcasts on YouTube.
Carlijn Postma, author of the mapping tutorial, offers this advice: “The aim is not to create content for the sake of creating content. Your content has to be top quality if you want to achieve your goal. It doesn’t matter how many posts you churn out. If they are not relevant or interesting, every minute spent on them will have been a waste of time.”
In our next blog we’ll take a look at the changing role of public relations and its quest to capture “earned media” in the digital age.