Content strategy focuses on the planning, creation, delivery, and governance of content. Content not only includes the words on the page but also the images and multimedia that are used. Ensuring that you have useful and usable content, that is well structured, and easily found is vital to improving the user experience of a website. The goal of content strategy is to create meaningful, cohesive, engaging, and sustainable content.
The need driving changes in content strategy
- Customers want more than promotional content. A 2014 study by the Economist
Intelligence Unit found that the most important elements of a great customer experience were related to sales and service functions. This shows that although it looks more attractive, content that entertains or raises brand awareness is low on the list of customer needs. In most cases, customers would rather have content that provides support, or information that solves a problem.
- Customers want personalized content. Digitally savvy customers understand that brands
collect their personal information. This includes behavioral, as well as demographical information. As a result, customers expect to be recognized as individuals with specific preferences and needs in their interactions with the brand. In fact, 74% of consumers expressed frustration after receiving online content that was irrelevant to their interests
- Customers want a seamless experience. To a customer, there is only one brand. But within the brand, there can be multiple producers of content, often with disparate visions and competing goals for what they want content to achieve. A mature digital content strategy puts the customer’s needs first, and aligns the rest of the organization around it. To meet these new customer expectations, companies need to evolve from using content marketing plans to a mature, digital content strategy.
The characteristic of proper digital content
- Leadership supports content efforts. Companies that successfully made the transition from experimenting with content, to using it as a well-resourced strategic tool had crucial buy-in from the C-suite. This support means investment in skills and technology, but more importantly it elevates content to a strategy with multiple stakeholders. To get this buy-in, the content team should position itself as a revenue generator, and custodian of the customer experience, rather than its traditional image as a marketing cost center.
- Content strategy extends beyond marketing. A mature content strategy delivers value to departments other than marketing. Getting multiple teams to have a say in the content strategy ensures a unified approach to delivering a seamless, consistent face of the brand.
- Content creation is based on customer data. Today’s brands can’t afford to publish content that is irrelevant or not tailored to their customers. For this, they need data on customer behavior, pain points and needs. Sources can include social analytics, web analytics, CRM records, call-center logs and customer surveys.
- Content is personalized and delivered in real-time. Although most companies use customer data to inform their content creation, mature companies were able to leverage technology that used this data for real-time personalization and delivery of content to customers.
- Content is expected to impact the business. Mature companies have goals for content that impact the bottom line, such as cost saving, leads/sales generated, or customer loyalty and satisfaction scores. This point to the difference in how content is viewed. Mature companies see it as a strategic tool for customer engagement, while less mature companies see it purely as a marketing tactic for increasing brand awareness.